Questions tagged [carnot-cycle]

A theoretical ideal thermodynamic cycle which provides an upper limit on the efficiency that any classical thermodynamic engine can achieve during the conversion of heat into work, or conversely, the efficiency of a refrigeration system in creating a temperature difference by the application of work to the system.

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Why is the efficiency of human cells less than the efficiency of an Otto engine?

I always used to think (I don’t know why!) that the efficiency of human (and animal and plant) cells should be equal to or near the efficiency of a Carnot engine or at least should be the highest ...
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Efficiency of Stirling engine and Carnot's theorem

I want to calculate the efficiency of this Stirling cycle for an ideal gas $pV = nRT$ The mechanical work is $$ \Delta W_{12} = - \int_{V_1}^{V_2} p(V) \mathrm{d}V = -nRT_2 \ln \frac{V_2}{V_1}\\ \...
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Can I take heat from the air and convert it to electricity?

Its a summer day and the air in my house has been heated up. I could switch on my air conditioning, but then I'd be using energy from the grid in order to reduce the amount of energy in my house. ...
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Why is the Carnot engine the most efficient?

It seems that the only condition used in proving that the Carnot engine is the most efficient is that it is reversible. More specifically, the Carnot engine can be run in reverse as a refrigerator. ...
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Why can't we make Carnot heat engine in real life?

Question is obvious: Why can't we make Carnot heat engine in real life? I read Wikipedia and Fundamentals of Physics (Halliday) but I haven't found anything on my question. There are explanations ...
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The Carnot engine and entropy?

The Clausius statement of the second law of thermodynamics is as given below: "Heat can never pass from a colder to a warmer body without some other change, connected therewith, occurring at the ...
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How to derive the Clausius Inequality?

In my thermodynamics class, we've seen the Clausius inequality derived for a Carnot cycle, and then extended to any cycle. For the Carnot Cycle, we have that it's the most efficient possible cycle ...
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Irreversible heat engines strictly less efficient than reversible ones

I understand how Carnot's theorem implies that irreversible heat engines must be no more efficient than reversible one's, but it is less clear why they need to be less efficient, as I have seen stated ...
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Does chaining Carnot heat engines make them more efficient?

Since the efficiency of a Carnot cycle depends on the difference between the hot and cold sides of the engine, could you put multiple heat engines in a series to maximize overall efficiency? A $3000 \,...
jerpyatdm's user avatar
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Does the Carnot efficiency apply to photoelectric conversion?

If you consider a black body as energy source and photoelectric conversion at room temperature as the energy receiver. Wouldn't it be possible to: use an ideal prism/diffraction grating to separate ...
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Does isothermal expansion not beat the efficiency of Carnot Heat Engine?

Ques: If I just take the 1st step of a Carnot Heat Engine (CHE) than it turns out to be more efficient than the CHE itself. Explanation: The 1st step of a CHE is the pure isothermal expansion of (...
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Calculation of the efficiency of a Carnot engine for photon gas

I am working on a problem considering the Carnot cycle for a photon gas. The cycle has two isothermic processes at $T_{H}$ and $T_{C}$ and two adiabatic processes. The entropy of the photon gas is $...
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Adiabatic proccess and Carnot cycle in a photon gas

I am making a comparation between the photon gas and the ideal classic gas for my Thermodynamics class. The photon gas is defined by the equations: $$U=aVT^4 $$ $$P=\dfrac{1}{3}aT^4$$ I found this ...
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Why doesn't the water cycle stop, since it dissipates energy?

In artificial cycles like for example refrigeration cycle, because of irreversibilities extra energy is require to be provided so that the refrigerant is available at the same state as it was at the ...
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Generalizing Carnot theorem

Motivated by question Can IC engines be modeled as Carnot engines?. I am wondering whether/how Carnot theorem could be generalized to other kinds of devices performing "useful work", such as,...
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How does the Carnot Cycle work?

I am learning the Carnot cycle, which consists of four transformations for a fluid. In the first two transformations the volume of the fluid expands, generating work. This happens in two steps: First,...
Álvaro Franz's user avatar
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Total Reversibility of Carnot Cycle

I was reading about Carnot cycle in "Thermodynamics by Cengel & Boles", now it is stated that Carnot cycle is a totally reversible cycle, i.e it is an internally as well as externally reversible ...
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Is existence of incompressible bodies prohibited by Carnot's theorem and Clausius' inequality?

