Last Updated S012019


Unit Name Energy Systems
Unit Code BME208S
Unit Duration 1 Semester

Bachelor of Science (Engineering)

Duration 3 years    

Year Level Two
Unit Creator / Reviewer N/A
Core/Sub-Discipline: Sub-discipline
Pre/Co-requisites BSC101C
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 in presenting this unit is to provide students with the knowledge to improve energy efficiency through an understanding of the principles associated with it, including assessing wastage, and analysing energy costs. Students will also be imparted with the necessary tools to help identify and implement programs and projects that will result in reduced energy consumption, and consequently improved efficiency.

The subject matter covered in this unit will include: energy efficiency improvement measures and practices; concepts related to electrical generation and usage; technologies and economics of renewable energy systems; and, the design, installation, commissioning and integration of renewable energy technologies such as photovoltaic (PV), wind powered systems and fuel cells. Students will also undertake project work involving the presentation of case study examples in designing wind energy and PV renewable energy systems.

At the conclusion of this unit, students will have been imparted with the requisite knowledge to undertake energy systems work, including the development, operation, and management of renewable energy systems, particularly in the context of photovoltaic, wind energy and fuel cell systems.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Implement energy efficiency improvement measures.
    Bloom’s Level 6
  2. Detail concepts related to electrical generation and usage.
    Bloom’s Level 4
  3. Establish energy efficient practices.
    Bloom’s Level 6
  4. Discuss the technologies and economics of renewable energy systems.
    Bloom’s Level 4
  5. Detail the design, installation, commissioning and integration aspects of PV, wind energy systems and fuel cells.
    Bloom’s Level 4
  6. Develop, operate, and manage renewable energy systems.
    Bloom’s Level 6

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: Energy efficiency principles.

Students will complete a quiz with MCQ type answers to 30 questions to demonstrate relevant knowledge of the basic principles of energy efficiency.

Due after Topic 3 15% 1

Assessment 2

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

Example Topic: Energy sources, electrical generation, usage, energy efficient practices.

Students will complete a quiz with MCQ type answers and provide answers to simple essay questions on energy sources and electrical generation, usage and energy efficient practices.

Due after Topic 5 20% 2, 3

Assessment 3

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

Example Topic: Introduction to renewable energy technology, PV energy systems

Students will provide descriptive answers and solve simple problems to produce evidence of their understanding of the technologies driving renewable energy systems and PV energy system principles and concepts or undertake a practical exercise.

Due after Topic 9 20% 4, 5

Assessment 4

Type: Project work or Examination

Example Topic: Wind energy and PV renewable energy systems, All Topics.

Students to present case study examples in designing wind energy and PV renewable energy systems or an examination with a mix of detailed essay type questions and numerical problems covering all topics to be completed within 3 hours.

Final Week 40% 1 to 6

Attendance / Tutorial Participation

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

Continuous 5% 1 to 6

Prescribed and Recommended Readings


Quaschning, V 2014, Understanding Renewable Energy Systems, Routledge ISBN-13: 978-1317762706


Handbook of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Frank Kreith, D.Yogi Goswami 2007, 1st edn, CRC Press, ISBN-13: 978-0849317309

Journal, website

Peer-reviewed journals and websites (advised during lectures)

Notes and Reference Texts

IDC Technologies
Other material advised during the lectures

Unit Content

Topic 1

Introduction to Energy

1. Energy and the environment
2. Energy forms and conversion
3. Energy sources and sinks
4. Better use of energy
5. Channelling waste energy into useful output
6. Energy audit and principles

Topic 2

Introduction to Energy Efficiency

1. Basic financials
2. Improving efficiencies
3. Reduction and re-use of heat wastage
4. Recovery of exhaust heat from engines
5. Energy efficient designs for equipment and buildings
6. Cogeneration for better efficiency

Topic 3

Energy Sources and Forms

1. Energy converted to electricity for direct use
2. Electricity in metal smelting
3. Fuels for motive power
4. Fuels for heating applications
5. Use of fuels as part of a process
6. Conversion equipment and challenges
7. Alternative energy sources – solar, wind, geothermal, tidal, small hydro, biofuels, hydrogen

Topic 4

Electrical Generation, Usage and Energy Efficient Practices

1. Conversion systems for electrical energy
2. Commonly used fuels
3. Improving conversion efficiencies
4. Major users
5. Efficiencies in electricity usage
6. Uses of electricity
7. Energy efficient building design

Topic 5

Renewable Energy Systems

1. Renewable and sustainable energy
2. Economics of renewable energy
3. Forces driving the technologies
4. Solar water heating systems
5. Hybrid energy systems

Topic 6

PV Energy Systems

1. System components and configurations
2. PV cells
3. Modules and arrays
4. Mechanical design
5. Panel assembly and roof attachment methods
6. Mechanical design problems

Topic 7

PV Energy Systems (Contd.)

1. Electrical system overview
2. Inverters
3. System electrical design
4. Grid connection
5. Design problems
6. Storage of energy
7. Load profiles

Topic 8

Wind Energy Systems

1. Mechanics of wind
2. Local effects on wind flow
3. Wind assessment at a potential site
4. System design and installation
5. Aerodynamics and power control

Topic 9

Wind Energy Systems (Contd.)

1. Dynamics and fatigue
2. Electricity generation and integration
3. On-shire and off-shore wind energy systems
4. Economics

Topic 10

Fuel Cells

1. Overview of fuel cell technology
2. Principles of electrochemical energy conversion
3. Thermodynamics of electrochemical energy conversion
4. Nernst equation
5. Fuel cell types
6. Stack design and system integration
7. Applications

Topic 11

Renewable Energy System Development, Operation, and Management

1. Finance
2. Site design
3. Planning
4. Contracts
5. Management
6. Site commissioning
7. Monitoring and maintenance
8. Safety

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.