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Adrian Bejan

Citation: J. Appl. Phys. 79, 1191 (1996); doi: 10.1063/1.362674

View online: http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.362674

View Table of Contents: http://jap.aip.org/resource/1/JAPIAU/v79/i3

Published by the American Institute of Physics.

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of finite-size devices and finite-time processes

Adrian Bejan

J. A. Jones Professor of Mechanical Engineering, Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials

Science, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina 27708-0300

Entropy generation minimization ~finite time thermodynamics, or thermodynamic optimization! is

the method that combines into simple models the most basic concepts of heat transfer, fluid

mechanics, and thermodynamics. These simple models are used in the optimization of real

~irreversible! devices and processes, subject to finite-size and finite-time constraints. The review

traces the development and adoption of the method in several sectors of mainstream thermal

engineering and science: cryogenics, heat transfer, education, storage systems, solar power plants,

nuclear and fossil power plants, and refrigerators. Emphasis is placed on the fundamental and

technological importance of the optimization method and its results, the pedagogical merits of the

method, and the chronological development of the field. 1996 American Institute of Physics.

@S0021-8979~96!04103-9#

TABLE OF CONTENTS

I. Objectives. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

II. The method. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

III. Cryogenics. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

IV. Heat transfer. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

V. Storage systems. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

VI. Solar power plants. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

VII. Nuclear and fossil power plants. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

VIII. Refrigeration plants. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

IX. Conclusion. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

1191

1192

1193

1197

1201

1203

1206

1212

1214

I. OBJECTIVES

of modeling and optimization of real devices that owe their

thermodynamic imperfection to heat transfer, mass transfer,

and fluid flow irreversibilities. It is also known as thermodynamic optimization in engineering, where it was first developed, or more recently as finite time thermodynamics

in the physics literature. The method combines from the start

the most basic principles of thermodynamics, heat transfer,

and fluid mechanics, and covers the interdisciplinary domain

pictured in Fig. 1. The most exciting and promising interdisciplinary aspect of the method is that it also combines research interests from engineering and physics.

The objectives of the optimization work may differ from

one application to the next, for example, minimization of

entropy generation in heat exchangers,1 maximization of

power output in power plants,2 8 maximization of an ecological benefit,9 and minimization of cost.10 Common in

these applications is the use of models that feature rate processes ~heat transfer, mass transfer, fluid flow!, the finite

sizes of actual devices, and the finite times or finite speeds of

real processes. The optimization is then carried out subject to

J. Appl. Phys. 79 (3), 1 February 1996

physical ~palpable, visible! constraints that are in fact responsible for the irreversible operation of the device. The

combined heat transfer and thermodynamics model visualizes for the analyst the irreversible nature of the device.

From an educational standpoint, the optimization of such a

model gives us a feel for the otherwise abstract concept of

entropy generation, specifically where and how much of it is

being generated, how it flows, and how it impacts thermodynamic performance.

The emergence of a new field of research is marked by

the appearance of several fundamental results that hold for

entire classes of known and future applications. Although

isolated publications had appeared throughout the 1950s and

1960s, thermodynamic optimization emerged as a selfstanding method and field in the 1970s in engineering, with

applications notably in cryogenics, heat transfer engineering,

solar energy conversion, and education. These first developments were reviewed in Ref. 1, and Refs. 1113.

The field has experienced tremendous growth during the

1980s and 1990s. The objective of this article is to review the

field, and to place its growth in perspective. The explosion of

interest that we are witnessing today is due to three new

developments: the diversification of the problems tackled in

engineering after the energy policies of the 1970s, the lifting

of the Iron Curtain and the absorption of work done by previously unrecognized pioneers, and the contributions that appear in the physics literature. The field today is so large and

active that the author is forced to focus this review on just

three aspects, which were stressed by the editors in their

original invitation:

~1! The fundamental and technological implications of the

results obtained until now.

~2! The pedagogical merits of the method, i.e., how EGM

0021-8979/96/79(3)/1191/28/$6.00

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1191

, on

system and the atmospheric temperature reservoir, Q

0

which we focus shortly.

The thermodynamics of the system of Fig. 2 consists of

accounting for the first law and the second law ~e.g., Ref.

14!,

n

dE

2W

1

5

Q

dt i50 i

S gen5

FIG. 1. The interdisciplinary field covered by the method of entropy generation minimization ~from Ref. 1!.

teach, understand, and apply in actual technical work.

~3! The chronological development of the field, based on a

combined survey of the engineering and physics literature.

why in EGM we need to rely on heat transfer and fluid mechanics, not just thermodynamics. Consider the general

systemenvironment configuration shown in Fig. 2. The system operates in the unsteady state, and its instantaneous inventories of mass, energy, and entropy are M , E, and S. The

, heat transsystem experiences the net work transfer rate W

in , m

out! through any

(T 0 ,T 1 ,...,T n ), and mass flow rates ~m

number of inlet and outlet ports. For simplicity, only one

inlet and one outlet are illustrated in Fig. 2. Noteworthy in

h,

m

(in m h2 (

out

Q

dS

i

2

2

dt i50 T i

s>0,

m

(in m s1 (

out

~1!

