THER08004 2019 Thermodynamics

General Details

Full Title
Transcript Title
N/A %
Subject Area
THER - Thermodynamics
MENG - Mech. and Electronic Eng.
08 - NFQ Level 8
05 - 05 Credits
Start Term
2019 - Full Academic Year 2019-20
End Term
9999 - The End of Time
Molua Donohoe, Declan Sheridan, Gerard McGranaghan
Programme Membership
SG_EMECL_K08 201900 Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) in Mechanical Engineering

This module has been designed to provide the student with sufficient tools and knowledge to be able to solve real world thermodynamic and heat transfer problems using engineering examples that span process heating, moulding and polymer processing, power generation, electronic component cooling, and construction/building. Topics covered include thermal resistances, heat transfer through composite walls, insulation, and heat transfer in free and forced convection. These provide a suitable introduction to heat exchanger fundamentals. Refrigeration and Heat pumps are then introduced building on material learned in years 2 and 3. Finally, gas turbine and vapour cycles, previously introduced in earlier modules are examined again but with the addition of regeneration/reheat stages to improve efficiency.

A mini design project forms part of the continual assessment for the course where the student must design a heat transfer device for a practical cooling or heating task. The course will convey to the student the wide extent of thermal processes and energy conversion, but how environmental impacts can be mitigated though good design. Guest lectures may be employed to demonstrate thermodynamic related applications within the work place, and site trips to relevant thermal intensive industries may be organised when possible.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module the learner will/should be able to;


Be familiar with thermal resistance, contact resistance, the critical radius of insulation and be able to solve practical conduction problems involving multiple materials.


Be familiar with and be able to solve basic problems in free convection using knowledge of buoyancy, velocity and thermal boundary layers, relevant Dimensionless numbers, and governing equations and correlations.


Be familiar with and be able to solve basic problems in forced convection, using knowledge of laminar and turbulent flows, entrance region and fully developed flow, flow across flat plates, cylinders in cross flow, tube arrays.


Demonstrate knowledge of heat exchangers, their types, overall heat transfer coefficient, log mean temperature difference, and calculation of efficiency/effectiveness.


Demonstrate an understanding of and solve problems relating to refrigeration and heat pump cycles.


Understand the regeneration process and be able to solve problems when applied to gas and vapour power cycles such as Rankine cycle, Brayton cycle.

Teaching and Learning Strategies

The course will be delivered primarily by lecture where key concepts will be explained and followed through with graded exercises leading on to practical problem examples. Repetitive (property and steam tables, interpolations) exercises will be supplemented on Moodle outside of class to ensure student fluency and proficiency. A mini-assignment or project comprising an industrial design brief for a heat exchange or thermal management device will form a self-learning component of the module.

Module Assessment Strategies

This subject will be assessed by a midterm project and end of term assessment. Minor exercises and assignments will also form part of the assessment.

Repeat Assessments

Repeat assessment will be by way of sitting another examination on the subject. Alternatively, at the discretion of the lecturer, assignments covering the deficient areas of the course may be set.

Indicative Syllabus

  • Conduction: practical conduction and insulation issues, thermal resistance, the composite wall, contact resistance, radial conduction, critical radius of insulation.
  • Fundamentals of natural convection: density and buoyancy, Grashof Number, Prandtl No. velocity, laminar and turbulent flows, thermal boundary layers, governing equations and related correlations, Reynolds analogy.
  • Fundamentals of forced convection: Velocity and thermal boundary layers, governing equations and related correlations, Nusselt No., internal and external flows, Laminar, turbulent and separated flows; flat plates, cylinders in cross flow, tube arrays, jet impingement, entrance region and fully developed flow, flow in pipes and ducts.
  • Regeneration and Reheat in Gas and Vapour power cycles including Brayton, Stirling and Rankine. Afterburners in jet engines. Effects on efficiency, cost benefit considerations.
  • Heat Exchanger Performance and Design: Heat exchanger types, overall heat transfer coefficient, log mean temperature difference, effectiveness, fouling, methodology for design.
  • Refrigeration Cycles, Refrigerators and heat pumps, Reversed Carnot Cycle, Ideal and actual vapour Compression cycles, efficiency, COP, refrigerant properties.

 Indicative Practicals

1 Tutorials as required

Coursework & Assessment Breakdown

Coursework & Continuous Assessment
30 %
End of Semester / Year Formal Exam
70 %

Coursework Assessment

Title Type Form Percent Week Learning Outcomes Assessed
1 Other Exam Mid term assessment Continuous Assessment Assignment 30 % Week 7 1,2,3,4

End of Semester / Year Assessment

Title Type Form Percent Week Learning Outcomes Assessed
1 Final Exam Terminal exam Final Exam Closed Book Exam 70 % End of Term 1,2,3,4,5,6

Full Time Mode Workload

Type Location Description Hours Frequency Avg Workload
Lecture Flat Classroom Lecture 4 Weekly 4.00
Independent Learning Not Specified Moodle activities, Revision and solution of set problems for thermodynamics 1 Weekly 1.00
Total Full Time Average Weekly Learner Contact Time 4.00 Hours

Module Resources

Non ISBN Literary Resources

Thermodynamics: An Engineering Approach. by Y. Cengel and M. Boles, McGraw‑Hill, 2007

Introduction to Heat Transfer, by Frank P. Incropera, David P. DeWitt, Wiley, 2006.

Fundamentals of Thermodynamics, Borgnakke, and Sonntag, Wiley, 2009

Thermodynamic & Transport Properties of Fluids, G. Rogers and Y. Mayhew,

Journal Resources


URL Resources
Other Resources


Additional Information