Module ICL-3011:
Power Engineering

Module Facts

Run by School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering

20 Credits or 10 ECTS Credits

Semester 1 & 2

Overall aims and purpose

This module aims to familiarise students with large-scale and high-voltage electrical power systems and related concepts.

Course content

Indicative content includes:

Power engineering

  • Understand the operation of large electrical power systems, and their main constituent components.
  • Understand the operating principles of several different types of electrical machine.
  • Be able to perform basic calculations on electrical power systems and machines, while appreciating the limitations of such calculations.
  • Have an appreciation of safe practice in the design and construction of electrical power circuits.

Power conversion

  • Understand the fundamental power electronic building blocks and modulation techniques
  • Carry out load flow and fault calculations on electrical power systems
  • Carry out a techno-economic design of a power system
  • Understand the construction and operation of induction machines
  • Understand the operation of standard rectifier and inverter circuits, and be able to draw their key voltage and current waveforms
  • Be able to connect and operate power electronic equipment and electrical machines in a safe manner in the laboratory

Power distribution

  • Understand the operation of electricity distribution systems and the associated challenges.
  • Appreciate the resource characteristics, operation, control requirements, challenges and overall impact of highly distributed, renewable energy generators.
  • Understand the characteristics of modern electrical loads as well as energy storage technologies and the impact of increased usage of these technologies in power distribution systems.
  • Understand power, data management and telecommunications aspects of smart and micro-grids.
  • Understand the functionalities and the operational flexibility brought to the power system by the introduction of smart meters.

Digital signal processing

  • Understand the basic theoretical concepts of digital signal processing
  • Understand the basic principles of signal transmission and digital communication systems, and different forms it can take; including signal conversion (I/P P/I, AD/DA etc.).
  • Understand the principal analysis techniques that can be applied to signal processing.
  • Interpret the result of an analysis of a process in view of the limitations of the applied analysis
  • Understand common communication methods including radio, satellite, wireless, Ethernet etc. and transmission protocols.

Assessment Criteria


Equivalent to the range 60%-69%. Is able to analyse a task or problem to decide which aspects of theory and knowledge to apply. Solutions are of a workable quality, demonstrating understanding of underlying principles. Major themes can be linked appropriately but may not be able to extend this to individual aspects. Outputs are readily understood, with an appropriate structure but may lack sophistication.


Equivalent to 40%. Uses key areas of theory or knowledge to meet the Learning Outcomes of the module. Is able to formulate an appropriate solution to accurately solve tasks and questions. Can identify individual aspects, but lacks an awareness of links between them and the wider contexts. Outputs can be understood, but lack structure and/or coherence.


Equivalent to the range 70%+. Assemble critically evaluated, relevent areas of knowledge and theory to constuct professional-level solutions to tasks and questions presented. Is able to cross-link themes and aspects to draw considered conclusions. Presents outputs in a cohesive, accurate, and efficient manner.

Learning outcomes

  1. Appreciate theory of power engineering and conversion, and apply it to calculate flow and other tasks.

  2. Apply concepts of Digital Signal Processing and interpret the results of analyses.

  3. Explain and differentiate charactistics, requirements and challenges in wide-scale power distribution.

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
EXAM Unseen Examination

Unseen end-of-year examination.

CASE STUDY Industrial Case Study

Individual case study of an industrial power engineering situation.


Teaching and Learning Strategy

Practical classes and workshops

A series of interactive lectures, seminars, workshops, web-based learning, problem solving exercises, individual and group activities and linked tutorials.

Private study

Tutor-directed private study, including individual assessment.


Transferable skills

  • Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
  • Numeracy - Proficiency in using numbers at appropriate levels of accuracy
  • Computer Literacy - Proficiency in using a varied range of computer software
  • Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
  • Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
  • Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
  • Presentation - Able to clearly present information and explanations to an audience. Through the written or oral mode of communication accurately and concisely.
  • Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting

Subject specific skills

  • Identify emerging technologies and technology trends;
  • Apply underpinning concepts and ideas of engineering;
  • Solve problems logically and systematically;
  • Assess and choose optimal methods and approaches for the specification, design, implementation and evaluation of engineering solutions.
  • Access and synthesize information and literature sources;
  • Use both verbal and written communication skills to different target audiences;
  • Analyse and display data using appropriate methods and mathematical techniques;

Courses including this module