98202 - Electrical Energy from renewable sources

Course Unit Page


This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

Affordable and clean energy Industry, innovation and infrastructure Sustainable cities Responsible consumption and production

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

The course is focused on the achievement of knowledge and skills necessary for the design of systems for electric power generation from renewable sources (photovoltaic, wind) and energy storage systems, designed in residential and industrial areas. In this context, the aspects analyzed are related to: the availability of energy resources; exploitation technologies; economic factors; operation and management; user and end-user experience.

Furthermore, the choice and sizing of inverters, cables, protection relays and grounding systems, the choice of monitoring systems for the production and consumption of electricity, the estimate of construction and maintenance costs of the plants will be discussed.

The economic, political, social and normative aspects are also considered in the analysis, as well as the opportunities and criticisms due to the growing of power generation from renewable sources.

Course contents


0 Introduction

- Renewable energies

- Renewables in Italy.

1 Solar energy production

1.1 Design principles of photovoltaic power plants

- Working principle.

- Network connection methods and components

1.2 Producibility analysis

- Sun irradiation, local producibility, sizing.

- Irradiation and temperature influence, shading effects.

- Mobile panels and solar tracking systems

1.3 Power converters (system perspective):

- System behavior in presence of power converter-interfaced energy resources

- Grid-connected and standalone systems: Analysis of system behavior in both cases, issues and solutions.

1.4 Plant design: Cable and transformer sizing, earthing.

1.5 Security (integrated with module 2)

- Protection against direct and indirect contact

- Circuit protection

- Lightning protection

2 Storage systems (system perspective)

Smart grid applications.

3 Design of a PV-BESS system

Analysis of some study cases of design a photovoltaic power plant integrated with battery energy storage system (integrated with module 2).

4 Elements of wind energy production

4.1 Design principles of wind power plants

- Working principle

- Technologies and components

- System impact: Analysis of system behavior in both cases, issues and solutions.

4.2 Producibility analysis: Local wind potential analysis, measurements.

4.3 Design example

5 Normative aspects

- CEI 0-21 (low voltage installations) and CEI 0-16 (section relative to medium voltage installations), IEEE 1547.

- Incentives, costs, self-consumption and energy communities.



1 Motivation for Energy Storage

- Energy storage needs and opportunities

2 Types of Energy Storage

- Comparison of storage techniques

- Considerations of the choice of a storage system

3 Battery Energy Storage System (BESS)

- What is driving its explosive growth?

- Technology overview and key applications

- Components of a Battery Energy Storage System

3.1 Battery Overview

- Major battery chemistries

- Market dynamics and trends in Li-Ion batteries

- Common performance metrics

- Standards and testing

3.2 Power conversion topologies

- Basic terms and main concepts of power electronics

- Most commonly utilized converter topologies for renewable energy and BESS applications

- Power converter control concepts

3.3 Transformer

4 BESS Sizing for different use cases

- Power Conversion System sizing

- Battery sizing

- Plant layout considerations

- Battery Augmentation concepts

5 Renewables (PV and wind) plus BESS power plants

- Modelling and optimization of system design

- DC vs AC-coupled systems

- Technical and economic advantages

5.1 System Sizing for different use cases



1 Design and design thinking.

1.1 Context and disciplinary fields of reference.

2 Design thinking methodology.

2.1 Models and case studies of applied design thinking.

2.2 Tools to support the creative process.

3 Tools for user analysis.

3.1 User analysis

3.2 Usability

3.3 Interviews and questionnaires

4 Design principles for interaction.

4.1 Mapping, Affordance, Feedback



1 Introduction: Energy, first among the resources

2 Terminology and taxonomy

3 Production, distribution and consumption of electricity from renewable sources: data and forecasts

4 The role of electric renewables in the energy transition and in contrast to climate change

5 Electric renewables and expensive-energy

6 Renewable electricity and the digitization process

7 Electric renewables and the energy policy of the European Union

8 Electric renewables, PNIEC, PNRR and the plan for ecological transition

9 EU directive 2018/2001 of the European parliament and of the council of 11 December 2018 on the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources (RED II)

10 Transpositions of the RED II directive: legislative decree 8 November 2021, n. 199

11 Directive (EU) 2019/944 on the internal electricity market

12 Governance, allocation of competences between state and regions

13 Structures of the Italian electrical system


The lecture notes are available on https://virtuale.unibo.it

For further information, we recommend the following bibliography, in addition to the references within the lecture notes:


1. Angèle Reinders, Pierre Verlinden, Wilfried van Sark, Alexandre Freundlich. Photovoltaic solar energy: From fundamentals to applications. Wiley, 2017.

