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An Equivalent Mechanical Model for Representing the Entropy Generation in Heat Exchangers. Application to Power Cycles

Author(s): Jose Ignacio Linares | Beatriz Yolanda Moratilla | Federico Ramírez

Journal: International Journal of Thermodynamics
ISSN 1301-9724

Volume: 14;
Issue: 3;
Start page: 147;
Date: 2011;
Original page

Keywords: Entropy generation | Irreversibility | Heat exchanger

One of the most common difficulties students face in learning Thermodynamics lies in grasping the physical meaning of concepts such as lost availability and entropy generation. This explains the quest for new approaches for explaining and comprehending these quantities, as suggested by diagrams from different authors. The difficulties worsen in the case of irreversibilities associated with heat transfer processes driven by a finite temperature difference, where no work transfer takes place. An equivalent mechanical model is proposed in this paper. Heat exchangers are modelled by means of Carnot heat engines and mechanical transmissions; the use of mechanical models allows an easy visualization of thermal irreversibilities. The proposed model is further applied to a power cycle, thus obtaining an “equivalent arrangement” where irreversibilities become clearly apparent.
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