Last Updated S022020


Unit Name Thermodynamics
Unit Code BME207S
Unit Duration 1 Semester

Bachelor of Science (Engineering)

Duration 3 years    

Year Level Two
Unit Creator / Reviewer N/A
Core/Sub-Discipline: Sub-discipline
Pre/Co-requisites BSC101C, BSC107C
Credit Points


Total Course Credit Points 81 (27 x 3)

Mode of Delivery Online or on-campus. 
Unit Workload (Total student workload including “contact hours” = 10 hours per week; 5 hours per week for 24 week delivery)
Pre-recordings / Lecture – 1.5 hours
Tutorial – 1.5 hours
Guided labs / Group work / Assessments – 2 hours
Personal Study recommended – 5 hours

Unit Description and General Aims

The objective in presenting this unit is to provide students with detailed knowledge of the principles and practices governing the field of thermodynamics.

The subject matter covered in the unit will include thermodynamic laws and their applications; steam and gas power cycle concepts; the use of steam and Mollier charts; thermodynamic relationships; applied thermodynamic concepts in relation to internal combustion (IC) engines, steam turbines, and air compressors and refrigeration cycles.

At the conclusion of this unit, students will have been imparted with the requisite knowledge to comprehend, distinguish, and apply the principles and practices governing the field of thermodynamics in their future work.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this Unit, students are expected to be able to:

  1. Identify and apply basic thermodynamic principles and concepts.
    Bloom's Level 3
  2. Evaluate the properties of pure substances, ideal and real gases.
    Bloom's Level 5
  3. Establish different thermodynamic relationships.
    Bloom's Level 4
  4. Detail the working principles and practical applications of steam and gas power cycles.
    Bloom's Level 4
  5. Evaluate the thermodynamic principles of steam nozzles, turbines and compressors
    Bloom's Level 5
  6. Examines the working principles and applications of refrigeration cycles
    Bloom's Level 4

Student assessment

Assessment Type When assessed Weighting (% of total unit marks) Learning Outcomes Assessed

Assessment 1

Type: Multi-choice test 

Example Topic: Basic thermodynamic concepts, laws and applications, steam properties

Students will complete a quiz with MCQ type answers and solve simple problems based on basic thermodynamic concepts, laws and their application, to demonstrate evidence of their learning

Due after Topic 3 15% 1, 2

Assessment 2

Type: Multi-choice test  / Short answer questions 

Example Topic: Steam power cycles, ideal and real gas properties, thermodynamic relationships

Students will answer descriptive questions and perform calculations, to provide evidence of their understanding of steam power cycles, ideal and real gas properties and thermodynamic relationships

Due after Topic 7 20% 2, 3, 4

Assessment 3

Type: Practical / Remote Lab / Simulation / Project / Research Paper Review/ Report

Example Topic: Gas power cycles, nozzles, turbines, compressors

Students will provide answers to descriptive questions answers and solve short problems on the above topics or perform simulation exercises on remote lab

Due after Topic 9 20% 4, 5

Assessment 4

Type: Examination consisting of short summary answers and analytical problems

Word length: NA

Example Topic: All topics, but focussing more on refrigeration cycles

Students will provide short summary answers, solve analytical type problems covering all topics

Final week 40% 1 to 6

Attendance / Tutorial Participation

Example: Presentation, discussion, group work, exercises, self-assessment/reflection, case study analysis, application.

Continuous 5% 1 to 6

Prescribed and Recommended Readings

Textbook (s)

MJ Moran, HN Shapiro, DD Boettner, MB Bailey, Fundamentals of Engineering Thermodynamics, 9th Edition. Wiley, 2018. ISBN: 978-1119391388


Çengel, YA & Boles, MA 2015, Thermodynamics: An Engineering Approach, 8th edn, McGraw-Hill Education, ISBN: 9789814595292

Holman, JP 1988, Thermodynamics, 4th edn, McGraw-Hill College, ISBN: 978-0070296336

Jones, JB & Hawkins, GA 1986, Engineering Thermodynamics: An Introductory Textbook, 2nd edn, Wiley, ISBN-13: 978-0471812029

Richard E. Sonntag, Claus Borgnakke, Gordon J. Van Wylen, Fundamentals of Thermodynamics, 6th edn, Wiley, ISBN: 9780471152323

Journal, website

Notes and Reference Texts

Knovel library:
IDC Technologies
Other material advised during the lectures

Unit Content

Topic 1

Basic Thermodynamic Concepts

1. Introduction to Thermodynamics
2. Concepts and Definitions
3. Dimensions and Units

Topic 2

Energy and the First Law of Thermodynamics

1. First Law of Thermodynamics and its Application to Non-flow and Flow Processes
2. Zeroth law of thermodynamics
3. Thermodynamic systems, control volume, work, heat
4. Equilibrium, state, path, and processes

Topic 3

Ideal and Real Gases

1. Compressibility Factor and Compressibility Charts
2. The Ideal Gas Model
3. Internal Energy, Enthalpy, and Specific Heats of Ideal Gases
4. Applying the Energy Balance
5. Comparison of Ideal Gas with Real Gas
6. Equations of State for Ideal and Real Gases

Topic 4

Steam and its Thermodynamic Properties

1. Phase change during the thermodynamic process (p-v, p-T, T-v, T-s, h-s diagrams)
2. Retrieve property data for single phase
3. Dryness fraction and determining properties with two-phase
4. Retrieving steam properties for processes

Topic 5

1st Law and Continuity Equations

1. Conservation of mass for a control volume
2. Forms of the mass rate balance
3. Conservation of energy for a control volume
4. Analyzing control volumes at steady state

Topic 6

1st Law and Application to Nozzles, Compressors and Turbines

1. Nozzles
2. Turbines
3. Compressors and pumps
4. Other considerations

Topic 7

2nd Law, Analysis and Applications

1. The Second law of thermodynamics
2. Carnot cycle
3. Entropy
4. Isentropic Efficiencies of Turbines, Nozzles, Compressors, and Pumps

Topic 8

Gas Power Cycles

1. The Otto cycle
2. The Diesel cycle
3. The Dual cycle
4. The Brayton cycle
5. Air standard efficiency and mean effective pressure

Topic 9

Steam Power Cycles

1. Simple steam power cycle
2. Ideal and actual Rankine cycles
3. Cycle Improvement Methods – Reheat and Regenerative cycles, Economizer, Pre-heater, Binary and Combined cycles

Topic 10

Refrigeration Cycles

1. Refrigeration by non-cyclic processes
2. Reversed heat engine cycle
3. Vapour compression refrigeration cycle
4. Introduction to other refrigeration cycles

Topic 11

Mixtures of Ideal Gas

1. Ideal gas mixtures – mass and mole fractions
2. Dalton’s law
3. Mass, energy and entropy analysis for mixtures
4. Psychrometric charts

Topic 12

Unit Review

In the final week students will have an opportunity to review the contents covered so far. Opportunity will be provided for a review of student work and to clarify any outstanding issues. Instructors/facilitators may choose to cover a specialized topic if applicable to that cohort.

Software/Hardware Used


  • Software: N/A

  • Version: N/A

  • Instructions:  N/A

  • Additional resources or files: N/A


  • Kettle, Digital Thermometer, Wattmeter, stopwatch/mobile phone, (connected) Thermocouple set.