Last Updated S012021


Unit Code MEE511
Unit Duration 12 weeks

Graduate Diploma of Engineering ( Electrical Systems )

Duration: 1 year

Master of Engineering (Electrical Systems )

Duration: 2 years 

Year Level One
Unit Creator / Reviewer Dr. Akhlaqur Rahman
Core/Elective: Core
Pre/Co-requisites MEE501, MEE510
Credit Points


Grad Dip total course credit points = 24

( 3 credits  x 8 (units))

Master total course credit points = 48

(3 credits  x 12 ( units )+12 credits ( thesis)

Mode of Delivery Online or on-campus. 
Unit Workload

10 hours per week

Lecture - 1 hour

Tutorial Lecture - 1 hours

Practical/ Lab - 1 hour ( where applicable )

Personal Study recommended - 7 hours ( guided and unguided)

Unit Description and General Aims

The objective of this unit is to augment the knowledge imparted in the complementary unit (MEE501) on power generation and impart a detailed knowledge of the design and planning of power generation using renewable sources, along with the role of power electronics as part of renewable energy systems. 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, their economical implication, and their pros and cons, is essential for all engineers. This unit aims to provide detailed knowledge and appreciation of renewable technologies. Students will also undertake a project covering the design and control of a renewable energy system and interconnection with the power grid.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Determine the design needs for renewable power generation taking into account environmental effects as well economical implications.

            Bloom’s Level 5

  1. Evaluate 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 5

  1. Discuss and compare other renewable/non-polluting technologies such as geothermal, tidal, wave energy, and fuel cells

            Bloom’s Level 4

  1. Discuss and improve the power generation operation of solar and wind energy systems such as solar photovoltaic systems and wind turbine systems.

Bloom’s Level 6

  1. Analyse the role of power electronics in renewable systems and design the modelling and control for renewable generation schemes in order to enhance efficiency.

Bloom’s Level 6

  1. Determine the plausibility to integrate renewable energy systems to the grid and verify with practical implementation.

Bloom’s Level 5

Student assessment

Assessment Type

(e.g. Assessment -2000 word essay (specify topic)

Examination ( specify length and format))

When assessed

(e.g week 5)

Weighting (% of total unit marks) Learning Outcomes Assessed

Assessment 1

Type: Multi-choice test / Group work / Short answer questions / Role Play / Self-Assessment / Presentation

Word length: n/a

Topic examples: New types of renewable energy technologies including hydro, geo, fuel cell, biomass, tidal and wave.
After Topic 5 20% 1, 2

Assessment 2

Type: Report / Research / Paper / Case Study / Site Visit / Problem analysis / Project / Professional recommendation

Example: Type: Report (Midterm Project)
[This will include a progress report; literature review, hypothesis, and methodology / conclusions]
Word length: 1000

Topic examples: Prospect of a renewable energy system in your country (Hydro/solar/wind) with respect to current situation.
After Topic 8 25% 1, 2, 3, 4

Assessment 3

Type: Report (Final Project)

Word length: 2000

Topic examples: Continuation of midterm (including the operation and control of the proposed power plant as well as the feasibility of integration with the grid)
After Topic 11 35% 1,2,3,4,5,6

Assessment 4 Practical Participation

Type: May be in the form of quizzes, class tests, practical assessments, remote labs, simulation software or case studies

Example: Simulation of various renewable generation methods with integration using software such as MATLAB
Final Week 15% 6

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)

  1. Godfrey Boyle, Renewable Energy: Power for a Sustainable Future., 3rd edition, Oxford University Press UK, 2012 (ISBN 13-978-019-9545-33-9)


  1. Zobaa A & Bansal R (eds), Handbook of Renewable Energy Technology, World Scientific Publishing Co Pte Ltd., 2011 (ISBN 13-978-981-4289-06-1)


  1. Roger Hinrichs & Merlin Kleinbach, Energy: Its Use and the Environment, Cengage Learning, 2012 (ISBN 13-978-111-1990-83-1)


Reference Materials

  • J.F. Manwell, J.G. McGowan and A.L. Rogers, Wind Energy Explained: Theory, Design and Application, John Wiley & Sons Ltd, 2nd edn, 2010.
  • Grid-Connected PV Systems, Design and Installation - GSES.
  • Kasun S. Pereran Zeyar Aung and Wei Lee Woon, Machine Learning Techniques for Supporting Renewable Energy Generation and Integration: A Survey, in proceedings of International Workshop on Data Analytics for Renewable Energy Integration, 2014.
  • Grid-Connected PV Systems with Battery Storage – GSES.
  • Other material advised during the lectures
  • IEEE Transaction on Sustainable Energy
  • IEEE Transactions on Smart Grids

Unit Content

One topic is delivered per contact week.

