Prior to commencing the foundation studies course, you should already have an understanding of the basic concepts of electricity, such as Ohm's law, series and parallel circuits and conductance. The following section is therefore intended only as a review of your existing knowledge.
Why is an understanding of DC Circuits necessary?
Electricity is generated transmitted, distributed and consumed mainly in AC form. This course mainly deals with those renewable energy technologies that are used to generate electricity; hence it is vital that a treatment of renewable energy technology deals with the integration of such sources into existing electrical networks.
DC circuit theory provides the necessary foundations for the treatment of AC circuits. It is also required in the analysis of photovoltaic systems and the understanding of power electronic converters used to interface some renewable energy-sourced generators to electrical networks.
AC circuit theory provides the information needed to understand the basic principles of:
the operation of electrical generators used to convert renewable energy into electricity.
the transfer of electrical energy from the point of generation to the point of use.
the effects of integrating dispersed renewable energy-sourced generation into a pre-existing power network fed mainly from conventional generators.
The material in the whole of this unit is required as background for all the other Foundation Units on electricity (FE-2 to FE-5).
At the beginning of each section the course module(s) that requires the material in this particular section as background knowledge are indicated in bold italics.
This unit contains an itemised summary of the pre-requisite knowledge required prior to commencing the Foundation Studies course and self-test questions. You should be familiar with this materials from your high school Physics or university Science/Engineering degree courses. The material is very basic and it represents essential background knowledge for the study of AC circuits. You are recommended to study the unit in the following sequence:
From the "Syllabus" page, work through the list carefully making sure you are familiar with all the itemised elementary concepts. If any of these concepts are new to you (or perhaps you were once familiar with them but your memory requires refreshing), a link at the end of each section will take you to in-depth Foundation Backup (FB) material on each subject. It is hoped that very few students will need to follow this procedure!
Tackle the self-test questions as they occur in the sequence, if you decide to test your knowledge of this topic. If you encounter difficulties, return to the study notes and focus on the relevant topics before re-visiting the self-test.