Saylor Foundation, Unknown, Stephen Boyd, Nuno Fonseca, Luis Marcelino, Vitor Carreira, Catarina Reis, Catarina Silva
Purpose of Course There are many different ways that you can go about solving engineering problems. One of the most important methods is energy analysis. Energy is a physical property that allows work of any kind to be done; without it, there would be no motion, no heat, and no life. You wouldn’t be able to get out of bed in the morning, but it wouldn’t matter, because there would be no sun. Without energy, our world would not exist as it does.
Thermodynamics is the study of energy and its transfers though work. It is the link between heat and mechanical exertion. Once you have a solid grasp on thermodynamic concepts, you should be able to understand why certain mechanisms (such as engines and boilers) work the way they do, determine how much work they can put out, and know how to optimize these power systems. A thorough understanding of thermodynamics is crucial to any career that focuses on HVAC systems, car engines, or renewable energy technology.
This course will focus on the fundamentals of thermodynamics, including the First and Second Laws, thermodynamic properties, ideal gases, and equations of state. We will also take a brief look at power cycles so that you understand how these basic concepts apply to real-world situations (i.e. how they pertain to a steam power plant or your refrigerator). You should note that this class is problem-heavy. Over the course of the semester, you will be exposed to a number of examples that have been designed to provide you with a visual understanding of the subject matter. The concepts you learn in this course will serve as the basis for more advanced courses—Heat Transfer ( ME204 ) and Thermal-Fluid Systems ( ME303 )—that will ask you to perform in-depth and working assessments of engineering problems.