Thermal Power Cycles (H3053)

15 credits, Level 5

Spring teaching

The module will focus on developing the skills required to analyse heat engine performance (e.g. efficiency, power output, work and heat input) from cycle data.

  • Steam Power (Rankine) Cycle: beginning with a simple cycle and adding more refinements (feedheating, economiser etc.). Application to electrical power generation where the heat source is supplied by: i) fossil fuel and ii) nuclear fuel.
  • Reciprocating (Internal Combustion) Engine Cycles: beginning with the ideal Otto and ideal Diesel cycle and then considering the actual cycles that real engines use. The use of engine test beds to generate data for research and development.
  • Gas Turbine (Joule or Brayton) Cycle: simple, then add intercooler, heat exchanger and reheater. The use of gas turbines for aircraft propulsion (turbojet and turbofan) also the application of gas turbines to electrical power generation. Latest developments with concentrated solar energy as a heat source.
  • Cooling towers and air conditioning systems.
  • Refrigeration and heat pump analysis.
  • Hybrid systems: CHP, steam turbine with gas turbine

Teaching and assessment

We’re currently reviewing teaching and assessment of our modules in light of the COVID-19 situation. We’ll publish the latest information as soon as possible.

Contact hours and workload

This module is approximately 150 hours of work. This breaks down into about 50 hours of contact time and about 100 hours of independent study. The University may make minor variations to the contact hours for operational reasons, including timetabling requirements.

This module is running in the academic year 2021/22. We also plan to offer it in future academic years. However, we are constantly looking to improve and enhance our courses. There may be changes to modules in response to student demand or feedback, changes to staff expertise or updates to our curriculum. We may also need to make changes in response to COVID-19. We’ll make sure to let our applicants know of material changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.


This module is offered on the following courses: