GENG5506 Renewable Energy

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 2UWA (Perth)Face to face
The topics covered in this unit include (1) power system fundamentals—power and power factor, power quality and three-phase systems; (2) wind power systems—types of wind turbines, wind power and energy, wind turbine generators, speed control, performance calculations and economics; (3) solar power systems—basics of solar spectrum, semiconductor materials, photovoltaic cells, current-voltage (I–V) characteristics, effect of temperature, insolation, shading on I–V curves, crystalline and thin-film technologies, grid-connected and stand-alone systems, capacity factors and economics; and (4) thermal systems—solar thermal systems, geothermal systems, thermodynamic cycles, direct and indirect cascaded use of heat. The practical implementation involves commercial energy market context in Western Australia, renewable energy targets and load balancing support requirements, transmission constraints and smart network infrastructure development. The academic objectives of the unit are to understand the basics of electrical power systems, power industry, markets and economics; the working of wind power systems; the working of solar photovoltaic systems; and the harvesting of renewable thermal energy sources and cascaded use of heat.
Students are able to (1) explain power system fundamentals (power, power triangle, power factor, power factor correction, three-phase systems, power quality) for energy supply; (2) analyse and compare the performance (efficiency, effect of relevant environmental and design factors) of different renewable energy sources such as wind, solar and geothermal; (3) analyse and compare the economics (integration into utilities, distribution and resale, time of use rates, demand charges, load factors, real time pricing) of different renewable energy sources such as wind, solar and geothermal; (4) define and model the environmental and social impacts (cradle to grave) of renewable energy sources; (5) describe harvesting of renewable thermal energy sources and cascaded use of heat; (6) write a technical analysis and design report; (7) evaluate and utilise different sources of information for assignment and computer simulation exercises; and (8) research and analyse options for optimising performance, economics and environmental/social impacts of different renewable energy systems.
Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) class tests; (2) project; and (3) a final examination. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Supplementary assessment is only available in this unit in the case of a student who has obtained a mark of 45 to 49 and is currently enrolled in this unit, and it is the only remaining unit that the student must pass in order to complete their course.
Unit Coordinator(s)
Dr Chris Townsend
Unit rules
enrolment in the Master of Professional Engineering (Chemical Engineering specialisation, Electrical and Electronic Engineering specialisation, Environmental Engineering specialisation
Mechanical Engineering specialisation); for pre-2012 courses: none. This unit is also available to students in the Master of Ocean Leadership with the approval of the course coordinator and completion of an undergraduate major in Engineering Science
Advisable prior study:
ENSC2002 Energy
MATH1002 Mathematical Methods 2
CHPR4403 Future Energy
Contact hours
lectures and practical classes
  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Books and other material wherever listed may be subject to change. Book lists relating to 'Preliminary reading', 'Recommended reading' and 'Textbooks' are, in most cases, available via the Booktopia Textbook Finder, which has the functionality to search by course code, course, ISBN and title, and may also be posted or available at the appropriate school's administrative offices. Where texts are listed in the unit description above, an asterisk (*) indicates that the book is available in paperback.