MEEN40210 Energy in Transport

Academic Year 2021/2022

This module will focus on a range of topics that are concerned with energy use and emissions generated by the transport of people and goods in a developed economy, on land, on water and by air. Specific topics include the following;
• Why energy is needed for transport and what are the available methods for its supply and storage.
• Global, European and Irish national statistics for energy use and emissions from transport.
• Detailed analysis of energy use in vehicle propulsion, taking account of aspects of vehicle design, of practical vehicle driving cycles and of the effects of traffic congestion.
• Factors affecting vehicle fuel economy, with detailed analysis of factors affecting efficiency and exhaust emissions from spark ignition and compression ignition (diesel) internal combustion engines, fuelled with fossil and synthetic or alternative fuels.
• Electric Vehicles, Hybrid-Electric / Plug-In Hybrid vehicles / Battery technology.
• Natural Gas and Hydrogen as Vehicle Fuels.
• Life-cycle energy issues in transport, including energy use in fuel production, and in vehicle operation, manufacture, raw material manufacture and maintenance, and energy used in the creation of the infrastructure (e.g. road construction).
• Comparisons of passenger transport on foot, by bicycle, car, bus, light & heavy rail, by sea and by air. Scope for saving energy through modal shift, taking account of load factors and patterns in transport demand.
• Relationship between land use planning and transport energy requirements.
• Options for improved energy efficiency in freight transport.
Some of the module learning takes place through student engagement in a substantial open-ended assignment. This is completed by groups of 4-5 students and involves oral presentations and a written report. Also, experiments will be conducted on in-service vehicles using a data acquisition system linked to vehicle on-board diagnostic (“OBD”) systems, with the objective of developing in-depth understanding of the relationship between specific drive cycles and vehicle fuel consumption.

Show/hide contentOpenClose All

Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

On completion of this module, students should;
(i) Be able to explain and quantify issues which affect quantities of CO2, energy use and the efficiency of energy use associated with all aspects of transport of people and goods on land, by sea and by air.
(ii) Be able to demonstrate understanding of a range of vehicle propulsion system designs and technologies and how these influence energy efficiency and emissions production, considering liquid and gaseous fossil fuels and alternative energy carriers such as electricity and hydrogen.
(iii) Be able to explain how drive cycle patterns and travel demand patterns impact on transport energy use and emissions production.
(iv) Be familiar with the advantages and disadvantages associated with conventional and electric / hybrid or plug-in hybrid vehicle technology, from a Life Cycle perspective.
(v) Be able to demonstrate an understanding of the desirable characteristics of low-energy, low-emissions transportation systems for the future.

Indicative Module Content:

Global and national statistics for energy use and emissions from transport.
Why energy is needed for transport and what are the available methods for its supply and storage.
Detailed analysis of energy use in vehicle propulsion, taking account of aspects of vehicle design, of practical vehicle driving cycles and of the effects of traffic congestion.
Factors affecting efficiency and exhaust emissions from internal combustion engines fuelled with fossil and synthetic or alternative fuels.
Public v Private transport - scope for saving energy through modal shift, taking account of load factors and patterns in transport demand.
Life-cycle energy issues in transport, including energy use in vehicle operation, manufacture, raw material manufacture and maintenance, and energy used in the creation of the infrastructure (road construction).
Comparisons of passenger transport on foot, by bicycle, car, bus, light & heavy rail, by sea and by air.
Relationship between land use planning and transport energy requirements
Electric & Hybrid / Plug-In Hybrid vehicles / Battery technology.
Biofuels, Natural Gas, Hydrogen, Methanol & Di-Methyl Ether (DME) as Vehicle Fuels.
Other vehicle propulsion concepts.

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours
Autonomous Student Learning

60

Lectures

18

Small Group

20

Practical

10

Online Learning

6

Total

114

Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
Face-to-face lectures (Video recordings will be made available afterwards vis BrightSpace).
Group assignment with oral presentation.
Analysis of data parameters recorded during road vehicle operation.
 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations
Learning Recommendations:

A knowledge of Classical (Engineering) Thermodynamics, equivalent to MEEN30100 Engineering Thermodynamics II.
Introductory level university Chemistry.
Introductory level Engineering Mechanics.


Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Not applicable to this module.
 
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade In Module Component Repeat Offered
Examination: End of Semester (2 Hr), Online, via BrightSpace / Open Book
Exam Date: Scheduled Exam Period
2 hour End of Trimester Exam Yes Graded No

50

No
Group Project: Group Assignment Report & Presentation
Report Submission Date: End of Week 5
Presentation by Group: Week 6
Week 5 n/a Graded No

25

No
Group Project: Analysis of On-Road Vehicle Test Data
Report Submission Date: End of Week 10
Week 10 n/a Graded No

25

No

Carry forward of passed components
Yes
 
Resit In Terminal Exam
Spring No
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

.