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The University of Southampton

ELEC3213 Power Systems Engineering

Module Overview

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

- To introduce the students to fundamental concepts of power flow, protection and earthing. - To familiarise the students with the construction of overhead lines and underground cables and give them an appreciation of the multidisciplinary nature of their design. - To introduce the students to the concept of FACTS, and familiarise them with the basic design and principle of operation of HVDC systems.

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

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

  • Fundamental concepts of power system stability, components of protection systems, the concept of protection zones, components used in earthing systems, basic structure of different lines and cables, types of HVDC links and their control, fundamentals of smart grids
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Analyse simple problems related to system stability, appreciate the conflicting nature of the design requirements of a protection system, explain the reasons for system earthing, appreciate the features of power simulation packages, discuss the principles of operation of FACTS, appreciate the advantages and disadvantages of HVDC transmission.
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:

  • Explain principles of operation of protection systems, design simple protection systems for transmission lines and transformers, comply with power system earthing practices, solve typical problems associated with load flow, formulate admittance matrices and perform nodal analysis
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. Underground Cables - Types of cables, methods of laying, conductors, insulation, sheath and armour, grading of cables, capacitance and inductance, charging current, dielectric loss and heating, current ratings. High Voltage Direct Current Transmission (HVDC) - Advantages and disadvantages, history, types of HVDC links, HVDC converters, basic operation, basic design problems; control system. Flexible AC Transmission Systems (FACTS) - Definition, advantages and disadvantages, FACTS devices including static VAR compensators, static condensers, phase angles regulators, series power flow controllers, unified power flow controllers. Smart grids, distributed generation and future power systems

Learning and Teaching

Project supervision18
Follow-up work9
Wider reading or practice47
Completion of assessment task39
Preparation for scheduled sessions9
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Weedy B M (1998). Electric Power Systems. 

Software requirements. 

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



MethodPercentage contribution
Examination 50%
Stability studies using ERACS 50%


MethodPercentage contribution
Examination 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Examination %

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

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