ECTS credits: 4


The control of energy consumption as well as the development of renewable and clean energy sources is a major engineering challenge for the coming years. A general knowledge in Thermodynamics is therefore necessary to understand this kind of problems.

The general objectives of this course are: a) help students understand the basic concepts of thermodynamics and, b) provide guidelines to apply the basic concepts of thermodynamics to practical applications.

The specific objectives are: a) the ability to analyse the operating principles of heat engines and b), determine the various forms of energy, establish an energy balance and calculate the efficiencies associated with gas power cycles.



  1. Fundamentals of thermodynamics
    1. From the first law of thermodynamics to the definition of energy.
    2. From the second law of thermodynamics to the definition of entropy.
    3. Energy, Entropy, Heat and Temperature.
    4. Transformations and cycles.
    5. Energy balances applied to closed systems.
  2. Equations of state for gases
    1. The ideal gas and its limitations.
    2. Beyond the ideal gas.
  3. Open systems
    1. Enthalpy and energy balances of open systems.
    2. Application to compressions and expansions of gases.
  4. Thermochemistry of open and closed systems
    1. Elementary stoichiometric balances of combustion processes
    2. From heat of reaction to heating values of fuels
    3. Air/Fuel ratios and real combustion reactions
  5. Application to internal combustion engines
    1. Consequences of the 2ndlaw on heat engines: the Carnot cycle.
    2. Reciprocating engines: the Otto and Diesel cycles.
    3. Rotating and jet engines: the Brayton cycle.