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2021/22 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

ELEC5580M Electric Power Generation and Distribution

15 creditsClass Size: 60

Module manager: Professor Kang Li

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2021/22

This module is not approved as an Elective

Module summary

The teaching and assessment methods shown below will be kept under review during 2021-22. 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) any online activities/sessions. Where learning activities are scheduled to take place on campus, it may be possible and/or necessary for some students to join these sessions remotely. Some of the listed contact hours may also be optional surgeries. Students will be provided with full information about the arrangements for all of these activities by the module staff at the beginning of the teaching semester.‘Independent online learning’ may involve watching pre-recorded lecture material or screen-casts, engaging in learning activities such as online worked examples or mini-projects, 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 sessions are approximate and intended as a guide only. Further details will be confirmed when the module commences.Where assessments are shown as Online Time-Limited Assessments, the durations shown are indicative only. The actual time permitted for individual assessments will be confirmed prior to the assessments taking place.


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:

1. Discuss an extensive range of electric power generation methods.
2. Discuss in detail the issues involved in electric power transmission and distribution.
3. Discuss and critically evaluate the challenges, methodologies and regulatory frameworks of power system planning and operation.
4. Discuss the current and future trends in power system operation.


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

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
On-line Learning92.0018.00
Independent online learning hours22.00
Private study hours106.00
Total Contact hours22.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)150.00

Private study

Students are expected to use private study time to consolidate their understanding of course materials, to undertake preparatory work for seminars, workshops, tutorials, examples classes and practical classes, and also to prepare for in-course and summative assessments.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Students studying ELEC modules will receive formative feedback in a variety of ways, including the use of self-test quizzes on Minerva, practice questions/worked examples and (where appropriate) through verbal interaction with teaching staff and/or post-graduate demonstrators.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
ProjectGroup Project 130.00
ProjectGroup Project 230.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)60.00

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.

Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Online Time-Limited assessment2 hr 00 mins40.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)40.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

There is no reading list for this module

Last updated: 29/06/2021 16:47:30


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