About this Course
COURSE DESCRIPTION This course provides an introduction to the most powerful engineering principles you will ever learn - Thermodynamics: the science of transferring energy from one place or form to another place or form. We will introduce the tools you need to analyze energy systems from solar panels, to engines, to insulated coffee mugs. More specifically, we will cover the topics of mass and energy conservation principles; first law analysis of control mass and control volume systems; properties and behavior of pure substances; and applications to thermodynamic systems operating at steady state conditions. COURSE FORMAT The class consists of lecture videos, which average 8 to 12 minutes in length. The videos include integrated In-Video Quiz questions. There are also quizzes at the end of each section, which include problems to practice your analytical skills that are not part of video lectures. There are no exams. GRADING POLICY Each question is worth 1 point. A correct answer is worth +1 point. An incorrect answer is worth 0 points. There is no partial credit. You can attempt each quiz up to three times every 8 hours, with an unlimited number of total attempts. The number of questions that need to be answered correctly to pass are displayed at the beginning of each quiz. Following the Mastery Learning model, students must pass all 8 practice quizzes with a score of 80% or higher in order to complete the course. ESTIMATED WORKLOAD If you follow the suggested deadlines, lectures and quizzes will each take approximately ~3 hours per week each, for a total of ~6 hours per week. TARGET AUDIENCE Basic undergraduate engineering or science student. FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS - What are the prerequisites for taking this course? An introductory background (high school or first year college level) in chemistry, physics, and calculus will help you be successful in this class. -What will this class prepare me for in the academic world? Thermodynamics is a prerequisite for many follow-on courses, like heat transfer, internal combustion engines, propulsion, and gas dynamics, to name a few. -What will this class prepare me for in the real world? Energy is one of the top challenges we face as a global society. Energy demands are deeply tied to the other major challenges of clean water, health, food resources, and poverty. Understanding how energy systems work is key to understanding how to meet all these needs around the world. Because energy demands are only increasing, this course also provides the foundation for many rewarding professional careers.
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Beginner Level

Beginner Level

Clock

Approx. 20 hours to complete

Suggested: 12 hours of videos and quizzes
Comment Dots

English

Subtitles: English

Skills you will gain

Energy AnalysisMechanical EngineeringEnergy ConservationEnergy Systems
Globe

100% online courses

Start instantly and learn at your own schedule.
Beginner Level

Beginner Level

Clock

Approx. 20 hours to complete

Suggested: 12 hours of videos and quizzes
Comment Dots

English

Subtitles: English

Syllabus - What you will learn from this course

1

Section
Clock
2 hours to complete

Week 1

In this module, we frame the context of energy and power supply and demand around the world. You will learn that understanding and correctly using units are critical skills for successfully analyzing energy systems. It is also important to be able to identify and categorize systems as “open” or “closed” and “steady state” or “transient”. Thermodynamics is a topic that is very notation intense, but the notation is very helpful as a check on our assumptions and our mathematics. Additionally, in this module we will refresh our understanding of some common thermodynamic properties....
Reading
6 videos (Total 69 min), 1 reading, 1 quiz
Video6 videos
01.02 - Drivers for Changing the Way We Use Energy9m
01.03 - The Units of Energy and Power and the Sectors of Energy Supply and Demand13m
01.04 - Defining Open and Closed Systems12m
01.05 - Thermodynamic Properties9m
01.06 - Conservation of Energy for Closed Systems16m
Reading1 readings
Help us learn more about you!10m
Quiz1 practice exercises
Week 156m

2

Section
Clock
2 hours to complete

Week 2

In this module, we will get started with the fundamental definitions for energy transfer, including the definitions of work transfer and heat transfer. We will also show (by example) how state diagrams are valuable for explaining energy transfer processes. Then, we have all the tools we need to define the 1st Law of Thermodynamics also called the Conservation of Energy. Your second assignment will emphasize these principles and skills....
Reading
6 videos (Total 85 min), 1 quiz
Video6 videos
02.02 - Example: the Work Required to Compress Air17m
02.03 - The First Law of Thermodynamics for a Closed System10m
02.04 - Heat Transfer9m
02.05 - Phase Diagrams20m
02.06 - 2D Phase Diagrams17m
Quiz1 practice exercises
Week 228m

3

Section
Clock
2 hours to complete

Week 3

In this module, we introduce our first abstract concepts of thermodynamics properties – including the specific heats, internal energy, and enthalpy. It will take some time for you to become familiar with what these properties represent and how we use these properties. For example, internal energy and enthalpy are related to temperature and pressure, but they are two distinct thermodynamic properties. One of the hardest concepts of thermodynamics is relating the independent thermodynamic properties to each other. We have to become experts at these state relations in order to be successful in our analysis of energy systems. There are several common approximations, including the ideal gas model, which we will use in this class. The key to determining thermodynamic properties is practice, practice, practice! Do as many examples as you can....
Reading
6 videos (Total 88 min), 1 quiz
Video6 videos
03.02 - Internal Energy, Enthalpy, and the Specific Heats15m
03.03 - The Incompressible Substance and the Ideal Gas Models for Equations of State16m
03.04 - More Outcomes of the Ideal Gas Model15m
03.05 - Conservation of Mass for Open Systems11m
03.06 - Steam Turbine Example - Part 114m
Quiz1 practice exercises
Week 330m

