Online course and simulator for engineering thermodynamics

This section contains various methodological recommendations to facilitate the calculation of energy systems, from simple to complex ones.

Its main objective is to raise awareness of the various issues addressed and suggest some ways to find appropriate solutions, without trying to deal exhaustively with the topics. Some of them are indeed still under investigation, the results of which are beyond the scope of our essentially didactic approach.

The Modeling simple and complex systems section can be considered as a general introduction to the proposed approaches in this portal. It presents methodologies for the construction and verification of models allowing one to exploit the potential of simulators as Thermoptim for achieving reliable modeling of complex systems.

The Thermoptim extensions section presents the different ways to extend Thermoptim through the mechanism of external classes in order to add new substances or new components, or to drive the simulator.

The Selecting a thermodynamic fluid section explains how to choose a working fluid for an application such as refrigeration or energy recovery cycles.

The Simulation of solar energy systems section introduces particular calculation methodologies allowing one to take into account the fluctuating solar resource.

The Qualitative analysis of cycles: comparison with the Carnot cycle section focuses on strong assumptions of the Carnot cycle and differences between theoretical cycles and actual cycles, in order to facilitate the study of cycles and irreversibilities encountered in systems.

The Exergy analyses section shows the relevance of the exergy balance to quantify irreversibility, and offers a variety of tools for this: a methodological guide and a spreadsheet for simple systems, the use of productive structures for complex systems.

The Systems optimization / pinch method or thermal integration section shows that, to choose an efficient heat exchanger configuration, methods derived from heat integration methods are emerging among the best, and in particular have the advantage of providing insights that enhance the physical sense of the analyst while purely automatic methods require him to work blindly. But their main advantage is: it is only after having minimized the energy consumption of the studied system that the exchanger architecture network is defined. To maximize heat exchange, it suffices to know all fluids involved, without having to make a priori assumptions about how they are connected.

The Technological design and off-design operation section addresses a problem that conventional thermodynamic models generally do not allow dealing with. The usual phenomenological models presented in this portal can be used to study the thermodynamic cycle of the technology studied, but not to make a specific technological design, or to simulate the performance in off-design operation, the last two problems being much more complex than the first. This section presents various developments to address this issue.