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Technical Physics
First semester
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Learning outcomes of the course unit

The course aims to provide the base for the exergy and thermoeconomic analysis of systems, both providing the basic elements of the second principle efficiency approach, and through the analysis of energy conversion processes.
Knowledge and ability to understand:
At the end of the course the student will have acquired the knowledge of the second principle analysis approach.
The student will be able to perform the second principle analysis of energy conversion problems, after schematization of the system and its interactions with its environment.
Autonomy of judgment:
At the end of the learning process the student will have acquired tools to critically interpret energy processes.
Communication skills:
The student must possess the ability to schematize the problem, presenting in a clear way and with properties of language the details of the physical phenomenon and the results of the analysis carried out, highlight in particular the causes of irreversibility.


To follow the course successfully requires knowledge of the contents of the courses of Applied Physics

Course contents summary

Exergy analysis and thermoeconomic analysis.

Course contents

Exergy analysis. Definition of exergy. Physical exergy. Kinetic exergy. Gravitational potential exergy. Physical exergy of an ideal gas. Chemical exergy of a single ideal gas and of a mixture of perfect gases. Exergy balance for a closed system. Flow exergy associated with heat flow. Destruction of exergy. Exergy balance for the open system in steady state. Unit exergy through the open system. Exergy balance for the open system. Exergy of perfect gas flow. Chemical exergy of fuels. Thermodynamic mean temperature. Exergy destruction caused by friction and by heat transfer. Exergy efficiency.
Thermoeconomics analysis. Cost of energy resources. Capital cost and maintenance. Balance equation of costs. Thermoeconomics parameters. Average cost of product and of fuel. Cost of the destruction of exergy. Relative increase of cost. Exergoeconomic factor. Level of aggregation of the system.
Renewable energy sources. TRNSYS software application (for instance, sizing of photovoltaic systems and wind turbines).

Recommended readings

Lecture notes.
A. Bejan, G. Tsatsaronis, M. Moran, “Thermal design and optimization“, John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Teaching methods

Lectures and classroom exercises.

Assessment methods and criteria

The exam consists of a written test and an interview on two separate issues in exergy analysis and thermoeconomics analysis. On examination is also tested the skills acquired on the topics discussed during the workshop activities.

Other informations

Further information is available on