UA70 Principles and Applications of Thermodynamics

Pearson BTEC Level 3 Engineering – UA70 Principles and Applications of Thermodynamics

This unit can be studied as a standalone TECOL unit in Engineering, or as part of an Edexcel accredited BTEC Level 3 qualification in Engineering.  

Aim and purpose

The aim of this unit is to give learners an understanding of the concepts and principles of thermodynamics and their applications in engineering.

Unit introduction

We are reliant on fossil and nuclear fuels for most of our energy needs and this is likely to be the case for many years to come. It is also likely that resources will become more scarce and that we shall have to use them more efficiently. In addition, it is becoming apparent that the use of fossil fuels is contributing to global warming, giving further cause for increased fuel efficiency. Fossil and nuclear fuels provide thermal energy which is, in turn, converted into useful mechanical and electrical energy. Thermodynamics is the study of thermal energy production, its transfer and conversion into more useful forms.

The basic laws concerned with the expansion and compression of gases and associated thermal energy transfer and work done will be introduced. These will then be applied to quantify the thermal energy transfer and work done that occurs in closed and open thermodynamic systems. The combustion of fuels will be examined and methods of determining calorific value explained. Learners will be introduced to the properties of steam as a working substance and to the use of thermodynamic property tables. These will then be used to determine thermal energy transfer and work done in steam-generating plant.


This unit is assessed through the submission of one written assessment which can be submitted by the learner online (quickest) or via the postal service.