2. Tony Burton, Nick Jenkins, David Sharpe, Ervin Bossanyu. Wind energy handbook. Wiley, 2011.

3. Alfred Rufer. Energy storage: Systems and components. CRC Press, 2018.

4. Gilbert Masters. Renewable and efficient electric power systems. Wiley, 2013.

5. Alessandro Caffarelli, Giulio de Simone, Angelo Pignatelli, Konstantino Tsolakoglou. Sistemi Fotovoltaici Progettazione Gestione Manutenzione impiantistica. Maggioli Editori, 2021.

6. Alessandro Caffarelli, Giulio de Simone, Mario Stizza, Alessio D’Amato, Vincenzo Vergelli. Sistemi Eolici: Impianti micro, mini e multimegawatt. Maggioli Editori, 2013.


1. A. Ter-Gazarian “Energy Storage for Power Systems”, Peter Peregrinus Ltd., on behalf of the Institution of Electrical Engineers, London, United Kingdom, 1994.

2. G. M. Masters “Renewable and Efficient Electric Power Systems”, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, New Jersey, 2004.

3. G. D. Holmes, T. A. Lipo “Pulse Width Modulation for power converters – principles and practice”, IEEE Press Series on Power Engineering, John Wiley and Sons, Piscataway, NJ, USA, 2003.

4. V. Quaschning “Understanding Renewable Energy Systems”, Carl Hanser Verlag GmbH & Co KG, 2005.

5. G. D. Holmes, T. A. Lipo “Pulse Width Modulation for power onverters – principles and practice”, IEEE Press Series on Power Engineering, John Wiley and Sons, Piscataway, NJ, USA, 2003.

6. S. C. W. Krauter “Solar Electric Power Generation, Photovoltaic Energy Sistems”, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg, 2006.

7. M. I. Henderson, D. Novosel, and M. L. Crow “Electric Power Grid Modernization Trends, Challenges, and Opportunities”, IEEE Power and Energy Society, 2017.


1. Leifer, L., Lewrick, M., Link, P. (2021). Gli strumenti per il design thinking: La guida alle migliori tecniche per facilitare l’innovazione. Edizioni LSWR

2. Norman, D. (2013). La caffettiera del Masochista. Il design degli oggetti quotidiani. Giunti


1. International Energy Agency. World Energy Outlook 2021. International Energy Agency, 2021.

2. EEA Report. Trends and projections in Europe 2021. European Environment Agency, 2021

3. Christopher Guo, Craig A. Bond and Anu Narayanan. The Adoption of New Smart-Grid Technologies. A Review of the Potential Benefits of the Smart Grid. Rand Corporation, 2015.

4. Lorenzo De Vidovich, Luca Tricarico e Matteo Zulianello. Community Energy Map. Franco Angeli, 2021.

5. Melissa Dark, Ida Ngambeki, Dennis Depew and Rylan Chong. Social Engagement by the Engineer. Understanding the Global Energy Crisis. Purdue University Press, 2014.

6. Christian Ngô and Joseph B.Natowitz. Our Nanotechnology Future.  Amsterdam University Press.2017.

7. Nicola Armaroli, Vincenzo Balzani. Energia per l’astronave Terra. Zanichelli, 2017

Teaching methods

The course is delivered in lectures (20 hours for module 1, 20 hours for module 2, 40 hours for module 3 and 40 hours for module 4) through the presentation of slides and developments on the blackboard. The topics of the course are treated from a theoretical and also a practical point of view, through the analysis of realistic design examples and the presentation of industrial practices in the sizing and construction of plant components.

During the course, group projects will be developed using design thinking methodology.

During the lessons the lecture notes previously made available to the students is used.

Assessment methods

The exam consists in elaborating a design project with the characteristics that will be provided during the course. The project is carried out in groups of 4-6 students (the grouping of students from different programs is encouraged). At the end of the course an oral discussion on the presented project is carried out, individually, with the aim of confirming the knowledge acquired by the student.

Teaching tools

The teaching support tools are available on https://virtuale.unibo.it

The tutor of the course is Prof. Claudia Carani: https://www.unibo.it/sitoweb/claudia.carani

Office hours

See the website of Juan Diego Rios Penaloza

See the website of Marija Vujacic

See the website of Giorgio Dall'Osso

See the website of Enrico Gagliano