The System of Heat
Stage one: Isothermic Expansion
- The engine absorbs heat from a source and the gas begins to expand without changing temperature causing the piston to move as well.
Stage two: Adiabatic Expansion
- The heat source is removed, and the gas begins to cool, but as it is still at a hotter temperature it keeps expanding.
Stage three: Isothermal Compression
- As the system becomes cool, the piston begins to return to its original position, re-compressing the gas, decreasing volume, and increasing pressure.
Stage four: Adiabatic Compression
- The engine stops cooling as the gas returns to the original temperature and the piston to it's original position.
Maximum efficiency ɳ is defined to be
ɳ =W/QH = 1 – TC/TH
- W is the work done by the system
- QH is the heat put into the system
- TC is the absolute temperature of the cold reservoir
- TH is the absolute temperature of the hot reservoir