Topic 1

Sustainable and Renewable Energy (RE)

  1.  Energy basics, pollution and greenhouse effect
  2. Energy efficiency and renewable energy policy
  3. Background and motivation for renewable energy
  4. Tariffs for electricity and renewable energy
  5. Renewable energy deployment policies

Topic 2

Types of Renewable Energy- Hydro

  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. Types of water turbines and applications
  6. Turbine selection criteria
  7. Turbine efficiency and performance
  8. Pumped storage option for demand management
  9. Environmental problems posed by large hydropower plants
  10. Reservoir-induced seismicity
  11. Seismic design of dams

Topic 3

Types of Renewable Energy- Geothermal and Fuel cell

  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. Hydrogen as a fuel
  6. Fuel cells general principles and different types
  7. Comparison of efficiencies and performance

Topic 4

Types of Renewable Energy- Biomass, Tidal and Wave energy

  1. Wave energy plants
  2. Biomass-types and ways of utilisation
  3. Anaerobic digesters for animal and human waste
  4. Biomass gasifiers for agro waste 
  5. Ethanol fuels from agro-products/by-products
  6. Biofuels in liquid form (Bio-Diesel)

Topic 5

Types of Renewable Energy- Solar energy and Photovoltaic (PV)

  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. Future of solar energy using polymer cells and transparent-coatings as solar power sources

Topic 6

Types of Renewable Energy- Wind energy

  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. Wind farm site selection and environmental issues
  10. Offshore wind turbine option
  11. Future Opportunities

Topic 7

Power Electronics used for renewable energy (Solar and Wind)

  1. Role of power electronics
  2. Power electronics used in renewable (DC-DC Converters, active Filter, inverters)
  3. Complete Solar system and components
  4. Complete wind system and components

Topic 8

Renewable System Control and Modelling


  1. Hydraulic structures and their function
  2. Flow control methods
  3.  Electrical generator and associated equipment for hydro-plants


  1. Tracking systems (single and dual axis)
  2. Maximum power point tracking in solar generation
  3. A complete solar system with inverter and storage battery


  1. Wind turbine control
  2. Tower and turbine design
  3. Types of generators used (Doubly Fed Induction Generator, synchronous)
  4. Maximum power point tracking in wind generation


Topic 9

Distributed Generation, Storage and the Complete Renewable Energy Systems

  1. Renewable energy for Distributed Generation (DG)
  2. Incentives for wheeling of wind power through a grid
  3. Storage as a key technology area for large scale deployment of renewable power sources
  4. Different types of storage
  5. Complete renewable energy-led systems

Topic 10

Renewable System Integration to Grid and Compliance with Grid

  1. Grid tie for solar
  2. Grid interface for wind farms
  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. Scheduling solar and wind power sources in an integrated way in a power grid
  6. Voltage and frequency control of grids

Topic 11

Microgrid, Smart Grid and the Economics of Renewable Energy (RE)

  1. Cost of solar power
  2. Cost of wind power generation
  3. Incentives for wheeling of wind power through a grid
  4. Introduction to microgrid and relevance to DG and RE
  5. Introduction to smart Grid, IoT and its relevance in renewable power generation

Topic 12

Artificial Intelligence-AI (Machine Learning) in renewable energy generation, integration and optimization of renewable system operation

  1. Use of AI in RE: (prediction, sizing, performance analysis, maintenance, protection, forecasting)
  2. Overview of machine learning applied in Generation, Integration, Prediction


Engineers Australia

The Australian Engineering Stage 1 Competency Standards for the Professional Engineer, approved as of 2013. This table is referenced in the mapping of graduate attributes to learning outcomes and via the learning outcomes to student assessment.

Stage 1 Competencies and Elements Competency
1. Knowledge and Skill Base
1.1 Comprehensive, theory based understanding of the underpinning natural and physical sciences and the engineering fundamentals applicable to the engineering discipline.
1.2 Conceptual understanding of the mathematics, numerical analysis, statistics, and computer and information sciences which underpin the engineering discipline.
1.3 In-depth understanding of specialist bodies of knowledge within the engineering discipline.
1.4 Discernment of knowledge development and research directions within the engineering discipline.
1.5 Knowledge of engineering design practice and contextual factors impacting the engineering discipline.
1.6 Understanding of the scope, principles, norms, accountabilities and bounds of sustainable engineering practice in the specific discipline.
2. Engineering Application Ability
2.1 Application of established engineering methods to complex engineering problem solving.
2.2 Fluent application of engineering techniques, tools and resources.
2.3 Application of systematic engineering synthesis and design processes.
2.4 Application of systematic approaches to the conduct and management of engineering projects.
3. Professional and Personal Attributes
3.1 Ethical conduct and professional accountability.
3.2 Effective oral and written communication in professional and lay domains.
3.3 Creative, innovative and pro-active demeanour.
3.4 Professional use and management of information.
3.5 Orderly management of self and professional conduct.
3.6 Effective team membership and team leadership.

Software/Hardware Used


  • Software: HOMER Pro; RETScreen Expert

  • Version: N/A

  • Instructions:  N/A

  • Additional resources or files: N/A


  • N/A