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ECM3151 - Thermofluids and Energy Conversion (2015)

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MODULE TITLEThermofluids and Energy Conversion CREDIT VALUE15
MODULE CODEECM3151 MODULE CONVENERProf Gavin Tabor (Coordinator)
DURATION: WEEKS 11 weeks 0 0
Number of Students Taking Module (anticipated) 78
DESCRIPTION - summary of the module content

Thermofluids comprises thermodynamics - the flow and conversion of heat energy into other forms. Meanwhile, fluid dynamics is the study of how fluids move and the forces on them.

This module gives you an understanding of mathematical modelling of fluid flow, and the application of this modelling to important engineering systems such as turbines and airfoils. You will develop cycle analysis for the design of refrigerators, compressors, gas turbines, compression and spark ignition engines. Furthermore, you will study the properties of fuels, their combustion, exhaust composition, atmospheric pollution, exhaust emissions and reduction. The module also introduces you to the scientific and engineering aspects of energy conversion from renewable and non-renewable sources.

Prerequisite module: ECM2113 or equivalent

AIMS - intentions of the module

The aim of the module is to extend your understanding of the types of flow generated by external flow around various shaped bodies, and to complement this with a comprehension of boundary layer structure and modelling. You will study and get the chance to apply Navier-Stokes equations and the von Karman integral method. Furthermore, taking this module will help you to develop a number of abilities that will stand you in good stead in the world of work, including independent learning, problem solving and presentation skills.


This module covers Specific Learning Outcomes in Engineering, which apply to accredited programmes at Bachelors/MEng/Masters level. These contribute to the  educational requirements for CEng registration (as defined under the UK Standard for Professional Engineering Competence – UK-SPEC).

This module correlates to references U1, E1 - E3, S3, P1, P4, MU1 - MU3 and ME1 - ME3. These references are indices of the specific learning outcomes expected of Bachelors/MEng/Masters candidates set out in UK-SPEC, codified with reference to systems used by professional accrediting institutions. A full list of the standards can be found on the Engineering Council's website, at

INTENDED LEARNING OUTCOMES (ILOs) (see assessment section below for how ILOs will be assessed)

On successful completion of this module, you should be able to:


Module Specific Skills and Knowledge:
1 apply the Navier-Stokes equations to derive solutions for simple cases of fluid flow (2d, Cartesian coordinates) and understand the extension of such techniques to more complex cases;
2 recognise the types of flow generated by external flow around various shaped bodies across the range of Reynolds numbers;
3 estimate forces on these types of flow, and power/energy requirements to overcome these forces and losses;
4 comprehend the von Karman integral method and be able to apply it to calculating forces on bluff bodies;
5 understand, in detail, boundary layer structure and modelling;
6 perform calculations on a number of standard engineering fluid devices, principally aerofoils and centrifugal and axial turbines;
7 carry out calculations on a standard range of energy conversion and conservation processes;
8 analyse thermodynamic cycles for energy conversion;
9 fathom alternative energy conversion systems and carry out basic calculations on them;
10 appreciate the environmental effects of energy conversion;
11 grasp the basic concepts of electrochemical energy conversion.
Discipline Specific Skills and Knowledge:
9 demonstrate increased ability to analyse information from a variety of sources;
10 synthesise conclusions and opinions on energy related topics such as future pathways and patterns of energy conversion;
11 conduct formal calculations on engineering systems with accuracy.
Personal and Key Transferable/ Employment Skills and  Knowledge:
12 show improved independent learning skills, analyse problems logically and mathematically, and present your results in an appropriate way.

