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Entropy 2017, 19(7), 369; https://doi.org/10.3390/e19070369

The History and Perspectives of Efficiency at Maximum Power of the Carnot Engine

Laboratoire d’Énergétique et de Mécanique Théorique et Appliquée, UMR 7563, Université de Lorraine, 54518 Vandoeuvre-lès-Nancy, France
Received: 30 March 2017 / Revised: 5 July 2017 / Accepted: 14 July 2017 / Published: 19 July 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Carnot Cycle and Heat Engine Fundamentals and Applications)
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Abstract

Finite Time Thermodynamics is generally associated with the Curzon–Ahlborn approach to the Carnot cycle. Recently, previous publications on the subject were discovered, which prove that the history of Finite Time Thermodynamics started more than sixty years before even the work of Chambadal and Novikov (1957). The paper proposes a careful examination of the similarities and differences between these pioneering works and the consequences they had on the works that followed. The modelling of the Carnot engine was carried out in three steps, namely (1) modelling with time durations of the isothermal processes, as done by Curzon and Ahlborn; (2) modelling at a steady-state operation regime for which the time does not appear explicitly; and (3) modelling of transient conditions which requires the time to appear explicitly. Whatever the method of modelling used, the subsequent optimization appears to be related to specific physical dimensions. The main goal of the methodology is to choose the objective function, which here is the power, and to define the associated constraints. We propose a specific approach, focusing on the main functions that respond to engineering requirements. The study of the Carnot engine illustrates the synthesis carried out and proves that the primary interest for an engineer is mainly connected to what we called Finite (physical) Dimensions Optimal Thermodynamics, including time in the case of transient modelling. View Full-Text
Keywords: Carnot engine; modelling with time durations; steady-state modelling; transient conditions; converter irreversibility; sequential optimization; Finite physical Dimensions Optimal Thermodynamics Carnot engine; modelling with time durations; steady-state modelling; transient conditions; converter irreversibility; sequential optimization; Finite physical Dimensions Optimal Thermodynamics
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Feidt, M. The History and Perspectives of Efficiency at Maximum Power of the Carnot Engine. Entropy 2017, 19, 369.

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