Consider an absolutely incompressible body, which does not change its volume $V$ under pressure $p$ but can expand or shrink when its temperature $T$ changes. Then its equation of state has a simple ...
Alexey Sokolik's user avatar
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In a Carnot Engine, how does the heat flow from the heat reservoir to the engine if both are at the same temperature?

From what I read about the Carnot Cycle, there are 4 major steps involved, viz. Isothermal Expansion, Adiabatic expansion, Isothermal compression and Adiabatic compression. During the Isothermal ...
Manav M Nair's user avatar
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2nd law of thermodynamics' violation?

According to 2nd law of thermodynamics, it is not possible to convert heat 100% into work. Well, investigating about the Carnot Cycle, I have found out that in the first step, the process is to heat ...
Diego López's user avatar
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Why does there need to be an isothermal compression in a Carnot cycle?

This is the part that allows the Carnot engine to not violate the 2nd law of thermodynamics, but, hypothetically, why can't we just adiabatically compress the working substance to get it back to State ...
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Why can't the Carnot cycle be used to operate automobiles, if its the most efficient?

Since the cycle proposed by Carnot (consisting of two isothermal and two adiabatic processes) is the most efficient one on which to run a heat engine, why do we use other, less efficient ones (like ...
Benjamin Hornigold's user avatar
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Why is the Peltier / Seebeck Effect's efficiency so low in practical devices?

Usually solid state devices are able to attain excellent efficiency. However, currently existing Peltier coolers and Seebeck generators have horrible efficiency -- far worse than Carnot, and also far ...
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Is Carnot cycle the only "most efficient" cycle? [duplicate]

In all the books, that I have studied so far, they say that Carnot cycle is the most efficient cycle. But why isn't any other reversible process as efficient as Carnot cycle? Can somebody please ...
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Why won't the efficiency of a heat pump increase when $T_\mathrm{cold}$ decreases?

Why won't the efficiency of a heat pump increase when $T_\mathrm{cold}$ decreases? In the carnot cycle, efficiency increases when $T_\mathrm{cold}$ gets colder and $T_\mathrm{hot}$ gets hotter. Are ...
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Why can Carnot efficiency only be 100% at absolute zero?

So I know that the efficiency of a Carnot engine is given by $1-T_c/T_h$. This tells us that even with an idealised cycle we can never have a 100% efficient heat engine unless $T_c$ is $0$ K or $T_h$ ...
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Efficiency of reversible engines

I'm a little confused about something. All reversible engines have the same efficiency, or one could drive the other to move more heat in the reverse direction. Also, no engine has an efficiency ...
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How do we know that entropy is a state function given by $\delta Q_{\mathrm{rev}}/T$ for any arbitrary (not just reversible process)?

In this video, the professor goes through a "derivation" for entropy using the Carnot cycle, in which he establishes that entropy is a state function for that process. However, he then continues the ...
Milk Man's user avatar
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Are Carnot theorem and Carnot Cycle related?

This has been in my head for a while, and I think I finally have the answer. I was wondering what was so special about the Carnot cycle so it was used to demonstrate the Carnot theorem; the ...
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Why is the efficiency of a carnot engine maximum?

I know carnot engine consists of isothermal and adiabatic process. My question is why the efficiency of carnot engine is maximum? Why not it is maximum with other processes. In one book I read ...
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Heat Pumps and COP?

Heat Pump COP (Coefficient of Performance) $$COP=1-\frac{T_c}{T_H}$$ With Heat Pumps is the efficiency/COP more dependent on the hot or the cold reservoir and why?
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Are there actual technical realizations of the Carnot cycle?

The Carnot cycle is composed of four steps: isothermal expansion, adiabatic expansion, isothermal compression and adiabatic compression. In the case of combustion engines, we have the idealized Otto ...
Marc's user avatar
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Optimality of the Carnot cycle

It is well-known and is stated always and everywhere that the Carnot cycle is the most efficient thermodynamic cycle. Although stated as such it is rarely proven. One proof is in the article "...
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Is it always true that a non-adiabatic reversible process is an isothermal process?