4

Section
Clock
2 hours to complete

Week 4

In this module we introduce the combined application of the Conservation of Mass and the Conservation of Energy for system analysis. We also review the common assumptions for typical energy transfer devices, like heat exchangers, pumps and turbines. Together these components will form the basis for all power plants used around the world....
Reading
6 videos (Total 96 min), 1 quiz
Video6 videos
04.02 - Steady State, Steady Flow Devices24m
04.03 - Another Example: Compressing Water15m
04.04 - Steam Turbine Example - Part 211m
04.05 - Example of Cooling a Microprocessor - Starting the Analysis16m
04.06 - Steam Tables Discussion8m
Quiz1 practice exercises
Week 430m

5

Section
Clock
2 hours to complete

Week 5

In this module, we tackle some of the most difficult systems to analyze – transient or time-varying systems. Any system where the energy transfer changes as a function of time requires transient analysis. Not only are these difficult problems to analyze, they are also difficult systems to design and interrogate. Some important transient problems include the start-up of a gas turbine or an internal combustion engine. Such transients are becoming more integral to the electrical power grid due to the introduction of more renewable power sources which are also more intermittent. These are very relevant and timely topics for the stationary power sector....
Reading
5 videos (Total 81 min), 1 quiz
Video5 videos
05.02 - Transient Analysis - Setting Up the Governing Equations19m
05.03 - Transient Analysis - Reformulating the Problem14m
05.04 - Cycle Analysis - Power Cycles13m
05.05 - Refrigeration and Heat Pump Cycles15m
Quiz1 practice exercises
Week 530m

6

Section
Clock
2 hours to complete

Week 6

In this module, we introduce some of the concepts of the Second Law of Thermodynamics. We will only discuss a small fraction of the vast material that falls under the topic of the Second Law. I encourage you to explore beyond our course material for very interesting discussions on the outcomes of the Second Law which include entropy, the absolute temperature scale and Carnot cycles. The most important aspect for our class, is that the Second Law provides a basis for defining the theoretical maximums and minimums for processes. Using these limits, we can define device and system efficiencies. We demonstrate these limits with examples of basic power plants. A good “take-home” exercise is to apply these limits to some of the devices and systems you see every day around you....
Reading
6 videos (Total 118 min), 1 quiz
Video6 videos
06.02 - The Carnot Cycle20m
06.03 - The Rankine Power Plant20m
06.04 - A Brief Introduction to Ideal Performance and Entropy18m
06.05 - More Advanced Methods to Increase the Efficiency of Rankine Power Plants20m
06.06 - More Discussion on the Concepts and Theory of the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics19m
Quiz1 practice exercises
Week 624m

7

Section
Clock
1 hour to complete

Week 7

In this module we focus on in-depth analysis of a Rankine power plant. The Rankine power plant is the fundamental design for stationary power generation when the working fluid is water (or steam) and the energy carrier is nuclear, coal, gas, or thermal solar power. We also learn that conventional power plants generate a lot of waste heat! Co-generation is a great way to use that waste heat. Can you think of a few ways you might capture waste heat and use it productively? Then you might have your next environmentally sustainable business venture!...
Reading
6 videos (Total 62 min), 1 quiz
Video6 videos
07.02 - Example of Analysis of a Rankine Power Plant - Part 2: Finding ALL the State Information11m
07.03 - Example of Analysis of a Rankine Power Plant - Part 3: Putting it all Together, Cycle Analysis13m
07.04 - Example of Analysis of a Rankine Power Plant - Part 4: What the Results Tell Us10m
07.05 - How we can Dramatically Improve Thermal Efficiencies - An Introduction to Waste Heat Recovery8m
07.06 - Let's Look Inside a Jet Engine3m
Quiz1 practice exercises
Week 728m

8

Section
Clock
2 hours to complete

Week 8

In this module, we have a brief discussion of energy carriers – including fossil fuels and battery materials. These lectures highlight the thermodynamic properties of these energy carriers and storage materials that make these systems so attractive and at the same time, so difficult to replace. As this is our last module of the course, I hope you have enjoyed this Introduction to Thermodynamics and that you have learned some new skills. Good luck on all your adventures in energy systems!,...
Reading
6 videos (Total 72 min), 1 reading, 1 quiz
Video6 videos
08.02 - More Waste Heat Recovery - Combined Cycles17m
08.03 - Carbon Reserves and Global Warming12m
08.04 -Energy Carriers7m
08.05 - Setting the Bar for Performance17m
08.06 -The Hardware of Our Internal Combustion Engines4m
Reading1 readings
Post-course Survey10m
Quiz1 practice exercises
Week 824m
4.7
Direction Signs

50%

started a new career after completing these courses
Briefcase

83%

got a tangible career benefit from this course
Money

40%

got a pay increase or promotion

Top Reviews

By TOApr 11th 2018

Great practical information to thermodynamical processes and machines with many calculated examples. A bit light on the fundamental definitions, like entropy, but very good for hands-on work.

By BGAug 29th 2017

I really enjoyed this course. The lecture contents are clear with a lot of examples. It gives an overview and different possibilites from the first and second principles of thermodynamics.

Instructor

Avatar

Margaret Wooldridge, Ph.D.

Arthur F. Thurnau Professor

About University of Michigan

The mission of the University of Michigan is to serve the people of Michigan and the world through preeminence in creating, communicating, preserving and applying knowledge, art, and academic values, and in developing leaders and citizens who will challenge the present and enrich the future....

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