This five-day course offers an advanced introduction to the principles of operation, configuration, characteristics and key implementation issues of various types of power plants. It will be of particular interest to engineers employed in the heat and power generation industries.

At a glance

  • DurationFive days
  • LocationCranfield campus
  • Cost£1,700 The course fee includes refreshments and lunch during the day. Accommodation is not included and must be booked separately. Concessions available

Course structure

A five-day course of lectures, featuring practical examples and detailed case-studies. All delegates will receive a Certificate of Attendance at the end of the course.

What you will learn

On completion of the course, you will learn to:

  • Critically evaluate the fundamentals and laws governing energy conversion and appraise various fuels and their characteristics,
  • Assess the operation of furnaces and boilers based on a fundamental understanding of the governing laws, and debate issues influencing the design/selection of furnaces and boilers and future trends,
  • Debate issues related to the performance of conventional power-generation plants and identify appropriate routes for improving energy-utilisation efficiency,
  • Assess the need of a particular industrial/commercial site for a CHP system, identify the appropriate systems and undertake design, sizing and economic analyse,
  • Review critically technologies employed for advanced power generation systems (Geo-thermal, solar thermal, SCO2 cycle) and it’s applications.

Core content

  • Fuels and thermal conversion processes: primary solid and liquid fuels. Carbonisation of solid fuels. Thermodynamic equations. Dissociation and chemical equilibrium. Process efficiency, emission control and standards,
  • Furnaces and boilers: types of furnaces and classification. Heat transfer in furnaces, efficient furnace and boiler design. Boiler efficiency and part-load operation and its maintenance,
  • Overview: World electricity demand and generation. Fuels. Environmental impacts,
  • Steam power plants: Thermodynamic principles. Fuels. Steam power generation cycles,
  • Gas turbine and combined-cycle power plants: Gas turbine engines and performance. Gas turbine cycles. Combined-cycle power plants,
  • Diesel- and gas-engine power plants: Diesel engines. Fuels. Emission control. Heat recovery systems,
  • Nuclear power generation: Basic nuclear physical processes (fission and fusion). Nuclear fuels. Types of reactors. Safety considerations in the nuclear industry. Developments in nuclear fusion. Decommissioning problems of nuclear sites. Nuclear waste disposal systems,
  • Fuel cells: Definition and principles of operation. Losses and efficiency. Possible fuels. Fuel-cell technologies and applications (alkaline fuel cells, molten carbonate fuel cells, phosphoric acid fuel cells, solid oxide fuel cells, and regenerative fuel cells),
  • CHP systems: CHP schemes (micro-scale CHP systems, small scale CHP systems, large scale CHP systems including district heating schemes). Application of CHP systems for the provision of heating, cooling and electric power. Selection criteria of CHP prime-movers. Integration of CHP systems into site services. Feasibility analysis of CHP schemes using spreadsheets/software tools. Case study (site appraisal for CHP scheme and evaluation of economic and environmental viability),
  • Advanced power plants: geothermal plants and its applications. Solar thermal enhanced designs and new materials. Innovative SCO2 cycles to operate at higher temperatures, bringing higher energy output.

Who should attend

This course will be of particular interest to engineers employed in the heat and power generation industries.


This short course is a module in the MSc in Energy Systems and Thermal Processes which is accredited by Institution of Mechanical Engineering (IMechE) and the Engineering Council.


10% discount applies if booked 8 weeks in advance. 10% discount for 3rd and subsequent delegates from the same company/site.

Accommodation options and prices

This is a non-residential course. If you would like to book accommodation on campus, please contact Mitchell Hall or Cranfield Management Development Centre directly. Further information regarding our accommodation on campus can be found here.

Alternatively you may wish to make your own arrangements at a nearby hotel.

Location and travel

Cranfield University is situated in Bedfordshire close to the border with Buckinghamshire. The University is located almost midway between the towns of Bedford and Milton Keynes and is conveniently situated between junctions 13 and 14 of the M1.

London Luton, Stansted and Heathrow airports are 30, 90 and 90 minutes respectively by car, offering superb connections to and from just about anywhere in the world.

For further location and travel details

Location address

Cranfield University
College Road
MK43 0AL

Read our Professional development (CPD) booking conditions.