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ASHRAE membership is open to any person associated with heating, ventilation, air conditioning or refrigeration. ASHRAE is unique because its membership is drawn from a wide range of disciplines relating to the HVAC&R field. Approximately 51,000 individuals from more than 100 nations belong to the Society.

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Education & Certification

Fundamentals of Thermodynamics

What You Will Learn

This book will help develop an understanding of the basic concepts of thermodynamics. Topics include properties of a system, processes and cycles, Ideal Gas Law, the laws of thermodynamics, refrigeration cycles and thermochemistry.

After completing the course, you should know:

  • Closed and open thermodynamic systems
  • How to use thermodynamic tables and charts
  • The fundamentals of the Ideal Gas Law
  • The concepts of heat and work
  • The First Law of Thermodynamics applied to closed and open systems
  • The Second Law of Thermodynamics
  • The Carnot cycle
  • Ideal and actual refrigeration cycles
  • Combustion and thermochemistry

Course Content

  • Introduction to HVAC -- HVAC heating, ventilating and air-conditioning; the major processes of air-conditioning; thermodynamics and psychrometrics.
  • Systems, Properties, States and Processes -- Closed and open systems in thermodynamics, forms of energy, properties of a system, equilibrium states, processes and cycles.
  • Property Diagrams for Pure Substances -- The state postulate, properties, phases and phase changes for pure substances, property diagrams.
  • Thermodynamic Tables and Charts -- Tables for saturated liquid and vapor; tables for superheated vapor and compressed liquid; thermodynamic liquid/vapor charts.
  • Ideal Gas Law and Air Tables -- Ideal Gas and the Ideal Gas Law; the Ideal Gas Law as an equation of state; constant specific heat, air tables.
  • Heat and Work -- heat, work, flow work.
  • First Law of Thermodynamics Applied to Closed Systems -- Introduction to controlled mass approach; the First Law of Thermodynamics for a closed system; conservation of energy; First Law applied in example cases
  • First Law of Thermodynamics Applied to Open Systems -- Introduction to control volume approach; conservation of mass; conservation of energy and the First Law for open systems; steady-flow processes; First Law applied in examples of steady-flow processes.
  • Applications of the First Law of Thermodynamics -- Compressors, turbines, pumps and fans; throttling valves and metering devices; heat exchangers, condensers and evaporators.
  • The Carnot Cycle -- The Second Law of Thermodynamics; heat engines, refrigerators and heat pumps; reversible and irreversible processes; the Carnot Cycle and the reversed Carnot Cycle.
  • Refrigeration Cycles - Ideal Cycles -- Refrigeration equipment; the ideal vapor-compression refrigeration cycle; analysis of the components and cycle; performance of ideal refrigerators and heat pumps.
  • Refrigeration Cycles - Actual Cycles -- The actual vapor-compression refrigeration cycle; absorption refrigeration system; gas refrigeration system; modifications to the basic vapor compression cycle; irreversibility
  • Combustion and Thermochemistry -- Introduction to combustion; fuel types; stoichiometry of reactions; non-stoichiometric combustion; air-fuel ratios; carbon monoxide.

Who Should Enroll in this Course?

This is an excellent course for:

  • recent engineering graduates working in the HVAC&R industry;
  • experienced engineers who have entered the HVAC&R industry from other engineering fields; or
  • other professionals who want a general overview of thermodynamics.

    Getting Started:

    Self-Directed Learning Group Learning
    $150 ( ASHRAE Member: $128)

    A group learning package for this course is not currently available. Want ASHRAE to offer it? Let us know by contacting Customer Service at 1-800-527-4723

    Earn 35 PDHs/3.5 CEUs

    Purchase I-P Edition
    Purchase SI Edition