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## Carnot cycleThe Every thermodynamic system exists in a particular state. A thermodynamic cycle occurs when a system is taken through a series of different states, and finally returned to its initial state. In the process of going through this cycle, the system may perform work on its surroundings, thereby acting as a heat engine. A heat engine acts by transferring energy from a warm region to a cool region of space and, in the process, converting some of that energy to mechanical work. The cycle may also be reversed. The system may be worked upon by an external force, and in the process, it can transfer thermal energy from a cooler system to a warmer one, thereby acting as a Heat Pump rather than a heat engine. The Carnot cycle is the most efficient cycle possible for converting a given amount of thermal energy into work or, conversely, for using a given amount of work for refrigeration purposes.
## Additional recommended knowledge
## The Carnot cycleThe **Reversible isothermal expansion of the gas at the "hot" temperature,**During this step (A to B on Figure 1) the expanding gas causes the piston to do work on the surroundings. The gas expansion is propelled by absorption of heat from the high temperature reservoir.*T*_{H}(isothermal heat addition).**Isentropic (Reversible adiabatic) expansion of the gas.**For this step (B to C on Figure 1) we assume the piston and cylinder are thermally insulated, so that no heat is gained or lost. The gas continues to expand, doing work on the surroundings. The gas expansion causes it to cool to the "cold" temperature,*T*_{C}.**Reversible isothermal compression of the gas at the "cold" temperature,**(C to D on Figure 1) Now the surroundings do work on the gas, causing heat to flow out of the gas to the low temperature reservoir.*T*_{C}. (isothermal heat rejection)**Isentropic compression of the gas.**(D to A on Figure 1) Once again we assume the piston and cylinder are thermally insulated. During this step, the surroundings do work on the gas, compressing it and causing the temperature to rise to*T*_{H}. At this point the gas is in the same state as at the start of step 1.
## Properties and significance## The temperature-entropy diagram
The behavior of a Carnot engine or refrigerator is best understood by using a temperature-entropy (TS) diagram, in which the thermodynamic state is specified by a point on a graph with entropy (S) as the horizontal axis and temperature (T) as the vertical axis. For a simple system with a fixed number of particles, any point on the graph will represent a particular state of the system. A thermodynamic process will consist of a curve connecting an initial state (A) and a final state (B). The area under the curve will be: which is the amount of thermal energy transferred in the process. If the process moves to greater entropy, the area under the curve will be the amount of heat absorbed by the system in that process. If the process moves towards lesser entropy, it will be the amount of heat removed. For any cyclic process, there will be an upper portion of the cycle and a lower portion. For a clockwise cycle, the area under the upper portion will be the thermal energy absorbed during the cycle, while the area under the lower portion will be the thermal energy removed during the cycle. The area inside the cycle will then be the difference between the two, but since the internal energy of the system must have returned to its initial value, this difference must be the amount of work done by the system over the cycle. Mathematically, for a reversible process we may write the amount of work done over a cyclic process as: Since ## The Carnot cycle
Evaluation of the above integral is particularly simple for the Carnot cycle. The amount of energy transferred as work is The total amount of thermal energy transferred between the hot reservoir and the system will be and the total amount of thermal energy transferred between the system and the cold reservoir will be - .
The efficiency η is defined to be: where -
*W*is the work done by the system (energy exiting the system as work), -
*Q*_{H}is the heat put into the system (heat energy entering the system), -
*T*_{C}is the absolute temperature of the cold reservoir, and -
*T*_{H}is the temperature of the hot reservoir.
This efficiency makes sense for a heat engine, since it is the fraction of the heat energy extracted from the hot reservoir and converted to mechanical work. It also makes sense for a refrigeration cycle, since it is the ratio of energy input to the refrigerator divided by the amount of energy extracted from the hot reservoir. ## Carnot's theoremIt can be seen from the above diagram, that for any cycle operating between temperatures
In other words, maximum efficiency is achieved if and only if no new entropy is created in the cycle. Otherwise, since entropy is a state function, the required dumping of heat into the environment to dispose of excess entropy leads to a reduction in efficiency. So Equation 3 gives the efficiency of any reversible heat engine. ## Efficiency of real heat enginesCarnot realized that in reality it is not possible to build a thermodynamically reversible engine, so real heat engines are less efficient than indicated by Equation 3. Nevertheless, Equation 3 is extremely useful for determining the maximum efficiency that could ever be expected for a given set of thermal reservoirs. Although at which heat is input and output, respectively. Replace T in Equation (3) by <_{C}T> and <_{H}T> respectively.
_{C}For the Carnot cycle, or its equivalent, < T> the lowest. For other less efficient cycles, <_{C}T> will be lower than _{H}T , and <_{H}T> will be higher than _{C}T. This can help illustrate, for example, why a reheater or a regenerator can improve thermal efficiency.
_{C}*See also: Heat Engine efficiency and other performance criteria*
## See also- Carnot heat engine
- Reversible process (thermodynamics)
- Carnot cycle graphs (above) should not be confused with Karnaugh maps in boolean logic and digital electronics.
## References- Kroemer, Herbert; Kittel, Charles (1980).
*Thermal Physics*, 2nd ed., W. H. Freeman Company.__ISBN 0-7167-1088-9__.
Categories: Thermodynamic cycles | Atmospheric thermodynamics |
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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Carnot_cycle". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia. |