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JJ207-THERMODYNAMICS 1

Topic 1- Fundamental Concept of Thermodynamics

TOPIC 1
FUNDAMENTAL CONCEPT OF THERMODYNAMICS
At the end of the topic you will be able to:
Describe the concepts of dimension, SI and imperial units
Describe the dimensional homogeneity
Solve unit conversion
Define the principles of a system, boundary, surrounding, differentiate between
open and closed system.
Define energy conversion.
Compare the properties of systems, state and equilibrium.
Define process and cycle.
State and explain Zeroth's law of thermodynamics.

1.0

INTRODUCTION

he study of thermodynamics is concerned with the ways energy is stored within a body
and how energy transformations, which involve heat and work, may take place. One of
the most fundamental laws of nature is the conservation of energy principle. It simply
states that during an energy interaction, energy can change from one form to another but the
total amount of energy remains constant. That is, energy cannot be created or destroyed.
Did you realize that the work of an engineer is limited unless he has a source of power
to drive his machines or tools? However, before such a study can begin, it is necessary to be
sure of the number of definitions and units, which are essential for a proper understanding of
the subject. We are familiar with most of these items in our everyday lives, but science
demands that we have to be exact in our understanding if real progress is to be made.
When engineering calculations are performed, it is necessary to be concerned with the
units of the physical quantities involved. A unit is any specified amount of a quantity by
comparison with which any other quantity of the same kind is measured. For example, meters,
centimeters and millimeters are all units of length. Seconds, minutes and hours are alternative
time units.

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JJ207-THERMODYNAMICS 1

Topic 1- Fundamental Concept of Thermodynamics

1.1

Fundamental Concept of Thermodynamics


An important component to the solution to any engineering thermodynamic problem
requires the proper use of units. The unit check is the simplest of all engineering checks that
can be made for a given solution. Since units present a major hindrance to the correct solution
of thermodynamic problems, we must learn to use units carefully and properly. The system of
units selected for this course is the SI System that is also known as the International System
(sometimes called the metric system). In SI, the units of mass, length, and time are the kilogram
(kg), meter (m), and second (s), respectively.
1.1.1

Concepts of dimension, SI and imperial units

Any physical situation can be described by certain familiar properties e.g. length,
velocity, area, volume, acceleration etc. These are all known as dimensions. Of course
dimensions are of no use without a magnitude being attached. We must know more than that
something has a length. It must also have a standardized unit - such as a meter, a foot, a yard
etc. Dimensions are properties which can be measured. Units are the standard elements we use
to quantify these dimensions. In dimensional analysis we are only concerned with the nature of
the dimension i.e. its quality not its quantity. The following common abbreviation are used:
length = L, mass = M, time = T, force = F.
In this module we are only concerned with L, M, T and F. We can represent all the
physical properties we are interested in with L, T and one of M or F (F can be represented by a
combination of LTM). These notes will always use the LTM combination.
The following table lists dimensions of some common physical quantities:
Quantity
velocity
acceleration
force
energy (or work)

power

pressure ( or stress)
density
specific weight

SI Unit
m/s
m/s2
N
kg m/s2
Joule J
N m,
kg m2/s2
Watt W
N m/s
kg m2/s3
Pascal P,
N/m2,
kg/m/s2
kg/m3
N/m3
kg/m2/s2

.
ms
ms-2

Dimension
LT-1
LT-2

kg ms-2

M LT-2

kg m2s-2

ML2T-2

Nms-1
kg m2s-3

ML2T-3

Nm-2
kg m-1s-2
kg m-3

ML-1T-2
ML-3

kg m-2s-2

ML-2T-2

-1

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JJ207-THERMODYNAMICS 1

Topic 1- Fundamental Concept of Thermodynamics

In the present discussion, we consider the system of units called SI (International


System of Units) and it is a legally accepted system in many countries. SI units will be used
throughout this module.
Length, mass, time, electric current, thermodynamic temperature and luminous intensity
are the six fundamental physical quantities. These six quantities are absolutely independent of
one another. They are also called the Indefinables of mechanics. The SI base units are listed in
Table 1.1-1.
Table 1.1-1 Fundamental units
Quantity

Unit

Symbol

Mass
Time
Length
Thermodynamic temperature
Electric current
Luminous intensity

kilogram
second
meter
degree Kelvin
ampere
candela

kg
s
m
K
A
cd

All other physical quantities, which can be expressed in terms of one or more of these,
are known as derived quantities. The unit of length, mass, time, electric current,
thermodynamic temperature and luminous intensity are known as fundamental units. Physical
quantities like area, volume, density, velocity, acceleration, force, energy, power, torque etc. are
called derived quantities since they depend on one or more of these fundamental quantities. The
units of the derived quantities are called derived units as shown in Table 1.1-2.
Table 1.1-2 Derived units
Quantity

