Considering the finite time characteristic, heat transfer loss, friction loss and internal irreversibility loss, an air standard reciprocating heat-engine cycle model is founded by using finite time thermodynamics. The cycle model, which consists of two endothermic processes, two exothermic processes and two adiabatic processes, is well generalized. The performance parameters, including the power output and efficiency (PAE), are obtained. The PAE versus compression ratio relations are obtained by numerical computation. The impacts of variable specific heats ratio (SHR) of working fluid (WF) on universal cycle performances are analyzed and various special cycles are also discussed. The results include the PAE performance characteristics of various special cycles (including Miller, Dual, Atkinson, Brayton, Diesel and Otto cycles) when the SHR of WF is constant and variable (including the SHR varied with linear function (LF) and nonlinear function (NLF) of WF temperature). The maximum power outputs and the corresponding optimal compression ratios, as well as the maximum efficiencies and the corresponding optimal compression ratios for various special cycles with three SHR models are compared.
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