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PHYS8010 - Sustainable & Renewable Energy

Title:Sustainable & Renewable Energy
Long Title:Sustainable & Renewable Energy
Module Code:PHYS8010
Duration:1 Semester
Credits: 5
NFQ Level:Advanced
Field of Study: Physics
Valid From: Semester 1 - 2019/20 ( September 2019 )
Module Delivered in 3 programme(s)
Module Coordinator: Donagh OMahony
Module Author: Donagh OMahony
Module Description: The present energy resources and demands of the world will be analysed and renewable energy scenarios that are technologically feasible and economically viable for the future will be investigated. Studnets will be able to evaluate the practical possibilities and limitations of renewable energies and compare it with conventional carbon based energy systems. The module will give the students a thorough understanding of the basic concepts of energy, mechanical work and Heat and the science underpinning RES.
Learning Outcomes
On successful completion of this module the learner will be able to:
LO1 mathematically model renewable energy systems
LO2 critically analyse renewable energy systems
LO3 compare and contrast sustainable and renewable energy systems
LO4 specify and interpret specifications associated with the installation of renewable energy systems
Pre-requisite learning
Module Recommendations
This is prior learning (or a practical skill) that is strongly recommended before enrolment in this module. You may enrol in this module if you have not acquired the recommended learning but you will have considerable difficulty in passing (i.e. achieving the learning outcomes of) the module. While the prior learning is expressed as named CIT module(s) it also allows for learning (in another module or modules) which is equivalent to the learning specified in the named module(s).
Incompatible Modules
These are modules which have learning outcomes that are too similar to the learning outcomes of this module. You may not earn additional credit for the same learning and therefore you may not enrol in this module if you have successfully completed any modules in the incompatible list.
No incompatible modules listed
Co-requisite Modules
No Co-requisite modules listed

This is prior learning (or a practical skill) that is mandatory before enrolment in this module is allowed. You may not enrol on this module if you have not acquired the learning specified in this section.

No requirements listed

Module Content & Assessment

Indicative Content
Global resources. Energy statistics: resources and demands of energy in the world; future renewable energy scenarios. Hydorcarbon stocks. New discovery versus usage. Carbon footprint and taxes. Energy usage monitoring and recovery. Electricity generation: cost per unit: nuclear, oil, hydro, biomass etc. Nett benefit analysis: production cost versus energy benefit. Insulation. Efficient use of electricity - CFL bulbs, LEDs etc.
Wind Power
Turbine design: single phase versus three phase. Connecting to the national grid. Wind maps. Noise considerations, efficiency and load consideration. Battery storage.
Ocean Power
Physics of waves. Wave maps. Generation capacity. Material specification and turbine design. Operating environment. Safety and maintenance.
Solar Power
Physics of solar energy. Solar water heating, principles and technologies of photovoltaic cells (PV) and solar-thermal generation of electricity. Thermal panels versus evacuated tube. Science of PV technologies (silicon, thin film, organic, III-V, CPV, etc)
Principle of operation and design considerations. Heat pumps and heat transfer, horizontal versus vertical geometry. Performance specifications.
Varieties of bio-fuels. Calorific values of grasses, wood chip. etc.
RES modeling
Overview of approaches to RES modeling, modeling principles, sample data sets (e.g. JRC solar irradiance), example modeling tools: PVGIS, RETScreen, etc
Assessment Breakdown%
Course Work50.00%
End of Module Formal Examination50.00%
Course Work
Assessment Type Assessment Description Outcome addressed % of total Assessment Date
Short Answer Questions Mid-semester assessment 1,2,3 15.0 Week 7
Written Report Case study - final report 1,2,3,4 35.0 Week 12
End of Module Formal Examination
Assessment Type Assessment Description Outcome addressed % of total Assessment Date
Formal Exam End-of-Semester Final Examination 1,2,3,4 50.0 End-of-Semester
Reassessment Requirement
Repeat examination
Reassessment of this module will consist of a repeat examination. It is possible that there will also be a requirement to be reassessed in a coursework element.

The institute reserves the right to alter the nature and timings of assessment


Module Workload

Workload: Full Time
Workload Type Workload Description Hours Frequency Average Weekly Learner Workload
Lecture No Description 2.0 Every Week 2.00
Independent & Directed Learning (Non-contact) No Description 3.0 Every Week 3.00
Lab No Description 2.0 Every Week 2.00
Total Hours 7.00
Total Weekly Learner Workload 7.00
Total Weekly Contact Hours 4.00
This module has no Part Time workload.

Module Resources

Recommended Book Resources
  • Cambridge University Press 2017, Renewable energy resources, 1st Ed., Cambridge University Press NY [ISBN: 1107680220]
  • Paul Gipe 2004, Wind Power, Revised Edition: Renewable Energy for Home, Farm, and Business, Rev Exp Ed., Chelsea Green Publishing Company [ISBN: 978-1931498142]
  • William H. Kemp, The Renewable Energy Handbook: A Guide to Rural Energy Independence, Off-Grid and Sustainable Living, 2006 Ed., Aztext Press [ISBN: 978-0973323320]
Supplementary Book Resources
  • Zekai Sen 2008, Solar Energy Fundamentals and Modeling Techniques: Atmosphere, Environment, Climate Change and Renewable Energy, Springer [ISBN: 978-1848001336]
  • Travis Bradford 2006, Solar Revolution: The Economic Transformation of the Global Energy Industry, First Ed., The MIT Press [ISBN: 978-0262026048]
  • Michael E. McCormick 2007, Ocean Wave Energy Conversion, Dover Publications [ISBN: 978-0486462455]
  • Caye Drapcho, John Nghiem, Terry Walker 2008, Biofuels Engineering Process Technology, McGraw-Hill Professional [ISBN: 978-0071487498]
Recommended Article/Paper Resources
  • Department of Communications Energy and Natural Resources (IE) 2015, Ireland’s Transition to a Low Carbon Energy Future, White Paper
Other Resources

Module Delivered in

Programme Code Programme Semester Delivery
CR_SPHYS_8 Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Applied Physics and Instrumentation 1 Elective
CR_SESST_8 Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Environmental Science and Sustainable Technology 7 Mandatory
CR_SINEN_8 Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Instrument Engineering 7 Elective

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