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SEM314 - Principles of Thermodynamics

Unit details

Year2016 unit information
Enrolment modes:

Not offered from 2016 onwards (replaced by SEM202)

Credit point(s):1
EFTSL value:0.125
Unit chair:

Subrat Das


SEP101 (SEM218 is highly recommended)



Incompatible with:


Contact hours:

Campus: 2 x 1 hour classes per week, 1 x 1 hour class per week, 1 x 1 hour seminar per week, 1 x 5 hour practical class per trimester. Students must attend and participate in compulsory activities for this unit at scheduled sessions on multiple days during the trimester.

Cloud (online): Learning experiences are via CloudDeakin. Students must attend and participate in mandatory activities at the Geelong Waurn Ponds Campus on the particular scheduled day during the trimester intensive week.


This unit includes: Introduction and definitions - general terminology, reversibility and reversible Work; the first law of thermodynamics - conservation of energy, non-flow energy equation and steady flow energy equation; the working fluids - P-V diagram for steam and use of steam tables, gas characteristic equation, Joule's Law, specific heat capacity, relationship of R, Cp and Cv.; reversible and irreversible processes - reversible non-flow process (e.g. constant pressure, constant volume, isothermal, adiabatic and polytropic); irreversible processes, reversible flow processes and non-steady flow processes; the second law of thermodynamics - statements of the 2nd law, entropy, T-5 diagram, reversible processes on a T-5 diagram, entropy and irreversibility; the heat engine cycles - the heat engine cycle (Carnot cycle and constant pressure cycle), air standard cycles (otto and dual combustion cycle) and mean effective pressure; steam power cycles - the Rankine cycle, thermal efficiency of the steam power plant, modified Rankine cycle, reheat and regenerative cycles.


Examination 60%, two problem-based assignment (10% each) 20%, practical work and report (20%).  To be eligible to obtain a pass in this unit, students must achieve an overall mark of at least 40% in the examination and compulsory attendance is required by all students to unit-specific activities at Waurn Ponds (Geelong). These unit-specific activities may be undertaken either at scheduled sessions on multiple days during the trimester or during a single day of unit-specific activities scheduled during the trimester intensive week.

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