SYLLABUS PLAN - summary of the structure and academic content of the module

- application of the Navier-Stokes Equations to analysis of simple flows (2d, Cartesian coordinates), general form of NSE;

- Von Karman analysis for flow around bluff bodies;

- structure of laminar and turbulent boundary layers, empirical and analytical relations for boundary layer drag, mathematical modelling through Blasius and integral methods;

- external flows in different flow regimes;

- lift and Drag on airfoils; theoretical analysis;

- wind turbines;

- turbomachinery; types of turbine, efficiency issues;

- fluid dynamical analysis of centrifugal, axial turbines;

- world energy resources, supply and demand;

- survey of conventional and alternative energy sources and conversion methods, fossil fuels, solar, hydroelectric, wind, wave and tidal;

- refrigeration and heat pump cycles;

- internal combustion engines, petrol and Diesel cycles;

- engine testing, cycle analysis, effect of irreversibilities;

- gas turbines, practical details, cycle analysis;

- fuels; types of fuel, properties, combustion calculations, exhaust analysis, pollutant formation mechanisms, remediation technology;

- electrochemical energy conversion (fuel cells and batteries).

Scheduled Learning & Teaching Activities 43.00 Guided Independent Study 107.00 Placement / Study Abroad 0.00
Category Hours of study time Description
Scheduled learning and teaching activities 22 Lectures
Scheduled learning and teaching activities 11 Tutorials
Scheduled learning and teaching activities 10 Laboratories
Guided independent study 107 Private study


FORMATIVE ASSESSMENT - for feedback and development purposes; does not count towards module grade
Form of Assessment Size of Assessment (e.g. duration/length) ILOs Assessed Feedback Method
Not applicable    


Coursework 30 Written Exams 70 Practical Exams
Form of Assessment % of Credit Size of Assessment (e.g. duration/length) ILOs Assessed Feedback Method
Written exam – closed book 70 2 hours All As per University procedures
Coursework – four assignments involving experimental, analytical or design work 30 5-8 hours each 1, 5, 9, 10, 12-15 Written, e-mail and class discussion


DETAILS OF RE-ASSESSMENT (where required by referral or deferral)
Original Form of Assessment Form of Re-assessment ILOs Re-assessed Time Scale for Re-reassessment
All above Written exam (100%) All August Ref/Def period



If a module is normally assessed entirely by coursework, all referred/deferred assessments will normally be by assignment.

If a module is normally assessed by examination or examination plus coursework, referred and deferred assessment will normally be by examination. For referrals, only the examination will count, a mark of 40% being awarded if the examination is passed. For deferrals, candidates will be awarded the higher of the deferred examination mark or the deferred examination mark combined with the original coursework mark.

INDICATIVE LEARNING RESOURCES - The following list is offered as an indication of the type & level of
information that you are expected to consult. Further guidance will be provided by the Module Convener


Reading list for this module:

Type Author Title Edition Publisher Year ISBN Search
Set Heywood, J.B Internal Combustion Engine Fundamentals McGraw-Hill 1988 978-0070286375 [Library]
Set Stone, R Introduction to Internal Combustion Engines 3rd Palmgrave MacMillan 1999 0-333-74013-0 [Library]
Set Douglas, J.F., Gasiorek, J.M., Swaffield, J.A. Fluid Mechanics 6th Pearson/Prentice Hall 2011 10: 0273717723 [Library]
Set Eastop, T.D. and McConkey, A. Applied Thermodynamics for Engineering Technologists 5th Longman 1993 0-582-09193-4 [Library]
Set Pulkrabek, Willard W. Engineering Fundamentals of the Internal Combustion Engine 2nd Prentice Hall 2004 978-0131918559 [Library]
Set Rogers, G.F.G. and Mayhew, Y.R. Engineering Thermodynamics Work and Heat Transfer Longman 1996 0-582-04566-5 [Library]
ORIGIN DATE Friday 09 January 2015 LAST REVISION DATE Friday 09 January 2015
KEY WORDS SEARCH Navier Stokes equations; boundary layers; external aerodynamics; aerofoils; turbines; refrigerators and heat pumps; gas turbines; petrol and engine cycle analysis and emissions; renewable and non-renewable fuels; combined heat and power generation.