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Entropy 2009, 11(4), 1042-1054; doi:10.3390/e11041042

Modeling Electric Discharges with Entropy Production Rate Principles

ABB Schweiz AG, Corporate Research, Segelhofstrasse 1, CH-5405 Baden-Dättwil, Switzerland
Received: 29 October 2009 / Accepted: 1 December 2009 / Published: 8 December 2009
(This article belongs to the Special Issue What Is Maximum Entropy Production and How Should We Apply It?)
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Under which circumstances are variational principles based on entropy production rate useful tools for modeling steady states of electric (gas) discharge systems far from equilibrium? It is first shown how various different approaches, as Steenbeck’s minimum voltage and Prigogine’s minimum entropy production rate principles are related to the maximum entropy production rate principle (MEPP). Secondly, three typical examples are discussed, which provide a certain insight in the structure of the models that are candidates for MEPP application. It is then thirdly argued that MEPP, although not being an exact physical law, may provide reasonable model parameter estimates, provided the constraints contain the relevant (nonlinear) physical effects and the parameters to be determined are related to disregarded weak constraints that affect mainly global entropy production. Finally, it is additionally conjectured that a further reason for the success of MEPP in certain far from equilibrium systems might be based on a hidden linearity of the underlying kinetic equation(s).
Keywords: entropy production rate principles; Steenbeck principle; Prigogine principle; electric arc; charge injection entropy production rate principles; Steenbeck principle; Prigogine principle; electric arc; charge injection
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Christen, T. Modeling Electric Discharges with Entropy Production Rate Principles. Entropy 2009, 11, 1042-1054.

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