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UCL Mechanical Engineering
Faculty of Engineering Sciences


MECHM005 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.

Code MECHM005
Alt. Code(s) MECHGM01
Title Applied Thermodynamics and Turbomachinery
Level M
UCL Credits/ECTS 0.5/7.5
Start September
End March
Taught by Prof Kai Lou (65%) Module Coordinator
Prof N Ladommatos (35%)
Dr Paul Hellier


Students considering registering for this course would normally be expected to have completed an intermediate level course in thermodynamics, e.g. MECH2004, although exposure to an advanced level course would be advantageous.

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 Cells

  • 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

MECHM005 Applied Thermodynamics and Turbomachinery


This course focuses upon the design features, operation and operating characteristics of internal combustion engines, gas turbines and steam power plant. The latter includes boilers, turbines and related plant such as feedwater and steam systems. In addition, fuels, fuel systems and fuel preparation for the various power plant are discussed. Lectures and discussions are supported by examples of the application of the various power plants within industry.

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