paper-plane envelope home office pencil quill pen image images camera play bullhorn connection mic file-text2 file-picture file-music file-play file-video copy folder folder-open folder-plus folder-minus folder-download folder-upload price-tag price-tags ticket phone envelop pushpin location compass map map2 clock alarm fax mobile bubble bubbles user users user-plus user-minus user-check quotes-left quotes-right search pie-chart stats-dots stats-bars airplane cloud-download cloud-upload earth link flag eye eye-blocked arrow-up-left arrow-up arrow-up-right arrow-right arrow-down-right arrow-down arrow-down-left arrow-left2 share amazon google-plus google-drive facebook instagram twitter rss youtube flickr dropbox linkedin file-pdf file-openoffice file-word file-excel

UCL Mechanical Engineering
Faculty of Engineering Sciences


MECHGM01 Applied Thermodynamics and Turbomachinery

MECHGM01 Applied Thermodynamics and Turbomachinery

Develop a good understanding of the various gas turbine, steam turbine and combined cycles for electricity generation. Understand basic fundamentals of turbomachinery with particular emphasize on axial turbomachinery. Understand the basic fundamentals of fuel cells. Develop a good understanding of the thermodynamic, design and operating principles of diesel engines including four- and two-stroke naturally aspirated and turbocharged units. Gain an appreciation of diesel engine environmental pollutants and their mitigation. At the end of the course students will be able to:

  • Understand the main sources of CO2 emission from different sources and especially power generation and the effect of different trends in power generation on emissions.
  • Understand the effect of intercooling, recuperator and reheat on gas turbine efficiency and specific work.
  • Understand impact of gas turbine pressure ratio and maximum temperature on optimum efficiency for different gas turbine cycles.
  • Carry out preliminary analysis of intercooled/recuperated gas turbine.
  • Effect of free power turbine and its applications in marine field.
  • Understand the main features of steam cycles and main parameters affecting cycle efficiency.
  • Understand the effect of reheating and direct contact and non-contact feed heaters in steam cycles.
  • Carry out basic cycle analysis for combined cycle plants in terms of efficiency, work ratio, ratio of mass flow rate in steam to gas turbine cycle, pinch point temperature.
  • Understand impact of dual and triple pressure levels on combined cycle efficiency.
  • Understand velocity triangles in axial compressor and turbines and main geometrical and flow related parameters and main non-dimensional groups for characterising turbomachinery.
  • Understand the characteristic of turbomachinery and off-design flow effects such as surge.
  • Carry out matching computations between compressor and turbine for generator sets and free power turbines.
  • Understand the basic designs of combustion chambers and cooling arrangements and emission problems from gas turbines.
  • Understand basic fundamentals of fuel cells, Gibbs function and ideal efficiency, main sources of loss in PEM and SOFC fuel cells.
  • Use basic empirical functions for fuel cells to predict the actual voltage for PEM and SOFC.
  • Use basic thermodynamic cycles to identify the main variables affecting spark and compression ignition engine efficiency.
  • Understand and describe the gas exchange and combustion processes in diesel engines.
  • Describe basic models to represent various gas dynamic and thermodynamic processes in diesel engines
  • Analyse the performance of two stroke diesel engines, including large displacement slow speed engines used for marine propulsion and stationary power generation
  • Analyse and evaluate the performance of naturally aspirated and turbocharged diesel engines, including the compressor and turbine power requirements and the enhancement in engine power output and efficiency
  • Gain an appreciation of a wider range of topics on fuels and combustion in reciprocating engines via coursework and student presentations
Alt. Codes(s) MECHM005
Title Applied Thermodynamics and Turbomachinery
Level MSc / MEng
UCL Credits/ECTS 15/6
Start September
End March
Taught by Professor Mehrdad Zanganeh (Module Coordinator)
Prof Nicos Ladommatos
Dr Paul Hellier


Completion of second year Thermodynamics (MECH2004)

Method of Instruction

Lecture presentations, tutorial classes and 2 pieces of course assignment. Parts of the lecture notes
(Slides and tutorials) are made available in Moodle before the lecture


The course has the following assessment components:

  • Written Examination (2 hours, 65%)
  • A critical review/ appraisal of a chosen topic related to application of fuel cell(e.g.automotive, submarine, 100 person ferry or combined gas turbine and SOFC.). Submission is on “turnitin”.
  • Critical written review of a chosen topic on fuels and combustion. Students encouraged to use IMechE and IMarEst libraries for sources. Submission through Moodle. Individual Power Point presentation of the review by each student to their class.

To pass this course, students must:

  • Obtain an overall pass mark of 50% for all sections combined

Recommended Reading

  • Fuel cell systems explained, J Larminie & A Dicks, John Wiley, second edition, 2003.
  • ISBN 0-470-84857-X. (comprehensive coverage of all types of fuel cell and manufacture of hydrogen)
  • Fuel cell fundamentals, R O’Hayre, S-W Cha, W Colella & F B Prinz, John Wiley, 2006.
  • ISBN 0-471-74148-0. (readable explanation of basic electrochemistry and how it affects fuel cells) Gas Turbine, Combined Cycle, Turbomachinery
  • Cohen, H., Rogers, G.F.C. and Saravanamuttoo, H.I.H., ‘Gas Turbine Theory’, Longman, 5th
  • Edition, 2001. Chapters 1 and 2 provide a very good introduction to gas turbines.
  • Haywood, R.W., ‘Analysis of Engineering Cycles – Power, Refrigerating and Gas Liquefaction
  • Plant’, Pergamon, 4th Edition, 1991. (VA 166) Older text dealing with the thermodynamics of gas turbine and steam cycles. Relevant material can be found in Chapters 1, 2, 3, 6 and 7.
  • Kehlhofer, R., Bachmann, R, Nielsen, H. And Warner, J., ‘Combined Cycle gas turbine Power Plants’, Pennwell, 2nd edition.- More practical aspect of combined cycles
  • Horlock, J.H. ‘Combined Power Plants’, Pergamon, 1992. (VA 165) Deals with cycle analysis.
  • Stone, R., ‘Introduction to Internal Combustion Engines’ Palgrave, 1999, especially chapters 2, 3, 5, 7, and 9
  • Heywood, J. B., Internal Combustion Engine Fundamentals, McGraw-Hill, 1988 or later editions. Excellent book, more advanced than the R. Stone book
Back to top