CE1THT-Thermodynamics and Heat Transfer

Module Provider: School of Construction Management and Engineering, School of Built Environment
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Spring term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2020/1

Module Convenor: Dr Maria Vahdati

Email: m.m.vahdati@reading.ac.uk

Type of module:

Summary module description:

This module introduces the theory and application of thermodynamics and heat transfer in Architectural Engineering and preparing students to the next level of studying energy and environmental systems in the built environment. Students study and explore different forms of heat transfer, the zeroth and first laws of thermodynamics, the concept of entropy, thermodynamic cycles together with the second and third laws of thermodynamics and develop problem-solving skills essential to good engineering practice for analysing heat transfer and using principles of thermodynamics in real-world applications.


The aim of this module is to provide students with the principles of heat transfer and thermodynamics and enable them to analyse the thermodynamic systems and heat transfer processes including different forms of heat transfer in buildings.

Assessable learning outcomes:

On successful completion of this module the student should be able to:

  • Explain the fundamental principles and laws of heat transfer and thermodynamics and to explore the implications of these principles for studying behaviour of thermal systems,  

  • Apply the working relationships involved in the behaviour and performance of power and refrigeration cycles,

  • Analyse one-dimensional steady-state conduction heat transfer by apply ing the heat balance equation,

  • Formulate the heat transfer process for a given engineering problem by applying the appropriate equations,

  • Assess the relevance and impact and mechanism of heat transfer in a given engineering application/context.

Additional outcomes:

  • To understand the mathematical underpinning of heat transfer analysis and corresponding problem-solving techniques,

  • To Identify the dominant heat transfer mechanisms and qualitative estimation of its importance,

  • To discuss the best heat transfer solutions for a given engineering problem.

Outline content:

  • Heat and other forms of energy

  • Concept of a thermodynamic system and control volume

  • Laws of thermodynamics

  • Thermodynamic cycles

  • An introduction to irreversibility and availability

  • Energy balance for closed systems and steady-flow systems

  • Heat transfer mechanisms, conduction, convection and radiation

  • Steady heat conduction

  • One-dimensional heat conduction, boundary and initial conditions

  • Simultaneous heat transfer mechanisms

  • Heat exchangers

  • Numerical methods for heat transfer

Global context:

The skills and knowledge that students will acquire from this module have global applications.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

Teaching in this module will be by means of lectures and tutorials. These sessions will be complemented by guided independent study.

Independent study hours needed depend on the learning style of each individual. The following guide for independent study hours is just an example.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 20
Tutorials 10
Placement 2
Guided independent study:      
    Wider reading (independent) 19
    Wider reading (directed) 5
    Exam revision/preparation 15
    Peer assisted learning 5
    Advance preparation for classes 10
    Preparation for tutorials 10
    Revision and preparation 4
Total hours by term 0 85 15
Total hours for module 100

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 80
Set exercise 20

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment by examination will be based on a 2-hour examination in May/June.

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

There will be a set exercise test that will be assessed summatively and should be submitted online by the end of week 11 of the spring term.

Formative assessment methods:

This module includes formative assessment of a set of exercises and problem-solving practices about heat transfer processes and thermodynamic analysis that will be discussed in tutorial sessions.

Penalties for late submission:

The Module Convenor will apply the following penalties for work submitted late:

  • where the piece of work is submitted after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for that piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day[1] (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.
The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at: http://www.reading.ac.uk/web/FILES/qualitysupport/penaltiesforlatesubmission.pdf
You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

Assessment requirements for a pass:

A mark 0f 40%

Reassessment arrangements:

Students who have failed in their first attempt will be provided with an opportunity to re-sit in a two-hour re-examination.

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

Last updated: 29 May 2020


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