I'm posting this here as well as the engineering forums in the hope that someone else doing this module (or someone who has done it) might see this.
I'm looking for any advice from past or present engineering students on my final module as part of a BEng (Hons) in Engineering with The Open University. My final module is 'The Engineering Project' under a subheading of 'Sustainable Energy'. I've already tried Emailing the course leader but haven't had a response and don't know who my tutor is until next month (the course starts in January).
The module guidance that I've managed to get from the admin staff asks for;
The engineering design, or redesign, of a small-scale energy product, technology or process using sustainable energy principles must be the focus of your project. The 'Sustainable Energy' category requires you to design or redesign a sustainable energy product, technology, or process at a small scale, I.e. less than 10 MW (combined thermal and electric capacity). Some examples of sustainable energy design, or redesign, include the following.
Product: a domestic or commercial heating system, or a system that is already operational but may require additional equipment or modifications to increase efficiency.
Technology: an improvement to the installation of flat-plate solar collectors, or small-scale horizontal wind turbines, or an air or ground source heat pump.
Process: increasing the energy efficiency of a milking parlour.
Is it just me or does this seem like a bit of a tall ask for an undergraduate with 6 months? To me it seems something more suitable for an MSc in Renewable Energy Engineering, rather than a general purpose Engineering BEng... I've studied a broad range of subjects (including sustainable energy) but nothing so far has prepared me for this!
I've been doing background reading all over the summer and am still yet to come up with a suitable idea. There are plenty of books on the principles of operation of renewable energy technologies, but this feels like it's asking me to improve systems which companies have already spent years and £££ on. I've got a limited time frame and zero resources apart from information available in the online library (studying with the OU means I have no access to lab equipment, etc.).
Experts are ready to answer your questions