Processes in Heat Engines

Holders: Prof. Katrašnik Tomaž

Subject description


Thermodynamics or equivalent

Content (Syllabus outline):

  • Classification of heat engines and their characteristics,
  • Definition and analysis of basic processes in real heat engines,
  • Evaluation criteria for heat engine operation,
  • Theoretical processes in heat engines (determining the efficiency, work capacity), comparison to processes occurring in real heat engines
  • Properties of a real working medium,
  • Models of real heat engine processes,
  • Working medium exchange,
  • Fuel injection systems,
  • operation Mixture formation and combustion in spark ignition engines,
  • Mixture formation and combustion in compression ignition engines,
  • Advanced combustion concepts (combustion of a stratified mixture, low temperature combustion concepts),
  • The influence of fuel properties on the criteria for the evaluation of heat engine operation,
  • Emission formation,
  • Exhaust as aftertreatment devices (catalytic converters and filters)
  • Mechanical losses in heat engines,
  • Heat engine thermoregulation,
  • The influence of ambient conditions on the operation of heat engines,
  • Transient phenomena in heat engines,
  • Numerical and experimental modeling of processes occurring in heat engines.

Objectives and competences:


The students will:

  • Acquaint themselves with the processes occurring in heat engines,
  • Acquaint themselves with the criteria for the evaluation of heat engine operation,
  • Acquaint themselves with the interactions between the processes occurring in heat engines,
  • Learn about the technologies used to improve the operation of heat engines


The students will be able to autonomously:

  • Evaluate the real processes in heat engines with respect to the work capacity, economy and emissions of harmful substances.
  • Use the fundamental knowledge to design and optimise processes in real heat engines.
  • Evaluate the influence of the individual processes and technological improvements on the criteria for the assessment of heat engine operation.
  • Critically evaluate emerging technologies in the field of heat engines.

Intended learning outcomes:

Knowledge and understanding

Upon the successful completion of study obligations, the students will be able to:

  • understand the phenomena, operation and processes occurring in heat engines,
  • analyse and evaluate real processes in heat engines,
  • analyse the options for process improvement considering the physical and technical limitations,
  • use measurement equipment and software to evaluate the characteristics of heat engines.


The knowledge attained will benefit the students in basic research, design and modernisation of heat engines.

It enables the students to gather the basic information and the ability to analyse the state of the art in the field of heat engines.

The systematics of fundamental knowledge equips the students to continue with in-depth study of specialised fundamental subject matter both in the theoretical and the experimental field.


The acquired knowledge is based on a creative integration of fundamental theoretical and practical topics, aimed into solving characteristic problems, often found in the technical practice. It enables the students to critically evaluate different concepts and practical applications in the field of heat engines. The theoretical knowledge attained in this course and the experience gathered during the laboratory exercises and project assignments will be transferrable and useful for various research and development tasks in the field of heat engine design and optimisation.

Transferrable skills – related to more than one course

A special emphasis is placed on the ability to use modern professional literature, and on practical work with modern measurement equipment and software.

Using a wide spectrum of theoretical knowledge to describe real problems – problem identification, selecting the level of abstraction for the problem solving method, using the method and analysing the results.

Independent execution of laboratory exercises and smaller projects, data processing, preparing the reports and presenting the results.

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