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Graduate courses

Departments' graduate courses for PhD-students.


Syllabus for

Academic year
SEE020 - Thermal Energy Conversion  
Termisk energiomvandling
Syllabus adopted 2019-02-21 by Head of Programme (or corresponding)
Owner: TKMAS
7,5 Credits
Grading: TH - Five, Four, Three, Fail
Education cycle: First-cycle
Major subject: Energy and Environmental Systems and Technology, Chemical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering

Teaching language: Swedish
Application code: 55139
Open for exchange students: No
Block schedule: C
Only students with the course round in the programme plan

Module   Credit distribution   Examination dates
Sp1 Sp2 Sp3 Sp4 Summer course No Sp
0118 Examination 5,0c Grading: TH   5,0c   13 Jan 2020 am M   08 Apr 2020 pm DIST   25 Aug 2020 am J
0218 Laboratory 2,5c Grading: UG   2,5c    

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David Pallarès

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Environment 2,5 hec


In order to be eligible for a first cycle course the applicant needs to fulfil the general and specific entry requirements of the programme(s) that has the course included in the study programme.

Course specific prerequisites

Thermodynamics and a basic energy course


To provide theoretical knowledge in heat transfer and applied knowledge on energy conversion forms where heat transfer is a key phenomenon (i.e. thermal conversion, which constitutes the main type of energy conversion worldwide). This is achieved by, among others, labs in an industrial environment (the combustion and district heating plant at Chalmers).

Learning outcomes (after completion of the course the student should be able to)

- Explain the principle behind thermal conduction, and how diffusive heat transfer is affected by geometry, material properties and fouling
- Explain the principle behind thermal convection, and how convective heat transfer is affected by the flow mechanics of a boundary layer
- Explain the principle behind radiation, and how radiative heat transfer is affected by geometry and material properties

- Describe the mass and energy balances in an energy plant
- Explain the principle behind the main types of heat exchangers
- Explain and describe the principles for measuring temperature, emissions pressure, flow rates, as used in a combustion plant
- Explain the principle behind the main types of solar panels

- Solve energy problems where several heat transfer mechanisms interact
- Solve energy problems where heat exchangers are involved (NTU method, LMT method)
- Solve energy problems in the form of calculations of emissions, excess air and flue gas
- Solve energy problems in the form of calculations of solar plants with varying solar income combined with energy storage


This course in Thermal Energy Conversion is the natural continuation of the part on energy technology given in the course Thermodynamics and Energy Technology.

Thermal energy conversion is a key part of both the current and the future energy system, as it is used to convert primary energy (e.g. fuel or solar radiation) into more useful forms of energy such as heat, electricity, biogas or biofuels for the transport sector.

Heat transfer plays a key role in thermal energy conversion and constitutes the theoretical ground of the course. All three heat transfer mechanisms (conduction, convection and radiation) are described on the basis of physical principles, and after that their application to technical solutions is studied (e.g. heat and power plants, heat exchangers and solar collectors). The course also includes exercises and a design task, which all focus on problem solving with the intention to illustrate the theory presented in the lectures.

The main challenge in solar energy, the intermittency of solar radiation, is the focus of the design task in the course. Solutions including thermal energy storage are evaluated through dynamical calculations in order to attain the optimal design with the given specifications.

The course has an applied focus where the labs are carried out at the energy research plant at Chalmers (a commercial-scale combustion and gasification plant) and its peripherals, in order to provide a practical way to study various energy conversion processes in an industrial environment and apply the theoretical aspects of the course.

Measurement technology is crucial for the evaluation of the thermal and environmental performance of a plant. Therefore, the course includes training in how to, in a critical way, measure flow, temperature, pressure and gas composition - important elements that the next generation of engineers will face in real plants.



Laboratory exercises (compulsory, in group)

Design exercises (compulsory, in group)

Quiz which can give bonus points for the examination


Principles of Heat and Mass Transfer, global edition, Incropera et al.

Compendium in Measurement Techniques

Compendium in Combustion Technology


Examination including compulsory elements

Approved written examination (including quiz bonus points)
Approved design task

Approved laboratory reports and presence on the laboratory exercises

Published: Wed 26 Feb 2020.