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ES 405: Energy Science Fundamentals (SE)

Course Title

Energy Science Fundamentals (SE)

Course Code

ES 405

Course Type




Year / Semester

 1st / 1st

Instructor’s Name

 Salvatore Carlucci (Lead Instructor), Wojciech Lipiński



Lectures / week

 1 (1.5h)

Laboratories / week

 1 (1.5h)

Course Purpose and Objectives

The course covers thermodynamic and transport phenomena fundamentals of energy conversion, storage and transmission processes pertinent to understanding, design and optimisation of sustainable energy systems. Knowledge, tools, and skills necessary to assess the potential of energy use reduction and renewable energy integration are provided. The course deploys a research-based education modality to analyse performance of sustainable energy systems and components.

Learning Outcomes

At the end of the course, students should be able to:

  • understand the principles governing energy systems;
  • describe the main concepts of the thermodynamics and heat transfer;
  • apply the laws of thermodynamics and heat transfer to relevant applications;
  • analyse the energy and thermal behaviour of technological components; evaluate the performance of energy systems and building components



 Required  None 

Course Content

  • Introduction: Thermodynamic system definition and classification; microscopic vs macroscopic system description; extensive, intensive and specific properties; local thermodynamic equilibrium; thermodynamic process classification; thermal and energy nomenclature; state functions; forms of energy. First law of thermodynamics for closed
  • First law of thermodynamics for open systems: Mass and volumetric flow; enthalpy; stationary and transient analyses.
  • Second law of thermodynamics: Alternative statements; entropy and exergy; Clausius
  • Thermodynamic cycles: Performance metrics; power, refrigeration and heat pump
  • Psychrometry: Gas mixtures; psychrometric quantities and diagrams (Mollier, Carrier, ASHRAE).
  • Chemical thermodynamics: Reacting mixtures; chemical and phase
  • Conduction heat transfer I: Energy balance for a control volume; Fourier's postulate; heat diffusion equation; initial and boundary conditions; steady-state conduction
  • Conduction heat transfer II: Transient heat
  • Convection heat transfer I: Flow classification; convection boundary layers; mass, momentum and energy conservation equations for laminar flow over a flat plate; dimensional
  • Convection heat transfer II: Free convection; overview of computational fluid dynamics (CFD); heat exchangers.
  • Radiative heat transfer I: Electromagnetic radiation; thermal radiation; blackbody radiation laws; surface radiative properties; Kirchhoff’s law; view factor definition and algebra; radiative exchange in
  • Radiative heat transfer II. Radiative transfer in participating media; radiative transfer equation (RTE); radiative properties of gases, particles and semi-transparent media
  • Mass transfer: Fick’s law; heat and mass transfer analogy; mass transfer in non- stationary media; stationary medium approximation; conservation of species for a stationary medium; mass diffusion in systems with homogeneous chemical reactions.
  • Chemically reactive flows: chemical reaction and reactor classification; chemical kinetics; conservation equations; overview of thermo- and electro-chemical energy conversion and storage systems.

Teaching Methodology

 Lectures (2h / week) and tutorials (1h / week)


  • J. Moran, H.N. Shapiro, D.D. Boettner, M.B. Bailey. Fundamentals of Engineering Thermodynamics. 9th Edition. Wiley.
  • L. Bergman, A.S. Lavine, F.P. Incropera, D.P. DeWitt. Fundamentals of Heat and Mass Transfer. 8th Edition. Wiley.
  • Course notes


 Weekly homework assignments and final exam



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