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Physics for Renewable Energy

Semester 1

The course comprises lectures and tutorials designed for those students who do not have the equivalent of University Year 1 Physics or Engineering. It aims to provide students with the necessary background to enable them to understand and apply the physics of various RE technologies, particularly wind, solar thermal, solar PV and bioenergy. Graduates of this programme must be able to understand the essential physics and mathematics of various renewable energy technologies.

  • Electricity
    • DC circuits: DC network analysis
    • AC theory; Power in AC circuits; Electrical machines
    • Semi-conductors
  • Mechanics
    • Velocity and acceleration; Mass, force and acceleration;
    • Work, power and energy
    • Normal stress, shear stress and bending moment
  • Biomass
    • The cell as the basis for life
    • Cell biochemistry
    • Biochemical pathways
    • Photosynthesis
  • Fluid mechanics
    • The properties of fluids
    • Forces on static fluids
    • Fluid dynamics; Movement of real fluids
    • The Bernoulli equation
    • The momentum equation
    • Laminar and turbulent flow
  • Heat and Thermodynamics
    • Conduction, convection and radiation
    • The laws of thermodynamics
  • Mathematics
    • Taylor series
    • Complex numbers
    • 1st and 2nd order Differential equations
    • Fourier transform
    • Matrices and Eigen value analysis
    • Applied probability
  • Coursework: 40 %
    • A two-hour mid-sessional examination
  • Final Exam 60%
Learning Objectives: 

On successful completion of the course, student will understand the physics relevant to the renewable energy technologies that are, or will be, of importance in the Caribbean region.

Course Code: 
3 Credits
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