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Advanced Thermodynamics Applications Using Mathcad

[+] Author Affiliations
Stephen T. McClain

Baylor University, Waco, TX

Paper No. IMECE2009-11313, pp. 275-287; 13 pages
  • ASME 2009 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Volume 6: Emerging Technologies: Alternative Energy Systems; Energy Systems: Analysis, Thermodynamics and Sustainability
  • Lake Buena Vista, Florida, USA, November 13–19, 2009
  • Conference Sponsors: ASME
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4379-6 | eISBN: 978-0-7918-3863-1
  • Copyright © 2009 by ASME


Mathcad thermodynamic property function sets have been developed for many engineering fluids. In past publications, which introduced the property function sets, examples were provided that demonstrated the usefulness of the functions in solving typical homework problems for either an Introduction to Thermodynamics or an Applied Thermodynamics course. The capabilities of Mathcad allow for much more complicated analyses than are typically discussed in undergraduate engineering thermodynamics courses. Specifically, Mathcad’s abilities 1) to perform calculations on multi-dimensional arrays, 2) to optimize functions using modified Newton-Raphson techniques, 3) to read text-file data sets, and 4) solve systems of non-linear equations, enables the analysis of very complex thermodynamic problems. Examples are provided to demonstrate the very robust capabilities of Mathcad using previously developed thermodynamic property function sets. The examples discussed include the optimization of a steam power cycle using two feedwater heaters, the analysis of gas turbine data acquired from a small turbojet apparatus, and the analysis of evaporator flooding on the performance of an industrial refigeration system. The analyses and figures produced in Mathcad demonstrate its effectiveness for complex thermodynamic calculations and for providing insight into the performance of complex thermodynamic systems.

Copyright © 2009 by ASME
Topics: Thermodynamics



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