MSc Renewable Energy and Clean Technology / Course details

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Marine Energy: Wind, Wave & Tidal

Course unit fact file
Unit code EEEN60431
Credit rating 15
Unit level FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
Offered by Department of Electrical & Electronic Engineering
Available as a free choice unit? No



This unit will cover: An introduction to wind turbines, tidal systems and wave energy systems, economic assessment methods applicable to offshore renewables and emerging technologies, wind energy resource, momentum theory and limits to wind power output (Betz limit), blade element momentum theory, tidal stream resource & conversion of flow to mechanical power, wave energy resource description, wave energy devices and wave energy device simulation.

Two supervised computational laboratory exercises will be undertaken. The first will use an industry standard wind-turbine design software to compute power output of a given turbine design. The second will look at the effects of blockage on a tidal stream turbine array. Both computational exercises will build on the material in the lecture series by solving the system of equations that are derived in class.




This course unit detail provides the framework for delivery in the current academic year and may be subject to change due to any additional Covid-19 impact.  Please see Blackboard / course unit related emails for any further updates.

The unit aims to:

Provide an introduction to renewable technologies, with particular focus on the design of wind-turbines, tidal stream devices and wave devices. This will include both the design of these three types of renewable energy device and to model the conversion of environmental flows to mechanical power.



Learning outcomes

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




Develop models of the underlying natural resources such as wind, tide and waves including statistical and time-series techniques.




Compare and contrast systems for energy extraction from renewable sources, identifying the advantages and disadvantages of each.




Employ physical principles to derive mathematical models of energy extraction systems appropriate for the wind, tidal stream, and wave energy resources.




Apply these mathematical models to relevant calculations (both hand calculations and those using industry standard software) to establish loading and power supply




Identify environmental impacts (both positive and negative).




Explain and contrast alternative  methods for regulation of  power output.




Teaching and learning methods

Brief description of the Learning and Teaching process 

Lectures with slides; tutorials; two computer exercises; video examples; revision class.


Assessment methods

Method Weight
Other 30%
Written exam 70%


  • Course Work 1 – Written/hand calculations and analysis of data obtained using QBlade software. The assessed tutorial work will be 3 hours in total. The assessed tutorial work forms 15% of the overall unit assessment
  • Course Work 2 - technical report based on analysis of device performance and proposing a design for a marine energy farm considering energy yield, economic issues and other factors. Laboratory written report forms 15% of the overall unit assessment

Recommended reading

The following books should be considered as providing  optional extra reading material for the unit:


Mechanics and Fluid Mechanics

Massey, B.S., 2005 Mechanics of fluids, 8th edition, (revised by Ward-Smith, J.). Taylor and Francis, ISBN 0-415-36206-7

White, F.M., 2006, Fluid Mechanics, 6th Edition, McGraw-Hill, ISBN 0-071-28646-2.

Dean, R.G. and Dalrymple, R.A., (1991) Water wave mechanics for engineers and scientists, World Scientific.



Twidell, J. and Weir, T. (2006) Renewable Energy Resources. Second Edition. Taylor and Francis Group.

Boyle, G. (2005) Renewable energy power for a sustainable future. Second Edition. Oxford University Press.


Wind Turbines

Walker J and Jenkins N (1997) Wind Energy Technology. Wiley Unesco Energy Engineering Series.

Manwell JF, McGowan, JG and Rogers, AL.(2010) Wind Energy explained: Theory, Design and Application. Wiley. 2nd Edition. ISBN0-470-01500-4


Wave Energy

Cruz, J. (2007) Ocean Wave Energy: Current Status and Future Perspectives. Springer-Berlin.

Falnes, J., 2002. Ocean Waves and Oscillating Systems: Linear Interactions Including Wave-

Energy Extraction. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.


Tidal Systems

Baker AC (1981) Tidal Power. Peter Peregrinus Ltd.

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 30
Practical classes & workshops 6
Independent study hours
Independent study 114

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Alex Skillen Unit coordinator
Timothy Stallard Unit coordinator

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