Single-Course Danish 5 ECTS

Simulation of thermal energy systems

Overall Course Objectives

The aim with the course is to acquire knowledge and experience in numerical modelling for simulating thermal energy systems. The focus is on the development of physically, mathematically, and numerically consistent models in the field of refrigeration, heat pumps and power generation plants. The students will work on individual chosen projects related to the topic, for example shio machinery, internal combustion engines, large-scale heat pumps for district heating and geothermal or solar-driven power cycles using organic Rankine cycles.

Students will develop awareness of the power and utility of numerical simulations in engineering design, at both the system and the component detail level.

After completion of the course, the students will be prepared for using simulation tools, analysing the simulation results critically and writing documentation for model-based projects.

The course covers application of thermodynamic principles, methodological model development and numerical analysis for the description, simulation, and optimization of energy systems.

After completion of the course the student will be prepared for using simulation tools which are relevant for further studies and projects in thermal energy.

Learning Objectives

  • Describe operational principles of refrigeration systems, heat pumps and power plants, as well as differences and similarities between them
  • Describe and analyse thermodynamic cycles of refrigeration systems, heat pumps and power production
  • Describe and analyze the practical applications of cycle analysis for refrigeration, heat pumping and power production
  • Apply simulation tools systematically and methodologically for analysis of components and systems
  • Use the modelling process for completion and documentation of projects which involve modelling and simulation
  • Formulate, conduct and document projects which involve simulation of thermal systems
  • Use the simulation tool EES for implementation of model and simulation
  • Explain the principles of numerical methods for solution of algebraic equations, differential equations and differential-algebraic equations

Course Content

The course provides a comprehensive overview in the field of modeling and simulation techniques of thermal energy systems. Practical experience in simulation of energy systems is gained by working on several projects throughout the course. The projects cover work with thermodynamic models to define the design of systems and components and analyse their operation.

The relevant stages of a modeling project are discussed and completed, starting with the definition of the task, knowledge gathering and qualitative description of the task. This is continued by the definition of the mathematical equations and the choices of the method and the tool for numerically solving these equations. Finally, a graphical user interface (GUI) is developed is order to reflect the simulation purposes of the numerical model.

The modeling and simulation program Engineering Equation Solver (EES) is used in the course. Other simulation tools (DNA and Open Modelica) will be introduced as needed.

The projects cover work with models on cycle, system and component level, and with models for design and off-design operation of plants.

Recommended prerequisites


Teaching Method

Alternating use of lectures, studies, exercises, and problem sessions and presentation of project work.



Experience is also acquired in the use of IT techniques.

See course in the course database.





13 weeks


DTU Lyngby Campus

Course code 41402
Course type Bachelor
Semester start Week 35
Semester end Week 48
Days Thurs 8-12

7.500,00 DKK