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2020/21 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

ELEC5580M Electric Power Generation and Distribution

15 creditsClass Size: 60

Module manager: Professor Kang Li

Taught: 1 Jan to 30 Jun View Timetable

Year running 2020/21

This module is not approved as an Elective

Module summary

The teaching and assessment methods shown below will be kept under review during 2020-21. In particular, if conditions allow for alternative formats of delivery, we may amend the timetable and schedule appropriate classes in addition to (or in place of) the Online Learning Workshops. For Semester 2 (from January 2021), we anticipate that this will be most likely, in which case online teaching will be substituted for traditional face-to-face teaching methods, including lectures and practical classes. ‘Independent online learning’ will involve watching pre-recorded lecture material or screen-casts, engaging in learning activities such as online worked examples or remote/virtual laboratory work, etc. Students will be expected to fully engage with all of these activities. The time commitment for independent online learning, and also the frequency and duration of Online Learning Workshops, are approximate and intended as a guide only. Further details will be confirmed when the module commences.


This module gives students an understanding of the various layers and components in modern electric power networks, of how power systems are operated in technical and economic terms as well as of the technological changes power systems will be facing in the years to come.

Learning outcomes
On completion of this module students should be able to:


Topics may include, but are not limited to:

Principles of electric power generation: conventional energy sources (fossil fuels, nuclear, hydroelectric), renewable energy sources (geothermal, wind, tidal, solar concentrator, photovoltaic, biofuels), turbine-based generation vs. thermoelectric generation, distributed generation
Principles of electric power transmission and distribution: AC and DC power transmission systems, voltage levels in AC networks, high voltage grid infrastructure (transformers, converters, cables, switchgear), efficiency and power loss, protection and fault detection
Traditional power system planning and operation: electricity grid systems; global grid models, European and National Grid, network operation, TSOs, DSOs and load profiles, control and communication networks for grid management, economics of electricity generation and distribution infrastructures, regulatory frameworks
Current and future trends in power system operation - the path to the smart grid: grid-infrastructure, energy storage and electric vehicles, smart operation and flexible loads (microgrids, virtual power plants, smart homes), the role of ICT, market mechanisms, business models, smart meters

Teaching methods

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
On-line Learning42.008.00
Independent online learning hours48.00
Private study hours94.00
Total Contact hours8.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)150.00

Private study

Students are expected to use private study time to consolidate the material covered in lectures, to undertake preparatory work for the essay and to prepare for summative assessments.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Via group seminars

Methods of assessment

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay or DissertationEssay 1 - Sustainability challenges of conventional power systems15.00
Essay or DissertationEssay 2: : Operation and protection challenges in modern and future power systems25.00
Essay or DissertationEssay 3: 2050 UK emissions reduction pathway25.00
EssayEssay 4: Conceptual design of smart and sustainable home energy management systems35.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Resits for ELEC and XJEL modules are subject to the School's Resit Policy and the Code of Practice on Assessment (CoPA), which are available on Minerva. Students should be aware that, for some modules, a resit may only be conducted on an internal basis (with tuition) in the next academic session.

Reading list

There is no reading list for this module

Last updated: 24/02/2021 16:36:22


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