~2!

where h is shorthand for the sum of specific enthalpy, kinetic energy, and potential energy of a particular stream at

the boundary. In Eq. ~2! the total entropy generation rate S gen

is simply a definition ~notation! for the entire quantity on the

left-hand side of the inequality sign. Soon, we will recognize

that it is advantageous to decrease S gen , and this can be accomplished only by changing at least one of the quantities

~properties, interactions! specified along the system boundary.

as the interaction that is always allowed to

We select Q

0

justified! by applications to power plants and refrigeration

plants, because the rejection of heat to the atmosphere was of

no or little consequence in the overall cost analysis of the

between Eqs. ~1! and ~2! we obtain

design. Eliminating Q

0

n

52

W

1

d

T0

12

Q

~ E2T 0 S ! 1

dt

Ti i

i51

~ h2T 0 s ! 2T 0 S gen .

m

(in m ~ h2T 0 s ! 2 (

out

~3!

~S gen50! is clearly

FIG. 2. General work transfer, heat transfer, and mass flows between a system and its environment in the unsteady state ~from Ref. 14!.

1192

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52

W

rev

1

d

T0

12

Q

~ E2T 0 S ! 1

dt

Ti i

i51

~ h2T 0 s ! .

m

(in m ~ h2T 0 s ! 2 (

out

~4!

right-hand side of Eq. ~4! is recognized as an exergy of one

type or another ~e.g., Ref. 14, Chap. 3!, and the calculation

of W

rev is known as exergy analysis. Subtracting Eq. ~3!

from Eq. ~4! we arrive at the formula

5T S

2W

W

rev

0 gen

~5!

known as the GouyStodola theorem.1,15,16

Pure thermodynamics ~e.g., exergy analysis! ends, and

2W

! is alEGM begins, with Eq. ~5!. The lost power ~W

rev

ways positive, regardless of whether the system is a power

producer ~e.g., power plant! or a power user ~e.g., refrigeration plant!. Equation ~5! states that the destroyed power is

proportional to the total rate of entropy generation. If engineering systems and their components are to operate such

that their destruction of work is minimized, then the conceptual design of such systems and components must begin with

the minimization of entropy generation ~Ref. 1, pp. 25,33!.

The critical new aspect of the EGM methodthe aspect

that makes the use of thermodynamics insufficient, and distinguishes it from exergy analysisis the minimization of

the calculated entropy generation rate. To minimize the irreversibility of a proposed design the analyst must use the

relations between temperature differences and heat transfer

rates, and between pressure differences and mass flow rates.

He or she must relate the degree of thermodynamic nonideality of the design to the physical characteristics of the system, namely to finite dimensions, shapes, materials, finite

speeds, and finite-time intervals of operation. For this the

analyst must rely on heat transfer and fluid mechanics principles, in addition to thermodynamics. Only by varying one

or more of the physical characteristics of the system, can the

analyst bring the design closer to the operation characterized

by minimum entropy generation subject to finite-size and

finite-time constraints.

To explain how the following review was structured, it is

pointed out that the optimization of power and refrigeration

systems has a long and established tradition in engineering.

The portion that is based on exergy analysis is voluminous

and has been reviewed on several occasions.14,1723 Energy

analysis is distinct from EGM, and is not the object of the

present review. In fact, to calculate S gen and minimize it, the

analyst does not need to rely on the concept of exergy ~Ref.

1, pp. 25,33!.

The examples that are presented next illustrate how

EGM blends thermodynamics with heat transfer and fluid

mechanics in the optimization of real systems. The minimum

entropy generation design ~S gen,min! is determined for each

model, as in the case of the optimal diameter of a duct with

flow and heat transfer, or the optimal hot-end temperature of

a power plant with a bypass heat leak to the ambient. The

approach of any other design ~S gen! to the limit of realistic

J. Appl. Phys., Vol. 79, No. 3, 1 February 1996

FIG. 3. Mechanical support with variable heat leak and intermediate cooling

effect ~after Ref. 24!.

thermodynamic ideality represented by the design with minimum entropy generation ~S gen,min! is monitored in terms of

the entropy generation number N S 5S gen/S gen,min>1, or alternatives of the same ratio.1

As a final comment on Fig. 1, note that thermodynamics

is a foundation that should be visible ~i.e., present, and

taught and used! in related disciplines such as heat transfer

and thermodynamics. Historically, however, thermodynamics

was formulated after heat transfer, and long after mechanics

~e.g., Ref. 1!. The interdisciplinary domain that is now being

mapped by the research on EGM or finite-time thermodynamics is finally bridging the gap between thermodynamics

and the other thermofluid engineering disciplines. This is

why the developments reviewed in this article not only have

technological relevance but also fundamental and pedagogical value.

