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University Bulletin
Undergraduate Degree Programs

These course descriptions are not being updated as of August 1, 2016. Current course descriptions are maintained in LionPATH.

Mechanical Engineering (M E)

M E 402 Power Plants (3) A study of fossil-fuel steam generation and utility plants, including cogeneration, gas turbine, and combined cycles.

M E 402 Power Plants (3)

This course serves as an introduction to fossil-fuel plants for both steam generation and electricity production. Following an overview of an entire plant and an introduction to combustion processes, each subsystem of a fossil-fuel plant will be considered. The subsystems include fuel preparation and handling, boiler types and the fundamentals of steam generation, water systems (condensate-feedwater, makeup, cooling, and waste), and turbomachinery. Consideration will be given to environmental aspects of steam and power generation as well as operations, maintenance, and controls issues. Students will spend time at the West Campus Steam Plant (WCSP) to observe the various systems discussed in class. Data taken from the WCSP will be used in problem solving and in an assessment of the plant.

Course Objectives:
To acquaint students with both steam generation and electricity production and to present some of the engineering calculations encountered in practice.

Objectives that students will meet at the end of the course:
I . list the subsystems of a plant, indicating the function of each subsystem
2. sketch typical subsystems of a power plant (example: sketch the coal and ash handling system)
3. perform basic analyses associated with each subsystem
4. sketch the flow of water-steam, fuel, and air through a plant
5. analyze a heat balance, perform an availability analysis, and interpret the results of those analyses
6. select the type of plant appropriate for a given application
7. perform an energy audit on the auxiliary systems
8. perform a water audit on the plant
9. use DoE Best Practices (or equivalent program) to assess a steam plant

Students will be required to draw on material from core undergraduate courses in thermodynamics (M E 030 and M E 031), fluid mechanics (M E 033), and heat transfer (M E 412). Students must be able to:
� sketch the configuration and draw a T-s diagram for a Rankine cycle and a Brayton cycle
� indicate the general trends for the ideal cycles (example: for a Brayton cycle, how does the efficiency depend on the pressure ratio, inlet temperature, etc.)
� define the basic modifications to the simple Rankine cycle and simple Brayton cycle
� discuss the significance of the modifications
� state the definition of the adiabatic efficiency for turbines and pumps
� perform an energy balance given a particular cycle
� use the Darcy-Weisbach equation to determine the friction losses in pipes and ducts
� perform simple analysis of a heat exchanger


General Education: None
Diversity: None
Bachelor of Arts: None
Effective: Fall 2007
Prerequisite: M E 410

Note : Class size, frequency of offering, and evaluation methods will vary by location and instructor. For these details check the specific course syllabus.

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Course descriptions are stored in LionPATH, the University-wide student information system. Please visit the LionPATH Course Catalog to access current course descriptions. At that point, you will be leaving the University Bulletin website.



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