SEM314 Topic 1 - Intro and Definitions

SEM314 Topic 1 - Intro and Definitions - Topic 1...

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Deakin University 2003 Topic 1 Introduction and basic definitions Throughout this topic you will need to refer to chapter 1 in your textbook. Introduction Thermodynamics is the science of energy in its different forms, and methods of converting one form of energy into another in the most efficient way possible. There are many examples of this energy conversion process. Chapter 1 in your textbook gives some examples of energy conversion processes so it would be a good idea to start reading through it now. Currently, research work is being conducted on several energy conversion devices, such as fuel cells that convert chemical energy directly into electrical energy, nuclear fusion, photovoltaic cells, and so on. Also under investigation are several other processes that will efficiently utilise energy from tidal waves, wind, the sun, coal, and high temperature, high pressure water beneath the crust of the earth. It is interesting to note that although the steam engine—the first energy conversion device to have a profound impact on mankind—was well developed by the early part of the eighteenth century, the laws of thermodynamics were not clearly understood until about 100 years later. The concept of energy, along with its conservation and convertibility, evolved in an effort to present a unified approach for the analysis of these apparently unrelated phenomena. It is now known that in the absence of nuclear reactions, energy is conserved and that energy cannot be created or destroyed. This represents the First Law of Thermodynamics. Also, any form of energy can be completely converted into thermal energy or heat energy, but thermal energy cannot be completely converted into other forms of energy. This observation is the basis of the Second Law of Thermodynamics. The laws of thermodynamics play an important role in the design of a wide range of devices, such as automotive engines, air conditioners, rocket motors, high- power lasers, refineries and windmills. Thermodynamics is studied by physicists, chemists and engineers. Physicists and chemists are concerned with basic laws, properties of substances, and changes in the properties caused by interaction of different forms of energy. Engineers are interested not only in all these aspects, but also in the application of thermodynamic principles to the design of machines that will convert energy from one form into another. Electrical engineers are often interested in the conversion of mechanical energy into electrical energy. ±
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1-2 Principles of Thermodynamics Deakin University 2003 Mechanical engineers are frequently concerned with the design of a system that will most efficiently convert thermal or heat energy into mechanical energy. In modern industrial society it is the mechanical form of energy that is ultimately responsible for performing a large number of household chores, as well as industrial tasks. Some examples of the former are washing clothes in a washing machine, vacuuming carpets with a vacuum cleaner, and beating eggs with an egg-beater. Industrial tasks cover a diverse range. They include rolling
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SEM314 Topic 1 - Intro and Definitions - Topic 1...

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