Thermal Machines


It is intended that the students apply, the knowledge of fluid mechanics, heat transmission and thermodynamics acquired throughout the course to the subject of thermal machines: internal combustion reciprocating engines and gas turbines. One intends that the students acquire the typical working and studying languages these machines, the capacity to analyze their thermodynamic behaviour and consequences and implications of the modifications introduced, and the knowledge that allow them to remain actualized.

More concretely one intends from students to acquire a common knowledge on thermal machines - internal combustion reciprocating engines, Gasoline and Diesel, and gas turbines.Acquire the knowledge of the working requirements of these machines. Acquire the relative knowledge of the internal combustion engines contribution to the atmospheric pollution. 

One intends the students apply the knowledge of fluid mechanics, heat transmission and thermodynamics acquired throughout the course to the understanding these machines working behaviour. Identify and quantify the working and project parameters of these machines.Identify the adjusted machine type to each type of utilization.Identify the necessary measures to minimize the internal combustion engines contribution for the atmospheric pollution.

It is also intended to develope in the students the skills of: seek for information and process it, ability to work autonomously, self learning, problem solving, apply knowledge to new situations; technical writing dexterity, presentation techniques, communicative aptitude, concern for quality of the essay’s final text, turning technology into business.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

José Fernando de Almeida Dias


Weekly - 4

Total - 64

Teaching language



For the discipline of Air conditioning and Refrigeration it is supposed a strong domain of subjects learned in the disciplines of Applied Thermodynamics, Fluid Dynamics I and II, and Heat Transmission.


PowerPoints of the classes – available in the course page of CLIP.

Main Bibliography
Motores de Combustão Interna – Jorge Martins – Publindústria
Gas Turbine Theory - H. Cohen, G.F.C. Rogers e H. Saravanamutto - Longman

Other Bibliography
Internal Combustion Engine Fundamentals - John B. Heywood - McGraw-Hill
Motores Endotérmicos – Dante Giacosa – Ediciones Omega
Internal Combustion Engines - C.R. Ferguson - J Wiley
Elements of Gas Turbine Propulsion – J. D. Mattingly - McGraw-Hill
Jet Propulsion – Nicholas Cumpsty – Cambridge Univ. Press
An Introduction to Combustion – Stephen R. Turns - McGraw-Hill

Teaching method

In theoretical classes the exposition of the discipline subjects is made, the participation of the students is stimulated. In the practical classes problems and simulated practical cases in the domain of application of the concepts are presented in order that the students actively collaborate in their resolution.

In classes and outside them a tutorial accompaniment of the students is made for the accomplishment of the works of disciplines. The works of discipline have as starting point the information research, appealing to conventional or on line libraries, and culminate with the submission of a final report and a public presentation.

Evaluation method

1- The assessment involves making:

a_ 1 group project of a gas turbine;

b_ 1 group poject aboutreciprocating engines to be presented in the seminar course;

c_ 1 individual discussion of the project undertaken.

2- The final grade is individual and is given by:

Final Grade = (0.5 ×project) + (0.20 × work) + ((0.30 × individual discussion).



Subject matter

Reciprocating engines: Engine classification. Engine components. Spark-ignition (SI) engine operation cycle. Compression-ignition (CI) engine operation cycle. Examples of SI and Diesel engines. Engine design and operation parameters. Indicated and brake power. Operating variables which affect SI engine performance, efficiency and emissions. SI engine combustion chamber design. Variables which affect CI engine performance, efficiency and emissions. Supercharged and turbocharged engine performance.

Combustion: Combustion modes and flame types. Knock and surface ignition. Octane index and Cetane index. Pollutant formation and control.

Gas Turbines: Gas turbine for aircraft propulsion. Intake and propelling nozzle efficiencies. Simple turboject. The turbofan engine. The turboprop engine. Thrust augmentation. Centrifugal and axial flow compressors. Combustion systems. Axial and radial flow turbines. Prediction of performance of simple gas turbines.


Programs where the course is taught: