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Global Efficiency of Heat Engines and Heat Pumps with Non-Linear Boundary Conditions

Department of Energy Technology, KTH, 100 44 Stockholm, Sweden
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Entropy 2017, 19(8), 394; https://doi.org/10.3390/e19080394
Received: 31 March 2017 / Revised: 7 July 2017 / Accepted: 19 July 2017 / Published: 31 July 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Carnot Cycle and Heat Engine Fundamentals and Applications)
Analysis of global energy efficiency of thermal systems is of practical importance for a number of reasons. Cycles and processes used in thermal systems exist in very different configurations, making comparison difficult if specific models are required to analyze specific thermal systems. Thermal systems with small temperature differences between a hot side and a cold side also suffer from difficulties due to heat transfer pinch point effects. Such pinch points are consequences of thermal systems design and must therefore be integrated in the global evaluation. In optimizing thermal systems, detailed entropy generation analysis is suitable to identify performance losses caused by cycle components. In plant analysis, a similar logic applies with the difference that the thermal system is then only a component, often industrially standardized. This article presents how a thermodynamic “black box” method for defining and comparing thermal efficiency of different size and types of heat engines can be extended to also compare heat pumps of different apparent magnitude and type. Impact of a non-linear boundary condition on reversible thermal efficiency is exemplified and a correlation of average real heat engine efficiencies is discussed in the light of linear and non-linear boundary conditions. View Full-Text
Keywords: global efficiency; energy efficiency; heat engine; heat pump; utilization; Carnot efficiency; comparison; thermal system; cycle analysis global efficiency; energy efficiency; heat engine; heat pump; utilization; Carnot efficiency; comparison; thermal system; cycle analysis
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Lundqvist, P.; Öhman, H. Global Efficiency of Heat Engines and Heat Pumps with Non-Linear Boundary Conditions. Entropy 2017, 19, 394.

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