Introduction to Vapor and Gas Power Cycles

Now that we understand the 1st and

2nd Laws

of Thermodynamics we can consider some important applications and the equipment used to generate mechanical power from heat. In this chapter, we will consider

power cycles

and in the next chapter we will discuss

refrigeration cycles

and

heat pumps

.
In this chapter, we will study both

vapor

and

gas power cycles

in greater detail and consider how their performance can be improved.
During the cycle the working fluid exists as a vapor for part of the cycle and a liquid for the other part. Key components include a condenser and a boiler.

Vapor Cycles

:
During the entire cycle the working fluid remains in the gas phase. No phase changes occur.

Gas Cycles

:
After each pass through the cycle, the working fluid remains within the system.

Closed Cycles

:
In an open cycle, one heat exchanger is missing. After the working fluid passes through three processes, it is discarded and replaced by fresh working fluid.

Open Cycles

:

Heat
Engine

Diagram of a heat engine.
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Ch9, Lesson A, Page 1 - Introduction to Vapor and Gas Power Cycles