Single-Course English 5 ECTS

Engineering thermodynamics

Overall Course Objectives

The course gives students a thorough introduction to thermodynamic concepts, quantities and calculations. Based on the introduction of the laws of thermodynamics, the course treats calorimetry in a thermodynamic context and establishes the link between thermodynamics, heat transfer and electrochemistry. The conceptual framework and thermodynamic tools introduced enable the student to analyze simple real-life applications in power production and heating and cooling.

Learning Objectives

  • Describe the state and thermodynamic temperature of compounds
  • Calculate the exchange of work and heat, considering the heat transfer mechanism, between a simple system and its surroundings
  • Detail the thermodynamic characteristics of a compound, including specific heat capacities, and calculate specific heat capacities under given conditions
  • Detail the different forms of energy
  • Calculate the enthalpy of reaction for a combustion reaction and calculate the thermodynamic efficiency for an electrochemical cell
  • Calculate efficiency/loss for simple thermodynamic systems
  • Communicate and explain the fundamental thermodynamics involved in one of several power and refrigeration cycles
  • Decipher information from simple phase diagrams, property tables, or property functions
  • Analyze a relevant real life system from a thermodynamic perspective

Course Content

Introduction to ideal gases, thermodynamic temperature and internal energy. The first law of thermodynamics and exothermic/endothermic reactions, the concept of enthalpy, calorimetry and heat capacities. Heat transfer mechanism (conduction, convection and radiation). The second law of thermodynamics (reversible/irreversible processes), entropy and concept of exergy. Gibbs free energy, phase diagrams and thermodynamic “quantities” and their relation to electrochemistry.
The course will treat common thermodynamic processes (isochore, isobaric, isothermal and adiabtic processes).
For approximately one third of the course, the students will work on a project where they analyze a relevant real life system from a thermodynamic perspective.

Recommended prerequisites


Teaching Method

Lectures, class discussions, assignments, project work and report writing
The course will be evaluated during the course period


This course is part of the General Engineering specialization Future Energy and the study line Design of Sustainable Energy Systems.

Limited number of seats

Minimum: 10.

Please be aware that this course will only be held if the required minimum number of participants is met. You will be informed 8 days before the start of the course, whether the course will be held.

See course in the course database.





13 weeks




DTU Lyngby Campus

Course code 47201
Course type Bachelor
Semester start Week 5
Semester end Week 19
Days Fri 8-12

7.500,00 DKK

Please note that this course has participants limitation. Read more