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Published by: TRINADH on May 18, 2013
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We will look firstly at two practical processes, which a fluid may undertake. These are Isothermal and Isentropic processes. Then we will examine the Polytropic process.

Isothermal Processes
A process at constant temperature is called an isothermal process. If the fluid in a cylinder expands when the piston is moved there is a tendency for the temperature to fall. This happens because of the gas law: PV --------- = constant T If the volume is increased and the pressure reduces inside the cylinder then the temperature will reduce as well. In an isothermal process of expansion, heat must be added continuously during the process to maintain a constant temperature. Similarly in an isothermal compression heat must be removed from the fluid continuously during the process. There must be heat flow from the cylinder in isothermal compression to keep the temperature at the initial value. The drawing below shows an isothermal process on a p-v diagram.




Isothermal Process

p 1 2 v .u1 Or. the work done by the fluid is at the expense of a reduction in the internal energy of the fluid. The drawing below shows a reversible adiabatic process for steam on a p-v diagram. For an adiabatic process to take place perfect thermal insulation for the system must be available. From the non-flow equation: Q + W = u2 . Similarly in an adiabatic expansion process. Work done by the system = change of internal energy. In an adiabatic compression process all the work done on the fluid goes to increasing the internal energy of the fluid. An example of adiabatic expansion would be a steam engine in which steam expands reversibly as the piston moves and the pressure is reduced.Adiabatic Processes An adiabatic process is one in which no heat is transferred to or from the process. For a true adiabatic process the steam cylinder would have to be perfectly insulated. W = u2 .u1 and for an adiabatic process we can assume that Q = 0 Therefore we have for any non-flow process.

P (N/m2) P2 2 pV n = C P1 V2 Polytropic Process 1 V1 V (m3 or m3/kg) . A polytropic process is shown on the pressure – volume (p-V) diagram below. p = V = n = pressure (N/m2) volume (m3) constant or polytropic index. p V = constant Where. These processes are reversible.Polytropic Processes Many processes in practice approximate to a reversible law as follows. n Vapours and gases obey this law in non-flow processes.

p1 = p21 = V1 = V2 = n = ( p1 V1 . Also. p1 / p2 = (V2 / V1) n .p2 V2 ) / ( n – 1) pressure at point 1(N/m2) pressure at point 2(N/m2) volume at pint 1 (m3) volume at pint 2 (m3) constant or polytropic index. Work done = Where.The Work done by a Polytropic process is as follows.

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