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1 Introduction… The objective of this chapter is to introduce you to thermal systems engineering using several contemporary applications. Our discussions use certain terms that we assume are familiar from your background in physics and chemistry. The roles of thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, and heat transfer in thermal systems engineering and their relationship to one another also are described. The presentation concludes with tips on the effective use of the book. Getting Started Thermal systems engineering is concerned with how energy is utilized to accomplish bene- ficial functions in industry, transportation, and the home, and also the role energy plays in the study of human, animal, and plant life. In industry, thermal systems are found in electric power generating plants, chemical processing plants, and in manufacturing facilities. Our transportation needs are met by various types of engines, power converters, and cooling equip- ment. In the home, appliances such as ovens, refrigerators, and furnaces represent thermal systems. Ice rinks, snow-making machines, and other recreational uses involve thermal sys- tems. In living things, the respiratory and circulatory systems are thermal systems, as are equipment for life support and surgical procedures. Thermal systems involve the storage, transfer, and conversion of energy. Energy can be stored within a system in different forms, such as kinetic energy and gravitational potential energy. Energy also can be stored within the matter making up the system. Energy can be transferred between a system and its surroundings by work, heat transfer, and the flow of hot or cold streams of matter. Energy also can be converted from one form to another. For example, energy stored in the chemical bonds of fuels can be converted to electrical or me- chanical power in fuel cells and internal combustion engines. The sunflowers shown on the cover of this book can be thought of as thermal systems. Solar energy aids the production of chemical substances within the plant required for life ( photosynthesis ). Plants also draw in water and nutrients through their root system. Plants interact with their environments in other ways as well. Selected areas of application that involve the engineering of thermal systems are listed in Fig. 1.1, along with six specific illustrations. The turbojet engine, jet ski, and electrical power plant represent thermal systems involving conversion of energy in fossil fuels to achieve a desired outcome. Components of these systems also involve work and heat trans- fer. For life support on the International Space Station, solar energy is converted to electrical energy and provides energy for plant growth experimentation and other purposes. Semi- conductor manufacturing processes such as high temperature annealing of silicon wafers involve energy conversion and significant heat transfer effects. The human cardiovascular 1.1 chapter objective WHAT IS THERMAL SYSTEMS ENGINEERING?
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