Friday, February 17, 2006

The Stiling Cycle

Definition: thermodynamic model of steam engine behaviour.

Consists of an isothermal (constant temperature) expansion of a gas in a cylinder from Va to Vb at temperature Th followed by an isochoric (constant volume) cooling to Tl. This is followed by an isothermal compression back to Va (at Tl) and an isochoric heating back to the original starting position at temperature Th.

Depending on the model of the gas used, it is possible to calculate the work that can be done by the system and the heat absorbed by the system, which gives its efficiency.

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