We present a conjugate analysis of two different dark energy models, namely the Barboza–Alcaniz parameterization and the phenomenologically-motivated Hobbit model, investigating both their agreement with observational data and their thermodynamical properties. We successfully fit a wide dataset including the Hubble diagram of Type Ia Supernovae, the Hubble rate expansion parameter as measured from cosmic chronometers, the baryon acoustic oscillations (BAO) standard ruler data and the Planck distance priors. This analysis allows us to constrain the model parameters, thus pointing at the region of the wide parameters space, which is worth focusing on. As a novel step, we exploit the strong connection between gravity and thermodynamics to further check models’ viability by investigating their thermodynamical quantities. In particular, we study whether the cosmological scenario fulfills the generalized second law of thermodynamics, and moreover, we contrast the two models, asking whether the evolution of the total entropy is in agreement with the expectation for a closed system. As a general result, we discuss whether thermodynamic constraints can be a valid complementary way to both constrain dark energy models and differentiate among rival scenarios.
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