Sustainable Energy Systems

Unit code: NEF4205 | Study level: Undergraduate
(Generally, 1 credit = 10 hours of classes and independent study.)
Footscray Park
Completion of 192 credit points including unit NEF1202 Engineering Physics 2.
(Or equivalent to be determined by unit coordinator)


This unit of study aims to provide applied and creative knowledge and skills in the area of sustainable energy systems and environmental safety. The unit reflects on the concept of sustainability in the electricity generation sector in order to provide a broad and coherent body of knowledge for the consideration of future energy sustainability. The unit will first analyse conventional energy systems and the effect of emissions from these conventional energy systems. Then, renewable energy systems such as solar, wind, and hydro will be introduced and the significance of energy storage technologies will be diagnosed. Technical properties, environmental and economic advantages of these technologies will be discussed and learning activities will focus on mathematical modelling, design, and analysis of exemplar systems. Special emphasis will be given to the critical review of energy conversion principles in turbine based systems including wind and hydro turbines. Energy conversion efficiency and losses occurring during the transformation of mechanical energy to usable electric energy will be specifically diagnosed for a wind turbine case study. An introduction to acoustics, noise level measurements, properties of acoustic materials, and noise control for safe working environment will be delivered.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:

  1. Critically analyse applications of alternative energy sources and systems and their availability across Australia;
  2. Innovate and design alternative energy generation systems for diverse contexts justifying economic and environmental impacts;
  3. Research and review the potential alternative energy systems critically reflecting on their local viability;
  4. Critically review the theoretical and mechanical aspects of acoustic, noise level and its control;
  5. Collaborate with others with responsibility and accountability for own learning in planning, problem solving and decision making in professional practice; and
  6. Critique safety in the working environment.


For Melbourne campuses

Assessment type: Project
Grade: 20%
Preliminary report for Group project
Assessment type: Project
Grade: 40%
Final Report for Group project
Assessment type: Test
Grade: 40%
Final Test

Required reading

Required reading and other resources will be made available on VU Collaborate.

As part of a course

This unit is studied as part of the following course(s):

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