It is difficult to imagine what the world would be like without electricity: homes without electric light, without television or radio, without motors to drive the washing machine, the refrigerator and the vacuum cleaner; offices without computers, word processors, telephones and photocopiers. It is almost impossible to think of a railway system without electric signalling and control or a factory production line without electric drives. Wherever we turn we see electricity at work distributing energy, transmitting information, and controlling every conceivable process.
While it is certainly possible to build a mechanical system (mechanisms or machines) with mechanical components only (e.g. early steam engines, boats and aeroplanes), it is more common to see mechanical systems comprising a mix of mechanical and electrical components or mechatronic systems. Modern cars, boats, aeroplanes, robots and digital cameras are good examples.
Learning the subject of electricity is therefore vital to all engineering disciplines including mechanical engineering, aeronautics and astronautics engineering, acoustic engineering and ship science. Not only that a mechanical/aero/astro/acoustic/ship Engineer need to be able to communicate with other electrical and electronic engineers in a multidisciplinary project he/she will often find themselves having to actually design or operate the electrical or electronic subsystems.
The aim of this module is to introduce the subject of electricity and electrical systems focusing on the fundamentals of the subject in the context of applications in the areas of mechanical, aero, acoustic and ship engineering. These application areas are primarily in the areas of measurement and control. The fundamentals introduced in this module will be built on by other subjects such as advanced modules on electrical and electronic systems, measurement and instrumentation modules, avionics and control system modules. Additionally, some of the mathematical techniques applied to circuit analysis are also applicable to the analysis of heat transfer problems, mechanical system dynamics, fluid flow in pipes and others