Renewable and Efficient Electric Power Systems

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  1. Course Structure/Operation


Context.  This course is an elective course within the Urban Systems Pillar in the new Applied Science Professional Master’s Program.  The course provides an introduction to the North American power system infrastructure.  It explores system-level issues surrounding grid integration of renewables and other emerging technologies.


Operation.  This course operates through lectures, guest speakers, in-class quizzes, class project, and final exam.  Guest presentation will be provided by faculty members in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and by industry professionals from, for example, BC Hydro.


Prerequisites: None.

Co-requisites: None.

  1. Learning Outcomes


By the end of the course the students should be able to:


  • Demonstrate understanding of existing power system infrastructure and fundamentals of electric power.
  • Understand design parameters and constraints associated with solar photovoltaic and wind energy conversion systems.
  • Describe issues surrounding the integration of renewable-based generation into the existing grid.
  • Be cognizant of other renewable generation technologies, including tidal power, concentrating solar power systems and wave energy.
  • Have a working knowledge of current practices and future initiatives in smart grid and relevant interactions between stakeholders.


  1. Course Schedule


3 hours

Introduction; basic electric circuits: voltage, current, power, energy.

3 hours

Fundamentals of electric power: components (resistor, capacitor, inductor), three-phase system.

3 hours

Electric power infrastructure: overview of generation, transmission, and distribution of electricity, the North American electricity grid, grid stability.

3 hours

The solar resource: solar position, limitations of the solar resource, solar tracking systems.

6 hours

Solar photovoltaic (PV) systems: power in PV, maximum power point tracking, cells to modules to arrays.

3 hours

Wind energy conversion systems: wind turbine design (vertical-axis and horizontal-axis), generator technology.

6 hours

The wind resource: limitations of the wind resource, wind turbine power curve, wind speed statistics, power available in wind, energy available in wind.

3 hours

Other renewable-based generation technologies: tidal, wave, and concentrating solar power systems.

3 hours

Grid integration of renewables: intermittency, variability, and uncertainty, converters, and inverters.

3 hours

Smart Grid: distributed energy resources, advanced metering infrastructure, demand response, human comfort in buildings, and electricity storage (including electric vehicles)

3 hours

Project presentations

  1. Assessment / Evaluation, and Grading



Regular homework assignments throughout the semester


Class project

Students, in groups of 2 or 3, propose a topic of their choosing related to an aspect of the syllabus.  The project can be design-based or an in-depth literature survey of the state-of art.  Students must seek instructor approval for topic and proposal prior to start of project.

Proposal: 10%

Presentation: 20%

Final examination

The final exam covers material from the entire course.  It includes multiple-choice questions, short answer questions, and simple design-based challenges.




  1. Texts and Bibliography


  • Gilbert M. Masters, Renewable and Efficient Electric Power Systems, Wiley, 2013.
  • Readings and additional materials will be provided as appropriate.
  1. Academic Integrity


The academic enterprise is founded on honesty, civility, and integrity. As members of this enterprise, all students are expected to know, understand, and follow the codes of conduct regarding academic integrity. At the most basic level, this means submitting only original work done by you and acknowledging all sources of information or ideas and attributing them to others as required. This also means you should not cheat, copy, or mislead others about what is your work. Violations of academic integrity (i.e., misconduct) lead to the breakdown of the academic enterprise, and therefore serious consequences arise and harsh sanctions are imposed. For example, incidences of plagiarism or cheating may result in a mark of zero on the assignment or exam and more serious consequences may apply if the matter is referred to the President’s Advisory Committee on Student Discipline. Careful records are kept in order to monitor and prevent recurrences.,286,0,0


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