Unit

Symbol

Area
Volume
Velocity
Acceleration
Density

meter square
meter cube
meter per second
Meter per second
squared
kilogram / meter cube

kg/m3

Force
Pressure

Newton
Newton/meter square

N
N/m2

m2
m3
m/s
m/s2

Notes
1 m3 = 1 x 103 litre

1 N = 1 kgm/s2
1 N/m2 = 1 Pascal
1 bar = 105 N/m2 = 102 kN/m2

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JJ207-THERMODYNAMICS 1

Topic 1- Fundamental Concept of Thermodynamics

Often times, the engineer must work in other systems of units. Comparison of the
United States Customary Units (USCS), or English, and the slug systems of units with the SI
system is shown below.
mass
time
length
force

1.1.2

SI
kilogram (kg)
second (s)
meter (m)
Newton (N)

USCS
pound-mass (lbm)
second (s)
foot (ft)
pound-force (lbf)

Slug
slug-mass (slug)
second (s)
foot (ft)
pound-force (lbf)

Dimensional Homogeneity

Dimensional homogeneity is the quality of an equation having quantities of same units on


both sides. A valid equation in physics must be homogeneous, since equality cannot apply
between quantities of different nature. This can be used to spot errors in formula or
calculations. For example, if one is calculating a speed, units must always combine to [length]/
[time]; if one is calculating an energy, units must always combine to [mass][length]/[time],
etc.
The Dimensional Homogeneity

1.1.3

Despite their causing us errors, units/dimensions can be our friends.


All terms in an equation must be dimensionally homogeneous.
That is, we cant add apples to
oranges
Neither can we add J/mol to J/kg s.
By keeping track of our units/dimensions,
we can automatically do a reality check on
our equations.
But the fun doesnt stop there
A dimensional analysis can help to determine the form of an equation
that we may have forgotten.

Unit conversion

We all know from experience that conversion of units can give terrible headaches if
they are not used carefully in solving a problem. But with some attention and skill, conversion
of units can be used to our advantage.
Measurements that describe physical quantities may be expressed in a variety of
different units. As a result, one often has to convert a quantity from one unit to another. For
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JJ207-THERMODYNAMICS 1

Topic 1- Fundamental Concept of Thermodynamics

example, we would like to convert, say, 49 days into weeks. One approach is to multiply the
value by ratios of the equivalent units. The ratios are formed such that the old units are
cancelled, leaving the new units.
The example of unit conversions are:

1 kg = 1000 g

1 m = 100 cm = 1000 mm

1 km = 1000 m = (100 000 cm @ 105 cm) = (1 000 000 mm @ 106 mm)

1 hour = 60 minutes = 3600 seconds

1 m3 = 1000 litre, or 1 litre = 1 x 10-3 m3

1 bar = 1 x 105 N/m2 = 1 x 102 kN/m2


Multiple and sub-multiple of the basic units are formed by means of prefixes, and the
ones most commonly used are shown in the following table:
Table 1.1.3 Multiplying factors
Multiplying Factor
1 000 000 000 000
1 000 000 000
1 000 000
1 000
100
10
0.1
0.01
0.001
0.000 001
0.000 000 001
0.000 000 000 001

12

10
109
106
103
102
101
10-1
10-2
10-3
10-6
10-9
10-12

Prefix

Symbol

tera
giga
mega
kilo
hector
deca
desi
centi
milli
micro
nano
pico

T
G
M
k
h
da
d
c
m

n
p

Example 1.1
Convert 1 km/h to m/s.

Solution to Example 1.1

1 km 1 km 1000 m
1h

x
x
h
h
1 km
3600 s
1000 m

3600 s
0.278 m/s

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JJ207-THERMODYNAMICS 1

Topic 1- Fundamental Concept of Thermodynamics

Example 1.2
Convert 25 g/mm3 to kg/m3.
Solution to Example 1.2
1 kg = 1000 g
1 m = 1000 mm
1 m3 = 1000 x 1000 x 1000 mm3
= 109 m3

25 g
25 g
1 kg
10 9 mm 3

x
x
1000 g
mm 3
mm 3
1 m3
25 x 1 x 10 9 kg
1000 m 3
25 x 10 6 kg/m 3

Example 1.3
Convert 15 MN/m2 to N/m2

Solution to Example 1.3


1 MN = 106 N/m2

15 MN 15 MN 10 6 N

x
1 MN
m2
m2

Example 1.4

15 x 10 6 N/m 2

Convert 15 milligram per litre to kg/m3.

Solution to Example 1.4


1 kg = 1 000 000 mg
1 m3 = 1000 litre

15 mg
15 mg
1 kg
1000 litre

x
x
litre
litre
1 000 000 mg
1 m3
15 x 10 -3 kg/m 3

1.2.1

Fundamental concepts of system, boundary, surrounding, open and close system

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JJ207-THERMODYNAMICS 1

Topic 1- Fundamental Concept of Thermodynamics

A thermodynamic system, or simply a system, is defined as a quantity of matter or a


region in space chosen for study. The fluid contained by the cylinder head, cylinder walls and
the piston may be said to be the system.
The mass or region outside the system is called the surroundings. The surroundings
may be affected by changes within the system.
The boundary is the surface of separation between the system and its surroundings. It
may be the cylinder and the piston or an imaginary surface drawn as in Fig. 1.1, so as to enable
an analysis of the problem under consideration to be made.
Boundary
Surrounding

System
Figure 1.1

System, surroundings and boundary

A system can either to be close or open, depending on whether a fixed mass or a fixed
volume in space is chosen for study. A close system (also known as a control mass) consists of
a fixed amount of mass, and no mass can cross its boundary. That is, no mass can enter or leave
a close system, as shown in Fig. 1.2. But energy, in the form of heat or work can cross the
boundary, and the volume of a close system does not have to be fixed. Examples of closed
systems are sealed tanks and piston cylinder devices (note the volume does not have to be
fixed).
SURROUNDINGS
SYSTEM

S
I
S
T
E
M

BOUNDARY
Fig. 1.2 A closed system with a moving boundary
An open system, or a control volume, as it is often called, is a properly selected region
in space. It usually encloses a device, which involves mass flow such as a boiler, compressor,
turbine or nozzle. Flow through these devices is best studied by selecting the region within the
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Topic 1- Fundamental Concept of Thermodynamics

device as the control volume. Both mass and energy can cross the boundary of a control
volume, as shown in Fig. 1.3. Examples of open systems are pumps, compressors, turbines,
valves, and heat exchangers.
Fluid Inlet

SURROUNDINGS

QOUT
SYSTEM
WOUT

BOUNDARY
Fluid Outlet
Fig 1.3 Open system in turbine

1.2.2

Energy Conversion

Thermodynamics is the science of the relationship between heat, work, and systems that
analyze energy processes. The energy processes that convert heat energy from available sources
such as chemical fuels into mechanical work are the major concern of this science.
Thermodynamics consists of a number of analytical and theoretical methods which may be
applied to machines for energy conversion.
Energy is used in almost all facets of living and in all countries, and makes possible the
existence of ecosystems, human civilizations and life itself. Different regions and societies
adapt to their environments and determine their own energy resources and energy uses. The
standards of life achieved in countries are often a function of energy-related factors.
Energy can exist in many forms, and can be converted from one form to another with
energy conversion technologies. We use energy carriers (often simply referred to as energy),
produced from energy sources, in all aspects of living. It is important to distinguish between
energy forms, sources and carriers.
Energy forms. Energy comes in a variety of forms, including fossil fuels, fossil fuelbased products (e.g., gasoline, diesel fuel), uranium, electricity, work (such as the mechanical
energy in a rotating engine shaft), heat, heated substances (e.g., steam, hot air), light and other
electromagnetic radiation.
Energy sources. Energy resources (sometimes called primary energy forms) are found
in the natural environment. Some are available in finite quantities (e.g., fossil fuels, fossil
fuelcontaining substances such as oil sands, peat and uranium). Some energy resources are
renewable (or relatively renewable), including sunlight (or solar energy), falling water, wind,
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Topic 1- Fundamental Concept of Thermodynamics

tides, geothermal heat and biomass fuels (when the growth rate exceeds or meets the rate of
use). Energy resources are often processed from their raw forms prior to use.
Energy carriers. Energy carriers (sometimes called energy currencies) are the energy
forms that we transport and use, and include some energy resources (e.g., fossil fuels) and
processed energy forms (e.g., gasoline, electricity, work and heat). Processed energy forms are
not found in the environment.

1.2.3

Properties of systems, state and equilibrium.

