Skip to main navigationSkip to main content
The University of Southampton

ELEC3213 Power Systems Engineering

Module Overview

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

This module introduces students to fundamental issues in the design and operation of electricity transmission and distribution networks. There is a particular focus on understanding how to specify equipment, including through the use of power flow modelling tools such as ERACS and PowerWorld. Students are introduced to fundamental concepts of power flow, protection and earthing, along with the the construction of overhead lines and underground cables.

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

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

  • Components of protection systems, the concept of protection zones, asset specific protection scheme.
  • Components used in earthing systems
  • The key factors involved in equipment specification and design
  • Basic structure of different cables and lines
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Appreciate the conflicting nature of the design requirements of a protection system
  • Explain the reasons for system earthing and how it is designed
  • Discuss the principles and operation of FACTS and HVDC systems
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Tackle multidisciplinary problems as encountered in real engineering systems
Subject Specific Practical Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Design simple protection systems for transmission lines and transformers
  • Comply with power system earthing practices
  • Solve typical problems associated with load flow
Disciplinary Specific Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Use commercial software for power systems analysis


Load flows - Simple radial and ring feeder load flow calculations; interconnected system load flow by nodal analysis; interactive solution of nodal admittance matrix by Gauss Siedel method, with discussion of other methods. Protection - Function of protection system, design criteria of protection systems, components of protection systems, zones of protection, protection schemes, primary and backup protection, transmission line protection, busbar protection, transformer protection, generator protection, protection of industrial power systems and fuse selection. Earthing of Power Systems - Reasons for system earthing, earthing resistance, arc suppression coil, earthing transformers, earthing of overhead lines; earthing electrode and soil resistivity, earthing of substations, earthing of low voltage systems. Overhead Lines - Transmission line parameters, effect of design parameters on performance, circuit ratings. Underground Cables - Types of cables, methods of laying, cable system design, electrical parameters, charging current, dielectric loss and heating, current ratings. High Voltage Direct Current Transmission (HVDC) - Advantages and disadvantages, types of HVDC links, reasons for use. Flexible AC Transmission Systems (FACTS) - Definition, advantages and disadvantages, FACTS devices and their operational principles. Smart grids, distributed generation and future power systems

Learning and Teaching

Project supervision12
Wider reading or practice47
Completion of assessment task39
Preparation for scheduled sessions9
Follow-up work9
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Turan Gonen (2014). Electric Power Transmission System Engineering: Analysis & Design.. 

Turan Gonen. Electric Power Distribution System Engineering. 

Weedy B M (1998). Electric Power Systems. 

Glover J D & Sarma M (2002). Power System Analysis and Design. 

Gers & Holmes (2011). Protection of electricity distribution networks. 

Software requirements. Access to ERACS software and/or PowerWorld software.



MethodPercentage contribution
Design project 50%
Examination 50%


MethodPercentage contribution
Examination 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Examination %

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

Share this module Share this on Facebook Share this on Twitter Share this on Weibo

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.