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Wind and Hydro Power

Semester 2

This course highlights the principles of power generation from wind and hydro resources. The theory of resource assessments, wind and hydro turbine performances, and their power generation will be presented. This will include the results of studies conducted locally and globally. Students will be exposed to the economic aspects of power generation, including assessment of energy cost under different scenarios. Students will also be required to investigate the latest developments in wind and hydro power including local wind and hydro plants.


Wind Power

  • Overview of global wind power, wind types and classes, and its physical characteristics
  • Wind resource assessment: Anemometry and site prospecting.
  • Introduction to basic statistics: Weibull and Rayleigh distributions.
  • Wind energy and power density calculations.
  • Components and basic operation of WEC (Wind Energy Conversion) systems and turbine types.
  • Horizontal and vertical axis turbines.
  • Conversion of wind power to electrical power.
  • Factors affecting turbine performance and efficiency.
  • Wind farms designs and installations
  • Economic analysis and environmental considerations
  • Wind hybrid systems (solar, diesel, hydro) and other applications of wind power.
  • Energy storage: batteries, flywheels, compressed gas.

Hydro Power

  • Hydrologic (water) cycle, global hydro power, and hydro resource assessment.
  • Analysis of power losses in pipes Moody diagrams, and the
  • Operating principles and the characteristics of selected turbines
  • Criteria for selection of a particular turbine
  • Concepts of gross head, net head, energy line, hydraulic grade line and available head
  • Conversion of hydro- power to electrical power: Shaft torque and shaft power.
  • Energy storage: pumped storage facilities.
  • Economic analysis and environmental considerations

The course assessment will be as follows:

  • One 2-hour final written examination                         50%
  • Two 1-hour in-course test                                           20%
  • Six graded tutorials (equal weighting)                        10%
  • One seminar-based group presentation                       20%

The grading for the group seminar will be distributed as follows:

  • Individual contribution (15%)
  • Team work (5%)
Learning Objectives: 

On the successful completion of the course, students should be able to:

  • state and define  the classifications of wind speed
  • analyze the  power distribution of wind speed
  • describe the characteristics of energy storage systems
  • explain the basic operation of wind and hydro turbines used  in generating electrical power
  • perform site assessments and planning strategies for  installation of wind and hydro power systems
  • conduct environmental impact assessments
  • apply the concept of wind hybrid systems to powering rural communities
  • perform a preliminary economic evaluation of a wind or hydro power system
PHYS2671 and PHYS3661



  • Twidell, J. W. and Weir, A. D. (2006), Renewable Energy Resources; Taylor and Francis, 2ndEdition. ISBN: 0-419-25330-0

Highly Recommended

  • Alexandrou, A.; (2001), Principles of Fluid Mechanics; Prentice-Hall, Inc. 1st edition.ISBN: 0-13-801762-X
  • Sørensen, B., (2004), Renewable Energy; New York Academic Press,3rd Edition.ISBN: 0126561532.

Internet Sources:

Course Code: 
3 Credits
Level 3
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