Course Unit Page

  • Teacher Davide Fabiani

  • Learning modules Davide Fabiani (Modulo 1)
    Simone Vincenzo Suraci (Modulo 2)

  • Credits 6

  • SSD ING-IND/33

  • Teaching Mode Traditional lectures (Modulo 1)
    Traditional lectures (Modulo 2)

  • Language Italian

  • Campus of Bologna

  • Degree Programme Second cycle degree programme (LM) in Energy Engineering (cod. 0935)


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

Affordable and clean energy Sustainable cities Responsible consumption and production Climate Action

Academic Year 2022/2023

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course, the student has the knowledge of the operation and control of power plants from renewable sources, the dynamic models of the various plants, the types of control systems, and the contribution to the supply of ancillary services. He has the ability to choose the wiring diagrams for powering the auxiliaries and protections. He has the knowledge of the criteria for the connection of the plant to the external network, both in the case of a high voltage transmission grid and in the case of a medium and low voltage distribution system.

Course contents

Chap. 1 Production of energy from renewable sources

Introduction on the main renewable energy sources

Part 1: Photovoltaic energy production

1. Photovoltaic effect. Main technologies in the field of photovoltaics: silicon cells (monocrystalline, polycrystalline, amorphous); thin film cells, organic cells.

2. Design criteria for a stand-alone and grid-connected photovoltaic system and connection to the power grid. Design examples using commercial software.

Part 2: Wind energy production

1. General information on wind turbines

2. Main components of an aerogenerator

3. Energy producibility of a site

4. Design criteria and grid interconnection. Design examples.

Chap. 2 Electrochemical systems for energy production and storage

Part I: Batteries 

1. Principles of operation and characteristics of batteries: voltage, capacity and their dependence on design factors.

2. Acid batteries (basic electrochemical reactions, gassing and gas-recombinant batteries, characteristics of lead cells).

3. Alkaline batteries (types, basic electrochemical reactions, characteristics of cadmium cells, sealed batteries).

4. Innovative batteries: zinc/air cells, Zebra, sodium, lithium-ion, lithium-polymer, lithium-air and flow batteries.

5. Criteria for the design of storage systems. Examples for stationary (UPS, renewable storage) and automotive applications.

Part II: Fuel cells

1. Principles of cell operation, effect of operating parameters on performance.
2. Cell types (AFC, PEMFC, PAFC, MCFC and SOFC) and applications.

3. Main hydrogen production methods (electrolysis and reforming).

4. Criteria for the design of a fuel cell and examples for stationary and mobile generation.

Chap. 3 Innovative systems for energy transport

1. Overview of traditional systems (overhead and cable systems);

2. High Voltage DC (HVDC) systems;

3. Cryogenic and superconductive cables.



E-book (free) of the course: D. Fabiani and S. V. Suraci, "Innovative Technologies for the Production and Storage of Electrical Energy" for students Electrical and Energy Engineers, 2022 (in Italian).

Slides displayed in the classroom.

Teaching methods

The course is divided into:

1) frontal lessons;

2) classroom exercises on the design of a photovoltaic system, a storage system and a fuel cell using commercial software;

3) laboratory exercises on batteries and photovoltaic cells;

4) seminars held by technicians of companies on specific topics of the course.

Assessment methods

The exam for attending students can be divided into two partial tests on half the program: an intermediate test, approximately halfway through the course, and a final test, immediately after the end of the course. The mid-term exam is written while the final exam could be partially oral.

Both tests, lasting a maximum of two hours each, consist of 10 open-ended questions relating to the parts of the program covered by the test itself. Eight of these questions require short and targeted answers (max 3 lines) while the remaining two require an extended and articulated answer, possibly even oral if required by the test.

Each test is assigned a maximum score of 33/30; sufficiency is achieved with a score of 18/30. Failure or absence from the first partial test precludes the possibility of taking the second.

The final grade is obtained from the arithmetic average of the marks of the two tests rounded to the nearest integer. Honors can be conferred if the final score is at least 32/30.

Once the final grade is known, the student will have to decide whether to accept or reject the grade before the deadline communicated by the teacher. The refusal of the grade, insufficiency, or absence in one or both partial tests entails the repetition of the exam for the entire program.

After the end of the course, for non-attending students who were unable to take the partial tests or did not pass them, the exam takes place over the entire program in a single session in the same way as the partial tests described above.

Passing the exam will be guaranteed to students who demonstrate mastery and operational ability in relation to the key concepts illustrated in the teaching, and in particular to renewable technologies for the production of electricity, to systems of accumulation and production of energy by electrochemical and to innovative methodologies for the transport of electricity.

A higher score will be awarded to students who will demonstrate that they understand and be able to use all the teaching contents, illustrating them with language skills, solving even complex problems and showing good operational skills.

Failure to pass the exam may be due to insufficient knowledge of key concepts, in particular renewable technologies for the production of electricity, electrochemical energy storage and production systems and innovative methodologies for the transport of electricity, as well as the lack of appropriate technical language.

Teaching tools

The e-book and course slides will be made available to students on the "virtual.unibo.it" platform. See the link to the course didactic material.

Commercial software will also be used for the design of photovoltaic  and storage systems, e.g. PV-SYST or similar, during classroom exercise sessions.

Office hours

See the website of Davide Fabiani

See the website of Simone Vincenzo Suraci