Active control of heat flux can be realized with transformation optics (TO) thermal metamaterials. Recently, a new class of metamaterial tunable cells has been proposed, aiming to significantly reduce the difficulty of fabrication and to flexibly switch functions by employing several cells assembled on related positions following the TO design. However, owing to the integration and rotation of materials in tunable cells, they might lead to extra thermal losses as compared with the previous continuum design. This paper focuses on investigating the thermodynamic properties of tunable cells under related design parameters. The universal expression for the local entropy generation rate in such metamaterial systems is obtained considering the influence of rotation. A series of contrast schemes are established to describe the thermodynamic process and thermal energy distributions from the viewpoint of entropy analysis. Moreover, effects of design parameters on thermal dissipations and system irreversibility are investigated. In conclusion, more thermal dissipations and stronger thermodynamic processes occur in a system with larger conductivity ratios and rotation angles. This paper presents a detailed description of the thermodynamic properties of metamaterial tunable cells and provides reference for selecting appropriate design parameters on related positions to fabricate more efficient and energy-economical switchable TO devices.
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