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UCL Mechanical Engineering
Faculty of Engineering Sciences


MECH0071 Electrical Power Systems and Electrical Propulsion

MECH0071 Electrical Power Systems and Electrical Propulsion

FHEQ Level:
7 (Undergraduate Yr 4 / MSc)
Terms 1 and 2
UCL / ECTS Credits:
15 UCL / 7.5 ECTS
Previous Module Code:
Alternative Module Code:
This module is offered to Term 1 affiliate students under the code MECH0072

Taught By

Professor Richard Bucknall (Module Coordinator):
Richard Bucknall


Mathematics to second year undergraduate level to include complex number theory, ordinary differential equations linear, non-linear 1st order and linear 2nd order homogenous with constant coefficients.

Electricity at first year undergraduate level to include basic theory and circuit analysis i.e. Kirchoff’s Laws, Ohm’s Law, Faraday’s law, Thevenin/Norton equivalent circuits, single-phase, three-phase and dc circuit analysis.

Module Overview

This module provides students with detailed knowledge of the design, performance and analysis of electrical power systems. The module aims to achieve competency in using analytical methods for understanding the design and operational behaviour of electrical power systems under steady-state and transient conditions. It provides technical knowledge in electrical power system technologies such as generators, cables, distribution and protection, and end-use equipment so as to appreciate the design features for different electrical power distribution and electrical propulsion systems.

Through Computer based software and with understanding of their algorithms, students become proficient at calculating performance parameters in small and large scale electrical power systems used in electric vehicle, electric ship or grid systems.

Topics Covered

Power System Representation

  • Three-phase systems
  • Per unit representation
  • Impedance and reactance networks
  • Network theory
  • Waveform quality
  • Matrix methods

Power System Technologies

  • Synchronous machines
  • Transformers
  • Transmission lines and cables
  • Loads
  • Switchgear
  • Protection devices

Power System Analytical Methods

  • Load flows in simple and complex networks
  • Fault analysis by method of symmetrical components
  • Bus admittance methods
  • System stability
  • Control methods: frequency, voltage and power
  • Harmonic penetration into networks

Electrical Propulsion

  • Electrical v Mechanical v Hybrid propulsion
  • Commonality and discord in transport applications
  • Marine electrical propulsion in ships
  • Naval electrical propulsion
  • Rail traction
  • Road vehicles

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this module students will be able to:

  • Appreciate the components that make up electrical power systems and understand the similarities and differences between large, medium and small scale power systems.
  • Develop skills needed to be able to design electrical power systems including analytical and computer based methods.
  • Understand the behaviour of steady-state, transient and faulted networks and appreciate how such behaviour influences design.
  • Understand the benefits of electrical propulsion and have the ability to undertake detailed design.
  • Appreciate future developments and applications in electrical power and electrical propulsion systems.

Method of Instruction

This module is taught through:

  • Lectures
  • Tutorials
  • Computer-based workshops


This module is assessed through a combination of unseen written examination and coursework exercises.

For more information about assessment please contact

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