Last Updated S012019


Unit Name Power Generation (Renewable and Non-Renewable Energy Technologies)
Unit Code BEE303S
Unit Duration 1 Semester

Bachelor of Science (Engineering)

Duration 3 years    

Year Level Three
Unit Creator / Reviewer N/A
Core/Sub-discipline: Sub-discipline
Pre/Co-requisites BEE204S
Credit Points


Total Course Credit Points 81 (27 x 3)

Mode of Delivery Online or on-campus. 
Unit Workload (Total student workload including “contact hours” = 10 hours per week; 5 hours per week for 24 week delivery)
Pre-recordings / Lecture – 1.5 hours
Tutorial – 1.5 hours
Guided labs / Group work / Assessments – 2 hours
Personal Study recommended – 5 hours

Unit Description and General Aims

The objective of this unit is to augment the knowledge imparted in the earlier unit (BEE108S) on power generation and impart a detailed knowledge of the design and planning of power generation using renewable sources. Sustainable energy is a concept which needs to be reinforced in the interest of preserving the environment, and is going to continue being a significant focus area for future decades; a thorough knowledge of the technologies utilising renewable sources, and their pros and cons, is essential for all engineers; this unit aims to provide detailed knowledge and appreciation of these technologies. Students will also undertake a project covering the design of a wind farm for a hypothetical location, starting from the details of collecting and verifying data, sizing of wind turbine units, selecting suitable locations within the farm, and interconnection with the power grid.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this Unit, students are expected to be able to:

  1. Explain the processes involved in thermal power generation using non-renewable as well as renewable fuels, and the associated equipment.
    Bloom’s Level 2
  2. Determine by calculations the power generation potential of the various methods of tapping power from hydro-electric sources, the structures used for storing/channelling the water flow, and the equipment used (different types of turbines).
    Bloom’s Level 6
  3. Discuss other renewable/non-polluting technologies such as geothermal, tidal, wave energy, and fuel cells.
    Bloom’s Level 4
  4. Calculate the power generation capacity achievable by solar energy sources such as solar, thermal, and photovoltaic systems.
    Bloom’s Level 3
  5. Design a solar powered system based on PV cells for a small community with adequate storage to ensure a reliable supply.
    Bloom’s Level 6
  6. Explain the method of harnessing wind energy through wind turbines and compare using numerical methods the different types of turbine designs.
    Bloom’s Level 4

Student assessment

Assessment Type When assessed Weighting (% of total unit marks) Learning Outcomes Assessed

Assessment 1

Type: Multi-choice test / Group work / Short answer questions / Practical / Remote Lab / Simulation

Example Topic: Thermal and hydro-electric power generation.

Students will complete a quiz with MCQ type answers to 30 questions to demonstrate a detailed knowledge of thermal and hydro-electric power generation systems/equipment.

Due after Topic 5 15% 1, 2

Assessment 2

Type: Multi-choice test / Group work / Short answer questions / Practical / Remote Lab / Simulation

Example Topic: New types of renewable energy technologies including harnessing solar energy.

Students will complete a test with about 20 questions of numerical problems and short answer questions (each to be answered in less than 100 words and explanatory diagrams) to demonstrate a detailed knowledge of various new types of renewable power sources and also solar power harnessing methods.

Due after Topic 9 25% 3, 4

Assessment 3

Type: Multi-choice test / Group work / Short answer questions / Practical / Remote Lab / Simulation / Project / Report

Example Topic: A project covering the design of a wind farm for a hypothetical location, starting from the details of collecting and verifying data, sizing of wind turbine units, selecting suitable locations within the farm, and interconnection with the power grid. Compare this with a solar power solution.

Final Week 15% 5, 6

Assessment 4

Type: Examination

An examination with a mix of detailed essay type questions and numerical problems to be completed within 2 hours.

Final Week 40% All

Attendance / Tutorial Participation

Example: Presentation, discussion, group work, exercises, self-assessment/reflection, case study analysis, application.

