SHE Level 5
SCQF Credit Points 15.00
ECTS Credit Points 7.50
Module Code MMH224010
Module Leader n/a
School School of Computing, Engineering and Built Environment
Subject Civil Engineering and Environmental Management
  • B (January start)
  • A (September start)

Summary of Content

Most of our energy needs are provided by conventional resources - fossil fuels and nuclear power - and the challenge facing society is to improve our knowledge and understanding, and to develop technologies to become more energy efficient. This module examines energy sources and conversion technologies for fossil fuels and nuclear power, and strategies and technologies for sustainable energy use. These include combustion, waste heat recovery, combined heat and power, refrigeration, and also 'cutting edge' applications such as fuel cells and heat pipes.


Principles of thermodynamics: First and Second Law and how they affect energy conversion processes. Energy resources: Fossil fuels, radioactive fuels; extraction technologies; nuclear fuel cycle; environmental impacts. Conversion processes: Combustion; boilers, internal combustion engines and other prime movers; thermal power plant; principles of nuclear power; environmental impacts. Thermodynamic conversion processes: Steam cycle, gas turbines, internal combustion engines, refrigeration. Technologies for enhanced efficiency: Combined heat and power, waste heat recovery, fuel cells and other developments in specific components to improve efficiency. Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning: Principles of HVAC systems, psychrometric chart, applications of waste heat recovery, refrigeration, etc.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module the student should be able to:1. Understand the fundamental concepts of thermodynamics, and how these impose limits on the effectiveness of energy conversion processes.2. Assess the main conversion technologies for fossil fuels, and determine the principal efficiency criteria.3. Critically describe the main features of nuclear power generation, including the preparation and reprocessing of nuclear fuel.4. Assess the principal environmental impacts of the fossil fuels and nuclear power.5. Assess the performance of cyclic processes, such as refrigeration cycles and the Rankine (steam) cycle.6. Evaluate the technical and economic factors which influence advanced technologies for energy efficiency, for example, combined heat and power, refrigeration and waste heat recovery.

Teaching / Learning Strategy

Learning and teaching strategies will be developed and implemented, appropriate to students' needs, to enable all students to participate fully in the module. This module will be taught as a series of lectures and seminars, with tutorial sessions to underpin the quantitative parts of the module. Visits to sites of interest and guest lecturers will be arranged as appropriate.

Indicative Reading

Boyle G., B. Everett and J. Ramage (2003) Energy Systems and Sustainability - Power for a Sustainable Future. Oxford University Press in association with the Open University. Hinrichs R.A. and M. Kleinbach (2006). Energy - Its Use and the Environment. Thomson Brookes/Cole. Good Practice Guide GPG388: Combined Heat and Power for Buidings. The Carbon Trust.

Transferrable Skills

D2 Present data in a variety of ways. D3 Use scientific evidence-based methods in the solution of problems. D4 Use a logical approach in solving problems. D5 Be creative and innovative in problem solving. D6 Work with limited or contradictory information. D8 Communicate effectively in a variety of formats. D9 Be prepared for life-long learning.

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Tutorials (FT) 12.00
Assessment (FT) 18.00
Lectures (FT) 36.00
Independent Learning (FT) 84.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Exam (School) n/a 25.00 45% Class Test - Time Constrained Test
Coursework 1 n/a 50.00 45% Research report (2000 words)
Exam (School) n/a 25.00 45% Class Test - Time Constrained Test