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Renewable Energy from the Environment

(15 Credits)

Aims: The module is intended to present and assess some of the important renewable energy technologies and give some sense of the engineering design and development of some of these technologies. Starting with a brief outline of existing and proposed renewable energy systems, the course adopts an active solution-seeking approach, assessing these technologies against economic, engineering and other criteria.

Two of the most promising technologies, wind power, and solar energy are treated in some depth as an example of optimisation in mechanical and electrical engineering design. Other technologies studied include geothermal, biomass, ocean and hydro power.

Learning Outcomes: Upon completion, students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of and ability to interpret, apply and resolve the scientific concepts and principles underpinning renewable energy technologies.
  • Demonstrate a wide knowledge and comprehensive understanding of design processes and methodologies for renewable energy systems and the ability to apply them to new situations.
  • Understand concepts from a range of areas such as business, economics, legislation (H&S, environmental and social impacts) for assessment of renewable energy technologies and systems in order to evaluate their suitability and efficacy.
  • Autonomously apply mathematical and computer based models for solving problems in renewable energy systems, critique these methods and advance independent hypotheses for the scope of their applicability and the limitations of these models for practical application.
  • Discuss current practice and its limitations as well as likely new and advanced developments at the forefront of renewable energy technology

Illustrative Bibliography:

Understanding renewable Energy Systems. Quashning V. Earthcan. 2005. ISBN 978-1-84407-128-9
Solar Engineering of Thermal Processes, Duffie JA and Beckman WA, John Wiley & Sons. 2013. ISBN: 978-0-470-87366-3
The Design and Sizing of Active Solar Thermal Systems. Reddy TA. Oxford University Press. 1987. ISBN 978-0198590163
Wind Turbine Technology. Spera A (ed). ASME Press. 2009. ISBN: 0-7918-0260-4
Freris L, Principles of Wind Energy Conversion, Prentice Hall, 1990. ISBN: 9780139605277
Renewable Electricity and the Grid. Boyle G (ed). Earthscan. 2007. ISBN 978-1-84407-418-1