Module OSX-4023:
Marine Renewable Energy

Module Facts

Run by School of Ocean Sciences

20 Credits or 10 ECTS Credits

Semester 2

Organiser: Dr Simon Neill

Overall aims and purpose

This module introduces students to the international and national marine renewable energy landscape, covering leading and alternative device designs and the current status of the industry, particularly through interaction with invited speakers from industry. Students will understand key concepts in energy, including kinetic and potential energy, power, intermittency, and how these concepts relate to ocean energy. Students will learn about quantifying wave and tidal energy resources over a variety of timescales from sub-second (turbulent) to decadal, and wave-tide interactions. The module also covers a variety of environmental impacts of arrays of marine renewable energy devices, focussing on feedbacks between energy extraction and the hydrodynamic resource, and associated physical system affected by energy extraction such as beaches and offshore sand banks.

Course content

Context of marine energy (global/UK context, intermittency, energy roadmaps)

Key energy concepts (kinetic energy, potential energy, wave energy, tidal energy, power)

Wave energy conversion (wave resource, wave devices, practical resource)

Marine current conversion (tidal resource, tidal devices, practical resource)

Tidal phasing

Tidal range

Multiple resource exploitation

Multiple resource interactions

Arrays of devices

Practical constraints and cabling

Economic assessment

Environmental impacts (non-physical, physical)

Case studies (NW European shelf seas, Orkney & Pentland Firth, Wales)

Future of the industry

Assessment Criteria

threshold

A partial understanding of marine renewable energy concepts and principles; demonstrate some ability to handle and draw conclusions from large spatial and time-series datasets.

good

A good knowledge of marine renewable energy concepts and principles; demonstrate good ability to handle and draw conclusions from large spatial and time-series datasets. Demonstrate some ability to solve energy problems independently.

excellent

Excellent knowledge of marine renewable energy concepts and principles; demonstrate excellent ability to handle, critically analyse, and to draw conclusions from large spatial and time-series datasets. Ability to critically analyse and solve energy problems independently

Learning outcomes

  1. An ability to characterise the wave and tidal energy resources over a variety of timescales.

  2. Knowledge of time series and spatial analysis of large (multi-variable) datasets.

  3. Knowledge of how oceanographic models can be used in resource assessment and environmental impact studies.

    For all these, it is expected that the student should also be able to critically analyse the ideas involved.

  4. On successful completion of this module, the student should be able to demonstrate:

    A critical understanding of the marine renewable energy industry, including current status and challenges facing the industry.

  5. An extensive knowledge of the principals of energy and how kinetic and potential energy can be converted into electricity using wave and tidal energy devices.

  6. An understanding of the environmental impacts of marine renewable energy extraction, including feedbacks between energy extraction and the resource, and impacts on sedimentary systems.

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
Supply/demand grid report 20
SWAN wave impact report (MA) 20
Wave/tidal resource report 20
Exam 40

Teaching and Learning Strategy

Hours
Private study

Learning for completion of assessments and exams.

170
Laboratory

Full day laboratory exercise

7
Lecture

12 one-hour lectures spread over 3 weeks in Semester 2, including speakers from industry.

12
Practical classes and workshops

Computer practicals: two 3 ½ hour practicals on wave and tidal resource, and one 4 hour practical on modelling wave energy impacts.

11

Courses including this module

Compulsory in courses: