You are on page 1of 25

Basic Concepts


Laws of Thermodynamics

Heat Transfer

Fluid Mechanics

Metallic Material


( )
( )
Working medium: a working medium is a medium
such as gas, steam, etc. used to effect the
change of thermal energy into mechanical energy
in the heat engine; through the change of working
medium state (such as expansion) in the heat
engine, work can be generated.

Temperature: a physical property of matter that

quantitatively expresses the common notions of
hot and cold.

Pressure: pressure is the amount of perpendicular
force acting on a unit area. The symbol for
pressure is P.

Specific volume: specific volume is the volume of
a substance divided by mass. The symbol for
specific pressure is v.

Work: work is the amount of energy transferred by

a force acting through a distance in the direction
of the force; it is the product of the force and the

Power: power is the average amount of work

done or energy converted per unit of time. The
unit of power is watt.

Energy: energy is the ability to do work. The forms of

energy include: kinetic energy, potential energy,
luminous energy, electrical energy, and thermal
energy. Energy in thermodynamics generally refers
to kinetic energy, potential energy, and thermal
energy ect.

Kinetic energy: kinetic energy refers to the ability to

do work which an object possesses due to its motion.
The kinetic energy is closely associated with the
mass and the velocity of the moving object. The
speed and the mass are in positive proportion to the
kinetic energy.

Internal energy: internal energy consists of internal

kinetic energy due to the motion of molecules and the
potential energy due to attraction between molecules.
The internal energy of an object is associated with the
temperature of the object. The higher the temperature
is, the faster the molecules move, hence the higher the
internal energy is generated.

Heat: heat is the energy transferred between physical

entities. Heat flows spontaneously from systems of
higher temperature to systems of lower temperature; the
amount of energy transferred is called heat.

Mechanical energy: mechanical energy is the

energy an object has in mechanical movement, a
regular movement, which is a macroscopic
behavior; it is associated with the motion or
position of an object.

Adiabatic process: an adiabatic process is the

process in which there is no heat transfer from or
to the working fluid inside of thermally-insulated

Thermodynamic cycle: a thermodynamic cycle

refers to the complete process of certain working
substance going through a series of state
variations and eventually returning to its initial

Laws of Thermodynamics

The second law of thermodynamics

Definition: the second law of thermodynamics is one

of the basic laws of thermodynamics. It states that
heat cannot spontaneously be conducted or radiated
from a lower-temperature region to a highertemperature region, that it is impossible to take heat
from single heat source and transfer it completely
into active work without other energy change, and
that in the irreversible heat transfer process the
entropy amount always increases.

The second law of thermodynamics tells the

direction, condition, and degree of energy transfer
and conversion. The law is expressed in two
statements. From the perspective of energy transfer,
it states that heat cannot spontaneously transfer from
lower-temperature object to higher-temperature
object. From the perspective of energy conversion, it
states that there is no such thermo motor as needing
no other changes but taking heat from a single heat
source and converting it completely into work.

Rankine cycle

In thermo power plant where steam is the working

medium, the saturated steam is further heated in the
superheater; the superheated steam expands and
does work in the insulated steam turbine. Exhaust
steam from the steam turbine is condensed into water
in the condenser. Water pump, whose function equals
to the compressor in the Carnot cycle, pumps the
condensed water into the boiler to be heated and
circulated. The steam-water cycle as such is called
Rankine cycle.

Reheat cycle

The reheat cycle is a kind of cycle in which steam

that has done some work in the HP casing is
inducted to the reheater to be reheated to the initial
temperature; the reheated temperature is then
inducted to the IP and LP casings to do work. The
exhaust steam from the LP casing then exits to the

Heat and electricity combined supply system

( )

In the power plant, heat of the exhaust steam (extracted

or discharged) from steam turbine is supplied to heat
users. This can avoid or reduce the cooling source loss
in the condenser and thus increasing thermal efficiency
of the plant. Such a process of producing electricity and
heat at the same time is called heat and electricity
combined supply system. Steam has two sources in this
cycle, one is the exhaust steam from backpressure
steam turbine; the other is the steam extracted from
automatic extraction turbine.

Feedwater heat recovery cycle

Feedwater heat recovery cycle is a cycle to

extract some of the steam that has performed
work in the steam turbine to the heater to heat the

Heat Transfer

Heat transfer: heat transfer refers to the

exchange of thermal energy between physical
entities. There are three forms of heat transfer:
heat conduction, convection, and thermal

Heat conduction: heat conduction, or conduction, is the

transfer of thermal energy from a region of higher
temperature to a region of lower temperature through a
matter itself or between two adjacent objects without
motion of the matter.

Convection: convection is the heat exchange within

fluids and rheids of different temperature due to relative
motion. Convection in engineering refers to the heat
transfer between the fluid and the surface of solids it
contacts; it is a comprehensive result of heat conduction
and convection. The major factor to decide heat transfer
efficiency is the motion of matter in convection.

0.1 100

Thermal radiation: thermal radiation is a phenomenon

that all matter with a temperature greater than
absolute zero emits thermal radiation. It is
electromagnetic radiation whose wave length is 0.1100 m, therefore, unlike other heat transfer modes,
thermal radiation can take place in vacuum without
any medium. The sun transfers huge energy to the
earth by means of emitting thermal radiation. All
matter has thermal radiation ability that is in
quadruplicate proportion to its absolute temperature,
and all matter has ability to absorb the thermal
radiation emitted from its surroundings. The
comprehensive result of heat transfer due to radiation
and absorption is called thermal radiation.

Heat transfer does not happen in single

form. For example, the heat transfer from
the flame to the furnace wall is a
comprehensive result of radiation,
convection and conduction; each form is
subject to its own law.

Heat transfers in two forms from the steam to the

surface of metal parts of the steam turbine:

a) when the metal temperature is lower than the

saturated steam temperature, heat transfers as the
steam condenses and releases heat.

b) when the metal temperature equals to or is

slightly higher than the saturated steam temperature,
heat transfers in the form of convection.

Fluid Mechanics

Fluid mechanics is the study of fluid motion and its

application. An important branch of mechanics, fluid
mechanics is the study of fluid state under various
forces and the interactive forces between fluid and
solid surface, between fluids, and between fluid and
other dynamic forms. In other words, it is the study of
fluid at rest and the fluid in motion and the study of the
interaction and fluid flowing pattern when there is
relative motion between fluid and solid surface.

The law of conservation of mass

The law of conservation of momentum

Metallic Material

Thermal stress: thermal stress is a measure of the

internal force acting within the deformable body when
parts deformation is constrained due to internal and
external temperature difference.

Heat fatigue: heat fatigue refers to the

progressive structural damage that occurs
when metallic parts are heated and cooled
repeatedly, causing an alternating, cyclic
thermal stress that the metallic parts are
subject to.


Heat fatigue and fatigue strength: in engineering, many parts

are subject to loads that vary not only in amount but also in
direction, such as the teeth of the gear and the shaft of the
rotating mechanism. This kind of load is called alternating
load; it will cause a stress named alternating stress that varies
with time in the parts. When the parts are subject to the
constant alternating stress, it will crack under a stress that is
below the material strength threshold b or even below the
yielding threshold s. Such a phenomenon is called fatigue.
The maximum stress that does not initiate fracture even when
the metallic material is subject to repeated alternating stress is
called fatigue limit or fatigue strength.

Stress Relaxation: if the total deformation of metallic

parts does not change under high temperature and
a certain initial stress, as time goes on, the stress
will decrease gradually. This phenomenon is called
stress relaxation, or relaxation for short.

Thermal shock: when the metallic material is

violently heated or cooled, huge temperature
difference will be caused in its interior, which causes
huge shock stress. This phenomenon is called
thermal shock.

Creep: creep is the tendency of metallic material to

gradually and constantly deform under the force
that is below the yielding threshold of the material
as a result of long-time exposure to high