2019 Thermodynamics (Mechanical Engineering) B

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Academic unit or major
Undergraduate major in Mechanical Engineering
Murakami Yoichi  Hirai Shuichiro  Nagasaki Takao  Okawa Seiji  Nozaki Tomohiro  Hasegawa Jun 
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Course description and aims

Thermodynamics is one of the fundamental disciplines in Mechanical Engineering (ME) field, and is essential to cope with the global issues, such as global environmental problems and/or energy and resource issues, from the engineering viewpoint. Therefore, this course is regarded as a required subject that ME students should learn first. In this course, students learn the various phenomena related to the heat, work, chemical energy etc. and learn physical laws dominating these phenomena as well. Plenty of drills will be provided to enhance students' understanding.

Student learning outcomes

At the end of this course, students will be able to:
1) Comprehend fundamental items and concepts of thermodynamics.
2) Apply the knowledge for utilization of energy.
These competencies will be the bases for learning the successive courses such as Heat Transfer and Energy Conversion Engineering.


Heat, Work, Energy

Competencies that will be developed

Intercultural skills Communication skills Specialist skills Critical thinking skills Practical and/or problem-solving skills

Class flow

In this course, students learn the fundamental issues of thermodynamics such as the concepts of temperature, state quantities and related laws first, and then learn the concept of thermodynamic cycle and feature of heat engines. Through the study, students train the fundamental abilities applicable for utilization of thermal energy in the engineering field. Plenty of drills will be provided in each class to enhance students' understanding.

Course schedule/Required learning

  Course schedule Required learning
Class 1 After an orientation for the entire course, Introduction (Aim and outline of thermodynamics) Concept of the thermodynamic system, Various kinds of energy, 0th law of thermodynamics, Temperature, heat and work State quantities, Change of state, Ideal gas assumption, Avogadro's law Acquire the concept of thermodynamic system, and then understand the relation among energy, heat and work, and the relation between temperature and heat from the thermodynamic viewpoint. Understand the concepts of state quantities and change of state as well as the essence of the ideal gas assumption, and then apply them to estimate the change of state of the ideal gas quantitatively.
Class 2 1st law of thermodynamics (Thermodynamic equilibrium, Quasi-steady state process, Closed system) 1st law of thermodynamics (Open system) Understand the 1st law of thermodynamics in closed system, and then apply it to estimate the change of state under quasi-steady state process. Understand the concept of thermodynamic equilibrium. Understand the 1st law of thermodynamics in open system, and then apply it to estimate the change of state under quasi-steady state process.
Class 3 2nd law of thermodynamics (Heat engine and thermal efficiency, Carnot cycle, Various expressions of the 2nd law of thermodynamics) 2nd law of thermodynamics (Entropy, Reversible/irreversible processes) Understand the 2nd law of thermodynamics based on the concept of heat engine and its thermal efficiency. And then learn the processes of Carnot cycle as a concrete example of heat engine cycles and estimate its thermal efficiency. Understand the various expressions of the 2nd law of thermodynamics as well. Based on the 2nd law of thermodynamics, learn the concept of "Entropy' that is the state quantity showing the randomness of a system. Using the concept of entropy, understand the difference between reversible and irreversible processes.
Class 4 Exergy and free energy General thermodynamic relations (Maxwell relation, Clapeyron-Clausius equation) Based on the concept of entropy, derive the concept of exergy that is the measure of the maximum useful work and the concept of free energy that is the measure of spontaneous changes of a system. Derive the relations among the state quantities appeared in this lecture, and evaluate quantities by using the practical relations such as Maxwell relation and Clapeyron-Clausius equation.
Class 5 After the mid-term exam, Chemical reaction Learn the fundamentals of chemical reaction, and understand the relation between heat of reaction and free energy change, and the temperature dependence of reaction rate.
Class 6 Gas engine cycle (Otto cycle and Diesel cycle) Gas engine cycle (Brayton cycle and Stirling cycle) Learn the processes of Otto- and Diesel-cycle that are typical practical internal combustion engine gas cycles, and derive the thermal efficiencies of these engine cycles. Learn the processes of Brayton cycle that is the ideal cycle of gas-turbine engines and Stirling cycle that is a typical external combustion engine gas cycle, and derive the thermal efficiencies of these engine cycles.
Class 7 Real gas and steam Steam engine cycle (Rankine cycle) Learn the change of state of the real gases and steam. Learn the processes of Rankine cycle that are typical steam engine cycles, and evaluate its output power and thermal efficiency.
Class 8 Refrigeration cycle (vapor compression cycle) Other topics on application of thermodynamics Learn the processes of vapor compression cycle that is one of the typical refrigeration cycle. Learn some examples of applications of thermodynamics.


JSME Text Series "Thermodynamics", Japan Society of Mechanical Engineers (Japanese)

Reference books, course materials, etc.

Y. Mori, N. Isshiki, H. Kawata, "Introduction of Thermodynamics, Revised Edition", Yokendo Co. (Japanese), Other course materials will be provided during class if needed.

Assessment criteria and methods

Students will be assessed on their understanding of fundamental issues of thermodynamics and applicability for utilization of energy. Students' course scores are based on a final exam (75%) and mid-term exam and/or drills (25%). The mid-term exam will be held on 5th week. The final exam will be held during the final exam period.

*During the mid-term exam, you can only refer to the formal textbook of this course (JSME Thermodynamics) and your hand-written notes taken by yourself during the classes of this course.
*During the final exam, you can only refer to a hand-written summary made by yourself on one sheet of A4 paper (on both sides). As for this, any copies, printed-out papers, and summary made by other people are prohibited.
*In both mid-term exam and final exam, you will need to use a scientific calculator; you have to bring a purpose-specific scientific calculator to those exams. No smart-phones, tablet devices, etc., are allowed to use during the exam.

Related courses

  • MEC.E311 : Heat Transfer
  • MEC.E331 : Energy Conversion

Prerequisites (i.e., required knowledge, skills, courses, etc.)

Having basic knowledge of the differential and integral calculus is desirable.

Contact information (e-mail and phone)    Notice : Please replace from "[at]" to "@"(half-width character).

Shuichiro Hirai: hirai[at]mes.titech.ac.jp
Takao Nagasaki: nagasaki.t.aa[at]m.titech.ac.jp
Seiji Okawa: sokawa[at]mech.titech.ac.jp
Yoichi Murakami: murakami.y.af[at]m.titech.ac.jp

Office hours

Contact professors by an e-mail beforehand to get an appointment.


Actual correspondences between "Course schedule" and "Class #" (see above) may be somewhat different from those given above depending on the situation of progression, but the order of the contents taught will be kept as given above.

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