Postgraduate taught 

Electronics & Electrical Engineering & Management MSc

Energy Conversion Systems M ENG5250

  • Academic Session: 2020-21
  • School: School of Engineering
  • Credits: 10
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes
  • Available to Erasmus Students: Yes

Short Description

This course provides a broad conceptual and analytical understanding of the engineering aspects of energy generation, storage and conversion with an emphasis on sustainable energy use and renewable energy production.


20 hours lectures and tutorials

Excluded Courses





Unseen examination

Main Assessment In: April/May

Course Aims

This course aims to:

■ describe a wide range of systems used to generate electricity, enabling a comparison based on all aspects of their performance

■ set out the technical, social, environmental and regulatory context of energy systems for use in transport, electricity production and heating/cooling

■ show how disparate and sometimes contradictory requirements are integrated into the overall design of a system

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

■ recall the basic thermodynamics of heat engines and electricity generation systems (Carnot, Rankine and Stirling cycles)

■ describe the operation, design, performance and limitations of a range of methods for generating electricity

■ wind turbine and tidal electrical generation systems

■ hydroelectric generation schemes (pump-storage, run of river, damed, etc.)

■ solar thermal and solar photovoltaic generation systems

■ thermoelectric generation systems

■ nuclear and fossil fuel electricity generation systems (nuclear, coal, gas, biomass, etc.)

■ geothermal heating and electricity generation systems

■ critically compare these technologies in terms of volume of energy production, power density, storage, quality of energy, life-cycle costs, sustainability and CO2 emission

■ objectively assess the relative merits and arguments for and against specific technologies with respect to energy generation and use

■ describe methods of waste heat recover and energy harvesting

■ compare methods of energy storage (chemical, electrical, magnetic, thermal and mechanical), energy conversion and energy transmission (including centralised versus distributed generation, microgrids, fuel cells and heat pumps)

■ describe the principles of combined heat and power (CHP) systems and assess their effectiveness

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

To ensure that a student will be awarded the credits for this course, he or she must complete the course and reach a minimum level of attainment. This requires that a student:

■ Be present at lectures, laboratories and tutorials on at least 50% of occasions at which attendance is monitored

■ Attend the degree examination and gain a non-zero mark.

Note that these are minimum requirements: good students will achieve far higher participation rates. Any student who missed an assessment or a significant number of classes because of illness or other good cause should report this by completing a Websurf absence report.