ME306 - Applied Thermodynamics

ME306 - Applied Thermodynamics

Instructor

Prof. Rajendra P Vedula

Section

S3

Semester

Spring ‘20

Course Difficulty

The course revolved around a few basic concepts and progressed in difficulty as the semester moved on. However, if one attends classes/watches recordings and reads the prescribed textbook, it becomes quite easy to follow. Prof. Vedula is also very active when it comes to answering doubts.

Time Commitment Required

Around 2-3 hours per week outside of lectures should be sufficient.

Grading Policy and Statistics

The grading policy was very lenient. Sir was very accommodating of the situation due to the pandemic. He ensured that nobody got an FR for their first attempt. Hence, the worst grade he gave this time was an FF. Apart from that, the grading was better than your normal bell curve statistics.

Attendance Policy

Being the online semester, there was no attendance policy that was enforced.

Pre-requisites

Basic thermodynamics (ME209) will go a long way for this course. Apart from that, knowing how to use steam tables (again, covered in ME209) would be great. The first part of the course is basic stoichiometry and enthalpy laws taught in high school so if you’re good with that, you’ll be able to adapt to the course quite comfortably.

Evaluation Scheme

Quiz 1 - 7.5%
Quiz 2 - 7.5%
Midsem - 30%
Quiz 3 - 10% (based on post midsem feedback, else it was going to be 7.5%)
Quiz 4 - 10% (based on post midsem feedback, else it was going to be 7.5%)
Endsem - 35% (based on post midsem feedback, else it was going to be 40%)

Topics Covered in the Course

The course covered around 7 main topics
Pre-midsem

  1. Stoichiometry and combustion
  2. Brayton cycles
  3. Nozzles
    Post-midsem
  4. Rankine cycles
  5. Psychrometry (vapour pressure and humidity)
  6. Refrigeration cycles
  7. Diesel and Otto cycles

Teaching Style

Being an online mode of instruction, all the instructions and classes were over Teams. Sir used basic slides to explain the topics but expected us to refer to the prescribed textbook. He was very considerate of our situation at home and went the extra mile by taking biweekly help sessions after hours. He was also willing to cut our syllabus due to the second wave and the associated stress and also agreed to take a re-exam without any submitted prof. He was really student friendly and the entire section harboured great respect for him.

Tutorials/Assignments/Projects

Sir would upload problem sets from 2-3 books. They were not graded and were just for our practice. Despite it being ungraded, a majority of the class solved them before exams for better understanding of the concepts.

Feedback on Exams

Quizzes
The quizzes were comparatively simple and would have at most two questions per quiz. However, sir would add the occasional ‘trick’ question but here’s a tip: it’s generally simpler than you think. A lot of us would end up complicating our steps. However, time management is very important for these quizzes.

Midsem
The midsem was quite difficult and involved a mix of theory and numericals. However, the average performance of the class was low so it did not have that big of an impact on the grades, people were able to cover up in the future quizzes and endsems. Again, time management was crucial.

Endsem
The endsem was relatively easier than the midsem. The pattern was similar to the midsem, but the conceptual (theory) questions were inclined towards the harder side. The reason it did not affect the final score so much was because these questions only added to a small fraction of the total marks.

All the exams were open book and open internet and sir asked us to record our videos and screens using OBS. His grading policy in general focussed on the overall understanding of the question. If the method was correct, he would seldom cut marks for the wrong final answer.

Course Highlights

The course basically focussed on the various cycles used in thermodynamics. These cycles have a large range of applications, including refrigeration, air conditioning, in the field of aerospace and so on. The course was well structured and had seven concrete modules. The professor was great and that definitely encouraged students to put in the efforts.

Course Importance

The course is definitely useful for people who are interested in thermo-fluids. Since this is a direct application based course, it is highly useful for automobile and spacecraft industries as well as home appliances. So people who are interested in core mechanical, this is a good opportunity.

Going Forward

The content can be useful for courses like Advanced thermodynamics and cryogenics.

References Used

Primary book - Fundamentals of Engineering Thermodynamics (Moran and Shapiro)
Secondary book - Thermodynamics: An Engineering Approach (Cengel)

Other Remarks

-

None, the book is enough

ME 306 Review By: Bhavini Jeloka