Thermal Power Plant and Heat Transfer

Module summary

Module code: MECH0036
Level: 6
Credits: 15
School: Engineering and Science
Department: Engineering
Module Coordinator(s): Samueal Mengistu


Pre and co requisites



The aim of the Module is to equip students with the fundamental concept of steam and gas power generation. It also allows students to develop the principle of heat transfer applied to different engineering devices and components. The Module looks at the generation of power using steam such as Rankine reheat cycle and Rankine Regeneration cycle. It also covers the gas turbine as an alternative power generating method. The Module also enhances the knowledge of heat transfer application used in engineering devices and application.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module a student will be able to:
1 Develop and Analyse power plant based on Simple Rankine cycle, Reheat Cycle and Regeneration cycle.
2 Develop an awareness of fouling, relationship for effectiveness and analyse heat exchanger using effectiveness-NTU method.
3 Apply the principles of heat transfer to engineering situations and the design of heat transfer equipment.
4 Undertake the critical thermodynamic design of such equipment for a particular duty.

Indicative content

Development of steam cycles from Rankine through superheat, reheat and feed heating. Modification for nuclear plant, moisture removal and live steam reheating.

Introduction of supercharging and turbocharging of IC engines and the introduction of Rotary engine.

Description of combustion characteristics of SI and CI engines. Effect of fuel properties and limitations on engine performance.
Development of GT engine cycles from the simple cycle through reheat, intercooled and the use of heat exchangers. The application of single and multi shaft GT engines for power generation and the matching of engine component characteristics for particular types of load.

The general conduction equation and solution for simple geometries. Numerical solutions by finite element methods. Conduction shape factors and lumped capacity approach.

Classification of forced/free convection for turbulent and lamina flow. Analytical solutions for a particular case DA representation.

Definition of black body, grey body and Kirchoff's Law. The geometric shape factor and exchange between grey bodies in large enclosures,

Teaching and learning activity

A two-hour lecture per week on the topic is provided with tutorial and class activity to supplement the knowledge and understanding of the subject. Students were encouraged to research the current accepted engineering practice in relation to energy usage through the participation of case study and investigation of the application of current energy usage efficiently. This is part of self-learning activity as part of the learning process that enhances the knowledge. Practical session helps students to underpin the knowledge gained during lecture and self-study.


Students are required to pass all elements of summative assessment in order to pass the course.

Practical - 30%
LO - 1,3,4.
Pass mark - 40%
1 hour.
Thermal Power Plant design exercise.

Exam - 70%
LO - 1,2,4.
Pass mark - 40%
2 hours.
Closed book exam.

Nature of FORMATIVE assessment supporting student learning:
Mock exam