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The University of Southampton

CENV6090 Energy Resources and Engineering

Module Overview

On completion of the module, you will have developed a broad understanding of energy resources, engineering technologies for energy conversion and have an appreciation of solutions available to meet the world's power demands. You will be able to formulate engineering solutions to specific energy and power problems, utilising either renewable energy systems or traditional power technologies. You will also appreciate the need for a broad mix of energy-generating technologies in a modern economy.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

The broad aim of this module is for students to develop their understanding of energy across scales (from kW to GW) and in which context particular technologies are appropriate. The module covers a large number of energy technologies and sectors and so delivers the baseline level of understanding in each case. Students should be able to critically assess an energy problem and formulate a supply or demand strategy to address this.

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • Energy supply and demand. (SM7M, SM8M)
  • Fundamental limitations of energy conversion. [SM7M]
  • Interactions and differences between technologies and the need for a diverse energy mix. [SM8M]
  • The relationship between resources, energy generation and use. [SM7M]
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Analyse the environmental and economic risk associated with a given approach. [EA5M, EA7M, EL8M, EL9M, P12M]
  • Predict the performance of energy systems, e.g. power station output, wind turbine, PV array. [EA5M, EA7M]
  • Defend a chosen engineering solution. [EA7M, EL9M]
  • Identify and evaluate an engineering approach to a given problem. [EA7M, P12M]
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Problem analysis and problem solving. [EA7M]
  • Information handling. [EA7M, P10m]
  • Critical Analysis. [P10m]
  • Report Writing. [G1]
  • Exercise independent judgement. [SM8M, EA7M, G1]
  • Oral presentation. [G1]
  • Engineering approach to solution of problems. [EA5M, EA7M]
  • Poster Presentation. [G1]
Subject Specific Practical Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Research for further information to develop appropriate ideas in the energy field. [EA7M, EA5M, G1]
  • Write a well structured, clear and concise report. [G1]
  • Apply knowledge in energy to convey applicability of certain technologies. [EA5M]
  • Demonstrate practical skills necessary for the execution of a project. [G1]
  • Assemble appropriate information from the lectures and elsewhere to satisfy the needs for your tasks in the energy field. [SM8M, EA7M]
  • Produce a graphically interesting and technically concise poster. [G1]


The course will endeavour to cover the following topics A. Overview of energy resources Fossil fuel: oil, gas, coal, nuclear (fission, fusion). Renewables: wind, wave, tidal, solar, geothermal and hydropower. Principles of energy production. B. Energy usage Industrialised country energy usage. Energy use in the UK. Current infrastructure to meet UK demand. C. Electricity generation Conventional methods of generation - oil, gas, coal, nuclear. Historical, current and future practice. Environmental and financial aspects of traditional technologies. D. Renewable energy Energy from Wind: Resource, historical use. Wind turbine technologies. UK examples. Off-shore developments. Environmental impact and public perception. Waves / Tidal Energy: Resource. Prototypes. Proposed installations. Site selection issues. Case study - marine current turbine and wave device technologies. Hydropower: Resource, historical use. Review of projects: Three gorges dam in China, mini-hydro. Solar Energy Resource issues. Photovoltaics (PV) Photovoltaic technologies: grid connected and standalone systems. Practical demonstration of PV systems. Technology and Applications. Geothermal Energy: Historical and current technology. Examples including USA, Iceland and Southampton.

Special Features

Mini-conference event which helps develop presentation skills in a pressurised environment. Location is SO – therefore all lecture rooms are accessible.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching activities: lectures, guest lectures from industry, visit to PV systems at UoS Learning activities: 4 day mini conference event with individual presentations and posters. Students have the opportunity to attend additional days of the conference event. Field trips to nearby fossil fuel and/or renewables facilities. Private study, module materials are available on Blackboard.

Project supervision1
Wider reading or practice30
Preparation for scheduled sessions8
Completion of assessment task80
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Lecture material. Lecture material will be supplemented with selected reading lists. Government reports.

Sustainable Energy - without the hot air. 


Assessment Strategy

Repeat year method - External repeat as per referral method.


MethodPercentage contribution
Multiple choice essay 40%
Oral presentation 25%
Poster 25%
Presentation Question and Answer session 5%
Questions and answers 5%


MethodPercentage contribution
Coursework assignment(s) 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Coursework assignment(s) 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

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