SHE Level 5
SCQF Credit Points 15.00
ECTS Credit Points 7.50
Module Code MMJ924007
Module Leader n/a
School School of Computing, Engineering and Built Environment
Subject Civil Engineering and Environmental Management
  • B (January start)

Pre-Requisite Knowledge

A basic competency in maths, for example as evidenced by a post-16 maths qualification, a previous degree with numerical content, or a work function requiring frequent calculations.

Summary of Content

Renewable energy is regarded as an integral part of a sustainable development strategy. This module concentrates on the renewable energy technologies most likely to succeed in the UK and other temperate countries, i.e. solar energy, energy from waste, wind, hydro and biomass. Topics for discussion include: the scale and variability of resources; technologies for exploitation; technical and economic feasibilities; integrated (hybrid) systems. Software tools will be explored for design and analysis of renewable energy systems.


The teaching syllabus will cover the following areas :- Resource Assessment: solar, wind, etc. Policy, tariff structures and market analysis: Feed-in, Green certificates, Contracts for difference, heating tariffs Solar Thermal: - Active and passive systems. Water and air-heating collectors. Hottel-Whiller-Bliss equation. Non-conventional and advanced applications. Solar Photovoltaic: - Types of cells and principles of operation. Connection to circuits and system efficiency. Applications of PV. Energy from Waste and Biomass: - Size and quality of resources; landfill gas, incineration, pyrolysis, refuse derived fuel, anaerobic digestion, gasification, biofuels. Wind: - Types of turbine, Principles of operation. Resource estimation. Hydro: - Types of turbine. Principles of operation. Small and large scale systems. Pumped storage. Integrated (Hybrid) Systems: - Combined exploitation of more than one resource to meet the demand for energy. Battery storage. Software tools: Use of specialist software tools, and their limitations, to help design and analyse renewable energy systems. Environmental Issues: - Environmental impacts of different resources.

Learning Outcomes

These learning outcomes are cross-referenced to the curriculum map in the Programme Specification Document for the MSc Energy and Environmental Management and MSc Waste Management.On completing this module, students should be able to:- Describe and differentiate between the principles underlying the technologies for the exploitation of selected renewable energy resources (A2, A6, B4, C5, D2)- Identify and critically analyse data to assess the scale of renewable energy resources, in the UK and in a wider context, using data from appropriate sources. (A2, A6, B4, C5, D2)- Identify and use appropriate techniques, and review their limitations, for assessing the feasibility of renewable energy resources. (A2, A6, A8, B4, B5, C4)- Assess the environmental advantages and disadvantages of exploiting selected renewable energy resources. (A7, A8, B2, B4, D1)- Use appropriate software to assess the requirements and predict the performance of a renewable energy system. (A2, B5, C6, D2, D3)

Teaching / Learning Strategy

This module is taught by a series of lectures on the specific resources and technologies for exploitation, backed up by a series of tutorials. Students will use software tools to design and analyse renewable energy systems. Site visits and guest lecturers will be included as appropriate. For FDL mode, a study pack will be provided on GCULearn, to include lecture notes, tutorial notes, notes for computer-based practical sessions and case studies, to cover all the class material. Module tutors can be contacted via e-mail, telephone and GCU Learn, and tools such as on-line tutorials and discussion forums will be arranged as appropriate.

Indicative Reading

Boyle G. (2012) "Renewable Energy: Power for a Sustainable Future" Oxford University Press/Open University. Twidell J. and Weir T. (2005) "Renewable Energy Resources" E. & F. N, Spon.

Transferrable Skills

- Use of specialist software for numerical analysis; interpretation of results.

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Practicals (FT) 12.00
Tutorials (FDL) 12.00
Tutorials (PT) 12.00
Assessment (FT) 16.00
Assessment (PT) 16.00
Tutorials (FT) 12.00
Practicals (PT) 12.00
Independent Learning (PT) 86.00
Independent Learning (FDL) 122.00
Assessment (FDL) 16.00
Lectures (PT) 24.00
Independent Learning (FT) 86.00
Lectures (FT) 24.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Coursework 1 n/a 50.00 45% Resource Analysis
Exam (School) n/a 25.00 45% Class Test - Time Constrained Test
Exam (School) n/a 25.00 45% Class Test - Time Constrained Test