Thermal Engineering

Universidad de Deusto - Bilbao

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Thermal Engineering

  • Host University

    Universidad de Deusto - Bilbao

  • Location

    Bilbao, Spain

  • Area of Study

    Mechanical Engineering

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

    Hours & Credits

  • Contact Hours

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    This subject belongs to the module "Specific Technologies" of the degree of Mechanical Engineering and it develops the specific competence " Applied knowledge of thermal engineering”.

    The professionals in this field can develop projects related to:

    * The analysis and selection of the heat transfer devices which are suitable for different industrial applications, such as radiators, condensers, recovers, etc.

    * The design and fabrication of heat machines or its components, such as combustion engines, gas turbines, water vapor turbines, refrigerators, heat pumps, etc.

    For this reason, in this subject calculation methods for heat exchangers, such as LMTD and NTU methods, are explained in the first place. Then different models for the thermodynamic analysis of gas and vapor heat machines are introduced, explaining some of their different constructive aspects. The final part of the subject studies the refrigeration cycles that allow the thermal analysis of the cold generating machines.


    In order to follow properly this course the student should have acquired the competences related to Fluid Mechanics and Thermodynamics.



    Steady state heat transfer in plane walls. Generalized networks of thermal resistances. Heat conduction in cylinders.

    Isolation critical ratio. Heat transfer from surfaces with fins.


    Natural and forced convection. Velocity limit layer and thermal limit layer. Typical correlations in engineering applications.


    Types of heat exchangers. Heat exchanger global coefficient. Heat Exchangers analysis. LMTD Method. NTU method.

    Heat exchangers selection. Laboratory experiments.


    The Otto cycle as the ideal one for provoked lit engines. The Diesel cycle as the ideal one for compression lit engines.

    Stirling and Ericsson cycles. Brayton cycle as the ideal cycle for gas turbines. Variations of the Brayton cycle: regeneration, intercooling. Laboratory experiments.


    The Rankine cycle as the ideal one for vapor power cycles. Deviation from the real vapor cycles compared to the ideal ones. How to improve the efficiency of the Rankine cycle. Rankine cycle with heating . Regenerative Rankine cycle.

    Combined cycles.


    Refrigerators and heat pumps. Carnot inverted cycle. Vapor compression ideal refrigeration cycle. Vapor compression real refrigeration cycle. Heat pumps. Laboratory experiments.


    Following the Learning Model of Deusto University, the beginning of each new unit will be devoted to introduce both the terminology and the main elements and concepts in order to establish the context of the subject. This introduction will specially highlight the relation of the unit with the academic and professional profile of the degree. Next, the theoretical concepts will be explained and developed. These concepts will allow the resolution of practical problems. In some cases, experiments will be carried out in the laboratory to compare the experimental results with the theoretical concepts lectured. Finally, each unit will be evaluated in accordance to the guidelines described in the Evaluation section.

    Besides, the students will study during their personal working time both theoretical and practical exercises. A reference book and some complementary bibliography will be recommended. At the same time, they will be able to access in the "Alud" platform to complementary material uploaded by the lecturer in order to develop the different assignments that will be proposed.

    In order to help the student in the learning process, the lecturer will offer desk office hours during the semester to solve doubts that can arise during their personal study.

    To develop the generic competence, the students will have to read a book about the different methodologies for oral presentations.


    The activities to be evaluated are of two types: continuous assessment activities (CA) and final evaluation activities (FE).

    Continuous assessment activities developed by the student during the semester (CA):

    * A computer-aided individual work of heat transfer which is 10% of the total mark.

    * A mid-term evaluation exam, that will be 30% of the student final mark.

    * Some group exercises which will be 5% of the total mark.

    * An oral group presentation which will be 10% of the total mark.


    Final Evaluation activity (FE):

    * A final individual exam. It will consist on the resolution of a series of exercise in a predefine amount of time. It will represent 45 % of the final mark of the student.

    Adding all the percentages assigned to the different activities 100% of the student mark is reached. The student will perform all these activities and they will receive both a formative and an additive evaluation.

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.

Please note that some courses with locals have recommended prerequisite courses. It is the student's responsibility to consult any recommended prerequisites prior to enrolling in their course.