In a Carnot Cycle, a reversible isothermal process is a non-adiabatic reversible process. Is it always true that a non-adiabatic reversible process is an isothermal process?
Dom Tesilbirth Shira's user avatar
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Why is there Net Work Done on a Pressure/Volume Cycle?

The area enclosed by the rectangle is said to be the Net Work Done. My question is why would there be any net workdone if it returns to its initial position (W). Shouldn't it act like a force-...
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Questions on Carnot's theorem

This article on Carnot's theorem states that All heat engines between two heat reservoirs are less efficient than a Carnot heat engine operating between the same reservoirs. However, it only proves ...
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How the temperature used in second law of thermodynamics and ideal gas law equivalent? [closed]

I was reading Theory and Problems of Thermodynamics by Schaum's Outline series and there the author starts from some axioms (which are the thermodynamic laws, excluding the zeroth and third). Then he ...
Nikhil Negi's user avatar
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Otto and Carnot efficiency comparison

Lets say both engines operate between same temperature limits. Carnot eff: $$ e_\text{Carnot} = 1-\frac{T_L}{T_H} $$ Otto eff: $$ e_\text{Otto} = 1-\frac{T_4-T_1}{T_3-T_2} $$ assuming ...
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Heat transfer in the isothermal expansion in the Carnot cycle

Problem In the Carnot cycle there are two adiabatic and two isothermal processes. This question focuses on the isothermal expansion. In the isothermal expansion books often writes that the system is ...
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Net work output of an engine performing Carnot cycle?

My problem gives me a Carnot cycle heat engine with water as its working fluid, with $T_H$, $T_L$, and the fact that it starts from saturated liquid to saturated vapor in the heating process. I need ...
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Where does the energy flow differ between a forward and reverse process?

Mathematically ($W=\int PdV$) and by the First Law, I understand that $1 \rightarrow 4 \rightarrow 3 \rightarrow 2 \rightarrow 1$ and $1 \rightarrow 2 \rightarrow 3 \rightarrow 4 \rightarrow 1$ are ...
Meow's user avatar
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Proof for $\oint \frac{dQ}{T}=0 $ in a reversible process

I'm actually trying to prove that Entropy is a state function. I get struck at the point where I need to prove that $\oint \frac{dQ}{T}=0 $ for a reversible process. Clausius in his book The ...
Amsterdam6483's user avatar
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Carnot Engine - Maximum Efficiency Proof?

As an introductory physics student (independently studying before my return to official classes this summer), I am given a "proof" that the Carnot engine has the maximum efficiency possible by way of ...
Justin's user avatar
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Why does a system expand isothermally?

Considering the first step of the Carnot process, heat is transferred from a bath to the system with both at the same temperature. But how does this process start? Why should the system spontaneously ...
McLawrence's user avatar
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Entropy of loops in the PV plane

The change in entropy of the Carnot and reversible cycles is said to be 0. Several other loops are supposed to have a non-negative change in entropy. This presents 2 problems which I cannot reconcile....
curiousgeorge's user avatar
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3 answers
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Can IC engines be modeled as Carnot engines?

In the "talk" tab for Wikipedia Heat Engine article, someone is questioning whether an internal combustion engine can be modeled as a heat engine - and therefore is limited or is not limited ...
Kjetil 's user avatar
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3 answers
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How can we say that work done by carnot engine in a cycle equals net heat released into it even when it is operated b/w 2 bodies and not 2 reservoir?

When a carnot engine is operated between 2 reservoir then after each cycle it return to its initial state so change in internal energy is zero and so work done by it equals net heat released into it. ...
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Must a reversible engine be a carnot engine?

I have this homework question: "Show that any reversible engine operating between T1 and T2 is a carnot engine." I think I have a solution, but it feels very hand-wavy. We know that any process that ...
Kieran Cooney's user avatar
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1 answer
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Final temperature after maximum work output?

Two simple identical blocks with heat capacity $C$ are at temperatures $T_2$ and $T_1$ respectively, with $T_2>T_1$. What is the final temperature of the two blocks if the maximum possible work is ...
Arturo don Juan's user avatar
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2 answers
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Why adiabatic expansion happens in Carnot cycle?

$A \rightarrow B$: Isothermal expansion happens. Since the internal energy purely depends on the temperature ($E_{int} = knRT$, $k = \frac{3}{2},\frac{5}{2},3$), then $\Delta E_{int}=0$ in an ...
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