In an undergraduate course or a course-sequence in thermodynamics mechanical engineering students are introduced to air-standard power cycles, refrigeration cycles, and the fundamentals of combustion processes. The analysis of air-standard thermodynamic cycles or solving problems involving combustion processes requires the evaluation of thermodynamic properties either from ideal gas tables or equations developed based on the assumption of constant specific heats. Many students have a difficult time to distinguish the differences between the two property evaluation methods. Also, solving problems involving power and refrigeration cycles or parametric studies of combustion processes involve several steps of property evaluation and some steps require interpolation of data listed in the thermodynamic property tables. Also solution to problems requiring trial and error iterative procedure makes the solution process tedious and time consuming, if it is done manually. This paper provides several examples to demonstrate the effectiveness of Excel in solving problems involving air-standard cycles and combustion processes.

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