Continuous 5% -

Prescribed and Recommended Readings

Required textbook(s)

IDC/EIT reference manual for the Renewable Energy Technologies program

Reference Materials

Chaplin R, 2009, Thermal Power Plants Edited by Robin Chaplin, EOLSS Publishers, UK,
Zobaa A & Bansal R (eds), 2011, Handbook of Renewable Energy Technology, World Scientific Publishing Co Pte Ltd. ISBN 13-978-981-4289-06-1

References from the Internet:

An example: Transparent Panels Signal the Future of the Solar Industry by Mary Mazzoni on Thursday, Mar 27th, 2014.

Unit Content

Topics 1 and 2

Thermal power generation and heat sources

1. Thermal cycle with water as the heat transfer medium
2. Fuels used
3. Steam generator and its design based on fuels burnt
4. Components of a typical thermal power plant including water treatment, re-circulation, and cooling
5. Efficiency enhancement by heat recovery
6. Cleaning up waste gases (solids and gaseous waste products)
7. Waste disposal systems/waste utilisation
8. Nuclear reactor as a heat source
9. The turbine as the prime mover
10. The efficiency of the thermal cycle and heat pollution
11. Enhancing efficiency using co-generation principles
12. Thermal power plant economics
13. Internal combustion heat engines using renewable and fossil fuels

Topics 3 and 4

Hydroelectric power

1. Introduction to hydroelectric power
2. Hydraulic engineering
3. Calculating the power generation potential of a water resource
4. Run-of-river schemes with particular reference to mini/micro hydro power plants
5. Hydraulic structures and their function
6. Flow control methods
7. Types of water turbines and applications
8. Turbine selection criteria
9. Turbine efficiency and performance
10. Pumped storage option for demand management
11. Environmental problems posed by large hydropower plants
12. Reservoir-induced seismicity
13. Seismic design of dams
14. Electrical generator and associated equipment for hydro-plants

Topics 5 and 6

Other renewable/non-polluting energy generation methods

1. Geothermal power extraction cycle
2. Equipment used in geo-thermal plants and special requirements
3. Tidal energy plants and their design features
4. Turbine types for use in tide basins
5. Wave energy plants
6. Biomass-types and ways of utilisation
7. Anaerobic digestors for animal and human waste
8. Biomass gassifiers for agro waste
9. Ethanol fuels from agro-products/by-products
10. Biofuels in liquid form (Bio-Diesel)
11. Hydrogen as a fuel
12. Fuel cells general principles and different types
13. Comparison of efficiencies and performance

Topics 7 and 8

Solar power applications

1. Historical overview
2. Solar heat as an energy source
3. Power generation using steam generation units operating on solar heat
4. Photovoltaic basics
5. Modern PV cells
6. PV characteristics
7. Cell design
8. Maximising power output
9. Solar power module arrangement
10. Tracking systems (single and dual axis)
11. A complete solar system with inverter and storage battery
12. Electrical system design and grid tie
13. Future of solar energy using polymer cells and transparent-coatings as solar power sources

Topics 9 and 10

Wind power

1. Historical overview
2. Wind power data collection and evaluation
3. Wind turbine technology options
4. Horizontal and vertical axis turbines
5. Turbine components
6. Wind turbine blade design
7. Turbine output calculation
8. Citing a wind farm for the maximum benefit
9. Offshore wind turbine option
10. Wind turbine control
11. Tower and turbine design
12. Types of generators used
13. Electronics for variable frequency generators used in wind turbines
14. Wind farm site selection and environmental issues
15. Grid interface for wind farms

Topic 11

Distributed generation and its economics in today’s scenario

1. Cost of solar power
2. Cost of wind power generation
3. Technical problems faced by an electric grid with large scale embedded systems (voltage problems)
4. Wind power interconnection with the grid (power factor problems)
5. Incentives for wheeling of wind power through a grid
6. Scheduling solar and wind power sources in an integrated way in a power grid
7. Storage as a key technology area for large scale deployment of renewable power sources

Topic 12

Unit Review

In the final week, students will have an opportunity to review the contents covered so far. Opportunity will be provided for a review of student work and to clarify any outstanding issues. Instructors/facilitators may choose to cover a specialized topic if applicable to that cohort.

Software/Hardware Used


  • Software: PowerFactory

  • Version: N/A

  • Instructions:  N/A

  • Additional resources or files: N/A


  • N/A