KD7070 - Smart Grids

What will I learn on this module?

This module aims to deepen your understanding and ability to study existing electrical power distribution networks and to consider new concepts and technologies for future ‘smart grid’ power networks. Emphasis will be given to the integration of renewable energy resources, electric vehicles, enabling technologies and the quality of supply. The module also covers advanced power electronics controllers and ICT techniques as applied to the smart grid.

This module also gives you the opportunity to critically analyse and develop an understanding of practical design and implementation issues, such as, quality of supply, cost considerations, regulations and standards. It explores the role of the built environment in the whole energy system, with a focus on the integration of renewables, demand response and static/ mobile energy storage. You will develop skills in modelling, and the visualisation and discussion of results, through applying your knowledge to develop techno-economic models of case studies.

Topics covered will be reinforced by the use of real-world examples and case studies. Published papers and simulation will be uploaded in elp and it can provide a good experience for students to see where the proposed algorithms/ methods will be applied.

How will I learn on this module?

The module will be taught through lectures, seminars and hands-on workshops, enabling students to develop an understanding of the physical effects associated with energy modelling (integrating new technologies), their potential role in a smart energy system, and the policy landscape. No prior knowledge of physics or social sciences will be assumed; reasonable numeracy skills are expected.

The theory, analytical and design procedures of existing and future power networks will be thoroughly investigated in formal lectures. Seminars will use case studies and typical problems to exemplify theory. Lab sessions will provide you with the opportunity to gain practice with software tools and develop their computer modelling skills. Seminar classes and lab sessions be run in an interactive manner, with the you taking a significant role.

Course work complements the delivery of theoretical content though the use of industry standard simulation software (ERACS/ SIMULINK in MATLAB) to provide experience of system design flow, from concept to analysis and development of design specifications. The assignment will enhance your theoretical knowledge and expose them to new technologies in computer-aided design and analysis of power systems.

eLearning portal and guided reading will be used to support the learning process.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

All taught materials will be uploaded to the eLearning portal, and/or e-mailed to you, including course work, lecture notes, seminar exercises, examples of previous projects in both format of paper publication and simulation, and references to other supporting resources for additional reading such as relevant journal and conference papers or any other research informed publications and multimedia related to the module content. If further clarifications are required, you are encouraged to contact the module team directly during lectures, seminars or workshop sessions, or outside of the teaching hours by email/ to have face-to-face meetings in the first instance.

A "Discussion Board" is created on the eLearning platform and you are encouraged to use this as well as fully engage during all contact sessions.

The knowledge acquired in the module will significantly increase your employability within the power industry.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at: http://readinglists.northumbria.ac.uk
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team – http://library.northumbria.ac.uk/readinglists)

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:

1. Understand and apply the techniques and power electronics control principles associated with theory, operation, design, simulation and analysis of different structural components of modern power systems (smart grids) and electrical distribution networks in the presence of renewable energy, electric vehicles and ICT support.
(AHEP4: M2, M5)

2. Understand the cutting-edge research underpinning the need for high quality of supply and problems that can affect their solution including commercial, practical design and implementation aspects, such as, cost, regulations, standards, and environmental impacts.
(AHEP4: M5, M7)

Intellectual / Professional Skills & Abilities:

3. Formulate numerical methods for modern power system design and analysis, and perform advanced calculations for integration of renewable energy and electric vehicles into the grid.
(AHEP4: M2, M3, M5)

4. Evaluate appropriate procedures to design simple modern power networks that are legislation compliant, incorporating electric vehicles and different types of distributed generators, and critically analyse network performance using industry standard software packages to determine power flow, voltage levels and aspects of smart grid technologies.
(AHEP4: M2, M3)

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):

5. Identify and analyse ethical concerns in the research-based assignment and make reasoned ethical choices informed by professional codes of conduct (AHEP4: M8)

How will I be assessed?

There are two forms of summative assessment:

1. .Coursework (CW): Assignment (50%) (1500 words). This will be a literature review of a selected advanced technology used in smart grids in the presence of renewable energy and electric vehicles. This assessment will assess the student’s ability to carry out cutting-edge research and demonstrate understanding of the theoretical, operational, commercial, practical design and implementation aspects. This will address the module learning outcomes: 1, 2 and 5. Written feedback will be provided on the assignment.

2. .Coursework (CW): Assignment (50%) (1500 words). This will address the module learning outcomes: 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5. The assignment will be based upon the use of simulation software to simulate a system and appraise the outcomes. Written feedback will be provided on the assignment.

Formative feedback will be provided in the seminars and laboratories.





Module abstract

Commercial electrical power systems were first deployed at the end of the nineteenth century and since they have not changed much despite significant developments and availability of new technologies. In this module, you will develop the ability and skills to analyse the limits of existing power networks in meeting modern developments and environmental concerns. You will also learn how to use new technologies, such as power electronics, computing, information and communication technologies (ICT) to develop a ‘smart grid’ that can provide a platform to control a network dynamically in order to provide reliable, efficient and environment friendly electricity supply. You will examine the challenges and benefits of the ‘smart grid’ and enabling technologies. Emphasis is given to the integration of low carbon technologies (renewable energy, electric vehicles), costs, regulations and standards. In addition, you will see You will be able to develop/evaluate practical designs using standard simulation software, reinforced by the use of real-world examples and case studies. The module draws from state-of-the-art research conducted by academic staff. The skills and knowledge gained place you in an excellent position for employment or further studies. This module will introduce you to the role individual behaviour and social structural issues play in delivering the energy transition in multi-vector energy systems (including electricity, thermal, heat, smart transportation). Substantively, the module will focus on energy systems, the performance of which is highly dependent on user behaviour.

Course info

Credits 20

Level of Study Postgraduate

Mode of Study 12 months Full Time
2 other options available

Department Mathematics, Physics and Electrical Engineering

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2024

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing. 

Full time Courses are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but could include elements of online learning. Most courses run as planned and as promoted on our website and via our marketing materials, but if there are any substantial changes (as determined by the Competition and Markets Authority) to a course or there is the potential that course may be withdrawn, we will notify all affected applicants as soon as possible with advice and guidance regarding their options. It is also important to be aware that optional modules listed on course pages may be subject to change depending on uptake numbers each year.  

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with possible restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors if this is deemed necessary in future.


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