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The University of Southampton

ELEC6221 Power Generation: Technology and Impact on Society

Module Overview

The module content allows students to 1) Appreciate the role of electric power in the modern world – Size of the industry 2) Understand current power demands and projected increase – Geographic location – Seasonal and daily variations 3) Learn different generation technologies – Physical and engineering aspects – Economy and cost – Impact on environment – Political vector

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

To provide an overview of technological and societal aspects of power generation

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

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

  • To understand concepts about the production of electric power through different technologies
  • To become familiar with economical, ecological, political and management aspects of power generation
  • To appreciate environmental impact of power generation
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • To make a comprehensive comparison of possible solutions of power generation in particular circumstances
  • To predict efficiencies of gas turbine and steam plants
  • To suggest optimal emission control measures for gas turbine and coal-fired plants
  • To design cost-effective solutions based on combine heat and power (CHP) technology


Power Generation – Technologies (fossil fuel, nuclear, renewables, ...) – Energy in the society – Resources availability – Technological costs – Impact on the environment – Political independence Energy from the environment – Designs and performance Heat engines – Technologies (turbines, boilers, condensers, pumps, etc) – Thermodynamic efficiency – Engineering design – Pollution – Capital costs and fuel prices

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Lectures and example classes every week. Group project on development of power generation strategy . Visit to Marchwood Power station.

Follow-up work12
Wider reading or practice10
Completion of assessment task40
Preparation for scheduled sessions12
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

P. Breeze (2005). Power generation technologies. 

Applied thermodynamics.

Analysis of engineering cycles: power, refrigerating, and gas liquefaction plant.

Y. A. Cengel, M. A. Boles (2007). Thermodynamics - An Engineering Approach. 

R. Decher (1994). Energy Conversion - Systems, Flow Physics and Engineering. 



MethodPercentage contribution
Coursework 20%
Examination  (2 hours) 50%
Group essay/presentation 30%


MethodPercentage contribution
Coursework 20%
Essay 30%
Examination 50%


MethodPercentage contribution
Coursework marks carried forward 50%
Examination  (2 hours) 50%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

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