Properties are macroscopic characteristics of a system such as mass, volume, energy,


pressure, and temperature to which numerical values can be assigned at a given time without
knowledge of the history of the system. Any characteristic of a system in equilibrium is called a
property. Many other properties are considered during the course of our study of engineering
thermodynamics. Thermodynamics also deals with quantities that are not properties, such as
mass flow rates and energy transfers by work and heat. Properties are considered to be either
intensive or extensive.
Intensive properties are those which are independent of the size of the system such as
temperature, pressure and density.
Extensive properties are those whose values depend on the size or extent of the system.
Mass, volume and total energy are some examples of extensive properties.
The word state refers to the condition of system as described by its properties. Since
there are normally relations among the properties of a system, the state often can be specified
by providing the values of a subset of the properties. Consider a system that is not undergoing
any change. The properties can be measured or calculated throughout the entire system. This
gives us a set of properties that completely describe the condition or state of the system. At a
given state all of the properties are known; changing one property changes the state.
An equilibrium state is one in which all the bulk physical properties of the system are
uniform throughout the system and do not change with time. Two variables are required to
specify an equilibrium state.
If two thermodynamic systems such as gases are put in thermal contact, after a time no
further changes in the pressures and volumes will occur, each gas being in an equilibrium state.
The gases are then said to be in thermal equilibrium with each other. A system is said to be in
thermodynamic equilibrium if it maintains thermal (uniform temperature), mechanical (uniform
pressure), phase (the mass of two phases, e.g. ice and liquid water, in equilibrium) and chemical
equilibrium.
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Topic 1- Fundamental Concept of Thermodynamics

(a) Before

(b) After
Fig. 1.4 Thermal equilibriums

1.2.4

Process and cycles

When there is a change in any of the properties of a system, the state changes and the
system are said to have undergone a process. A process is a transformation from one state to
another. However, if a system exhibits the same values of its properties at two different times,
the state remains the same at these times. A system is said to be at a steady state if none of its
properties changes with time. A process occurs when a systems state (as measured by its
properties) changes for any reason.
Processes may be reversible or actual (irreversible). In this context the word reversible
has a special meaning. A reversible process is one that is wholly theoretical, but can be
imagined as one which occurs without incurring friction, turbulence, leakage or anything which
causes unrecoverable energy losses. All of the processes considered below are reversible and
the actual processes will be dealt with later. Processes may be constrained to occur at constant
temperature (isothermal), constant pressure, constant volume, polytropic and adiabatic (with no
heat transfer to the surroundings).

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Topic 1- Fundamental Concept of Thermodynamics

Fig. 1.5 Process path from initial (1) to final (2) state

A process (or a series of connected processes) with identical end states is called a cycle.
Below is a cycle composed of two processes, A and B. Along process A, the pressure and
volume change from state 1 to state 2. Then to complete the cycle, the pressure and volume
change from state 2 back to the initial state 1 along process B. Keep in mind that all other
thermodynamic properties must also change so that the pressure is functions of volume as
described by these two processes. The cycles studied in thermodynamics are combinations of
various thermodynamic processes, primarily isothermal, adiabatic, polytropic, isobaric(constant
pressure) and isochoric (constant volume) processes.

Fig. 1.6 A cycle composed of two processes


A thermodynamic cycle is a series of thermodynamic processes which returns a system
to its initial state. Properties depend only on the thermodynamic state and thus do not change
over a cycle. Variables such as heat and work are not zero over a cycle, but rather are process
dependent. The first law of thermodynamics dictates that the net heat input is equal to the net
work output over any cycle. The repeating nature of the process path allows for continuous
operation, making the cycle an important concept in thermodynamics. Thermodynamic cycles
often use quasistatic processes to model the workings of actual devices

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JJ207-THERMODYNAMICS 1

1.2.5

Topic 1- Fundamental Concept of Thermodynamics

Zeroth's law of thermodynamics

The zeroths law of thermodynamics is a generalization principle of the thermal


equilibrium among bodies, or thermodynamic systems, in contact. Systems are in thermal
equilibrium if they do not exchange energy in the form of heat.
The zeroths law states that if two systems are in thermal equilibrium with a third
system, then they are also in thermal equilibrium with each other.
This means that thermal equilibrium is transitive and it affords the definition of an
empirical physical parameter, called temperature, which is the same for all systems in thermal
equilibrium. The law permits the construction of a thermometer to measure this property.
A system is said to be in thermal equilibrium when it experiences no net change in thermal
energy. If A, B, and C are distinct thermodynamic systems, the zeroths law of thermodynamics
can then be expressed as:
"If A and C are each in thermal equilibrium with B, A is also in thermal equilibrium with C."
If we also grant that all thermodynamic systems are in thermal equilibrium with themselves,
then thermal equilibrium is also a reflexive relation. Relations that are both reflexive and
Euclidean are equivalence relations. One consequence of this reasoning is that thermal
equilibrium has a transitive relationship between the temperature T of A, B, and C:

If T (A) = T(B)
And T (B) = T(C)
Then T (A) = T(C).

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