III. CRYOGENICS

where irreversibility minimization became an established

method of optimization and design. As a special application

of Eq. ~5!, it is easy to prove that the power required to keep

a cold space cold is equal to the total rate of entropy generation times the ambient temperature, with the observation that

the entropy generation rate includes the contribution made

by the leakage of heat from T 0 into the cold space. The

structure of a cryogenic system is in fact dominated by components that leak heat, e.g., mechanical supports, radiation

shields, electric cables, and counterflow heat exchangers.

The minimization of entropy generation along a heat leak

path consists of optimizing the path in harmony24 with the

rest of the refrigerator of liquefier.

Figure 3 shows a mechanical support of length L that

connects the cold end of the machine ~T L ! to room temperature ~T H !. The rate of entropy generation inside the support

shown as a vertical column is

S gen5

TH

TL

Q

dT,

T2

~6!

Appl. Phys. Rev.: Adrian Bejan

1193

is allowed

where it is important to note that the heat leak Q

to vary with the local temperature T. The origin of the integrand in Eq. ~6! is the infinitesimal element ~shaded in

Fig. 3!, in which the rate of entropy generation

/T1dQ

/T2(Q

1dQ

)/(T1dT)5Q

dT/T 2 , beis dS gen5Q

is removed

cause dT!T. The local heat leak decrement dQ

by the rest of the installation, which is modeled as reversible.

The heat leak is also related to the local temperature gradient

and conduction cross-section A,

dT

,

dx

5kA

Q

~7!

temperatures. Rearranged and integrated from end to end,

Eq. ~7! places a size constraint on the unknown function

(T),

Q

L

A

TH

TL

k

dT.

~8!

leak function that minimizes the S gen integral ~6! subject to

the finite-size constraint ~8! is obtained by finding the extreT

mum of the aggregate integral * T H FdT whose integrand F is

L

a linear combination of the integrands of Eqs. ~6! and ~8!,

, and l is a Lagrange multiplier. The Euler

/T 2 1lk/Q

F5Q

50, which yields

equation reduces in this case to ] F/ ] Q

1/2

mined by substituting Q

opt into the finite-size constraint ~8!.

24

The results are

5

Q

opt

S E

SE

A

L

S gen,min5

TH

TL

A

L

k 1/2

dT k 1/2T,

T

TH

TL

k 1/2

dT

T

~9!

~10!

~8! by heat transfer: together they prescribe the optimal design @Eqs. ~9! and ~10!#, which is characterized by a certain

/dT) . Any

distribution of intermediate cooling effect (dQ

opt

(T), will generate more entropy and will reother design, Q

quire more power in order to maintain the cold end of the

support at T L . Quantitative examples are given in Refs. 1,

13, and 24. Together, Eqs. ~6! and ~8! illustrate the method of

thermodynamic optimization subject to a physical constraint,

and, to paraphrase some of the more recent physics terminology, they constitute one of the earliest examples of finitesize thermodynamics, this in 1974 in engineering.

The technological applications of the variable heat leak

optimization principle are numerous and important. In the

case of a mechanical support, the optimal design is approximated in practice by placing a stream of cold helium gas in

counterflow ~and in thermal contact! with the conduction

c p , where

path, Fig. 4. The heat leak varies as dQ/dT5m

c p is the capacity flow rate of the stream. The practical

m

value of the theory @Eqs. ~9! and ~10!# is that it guides the

designer to an optimal flow rate for minimum entropy generation. To illustrate, if the support conductivity is tempera1194

FIG. 4. The intermediate cooling effect provided by a cold stream in counterflow with the conduction current through a structural support ~from

Ref. 25!.

opt5(Ak/Lc p )ln(T H /T L ). In reality the conductivity of

m

cryogenic structural materials varies strongly with the temperature, and the single-stream intermediate cooling technique can approach S gen,min only approximately. The optimal

flow rates to be used in conjunction with common structural

materials are reported in Ref. 25.

The fabrication of the heat exchanger between the support and the coolant is less difficult and more economic if the

continuous contact ~Fig. 4! is replaced by a succession of

discrete cooling stations ~Fig. 5!. The optimal heat leak function required by Eq. ~9! must be approximated by a stepwisevarying function. The problem consists of determining not

only the optimal cooling rate for each station, but also the

optimal spatial position of each station. Hilal and Boom26

solved this problem using the method of Lagrange multipliers, and reported optimal structural designs for several superconducting coil applications of very large scales.

The optimization of conduction heat leak paths was considered in more general circumstances by Bisio.27,28 An even

more practical technique for optimizing the support of a vessel filled with cryogen is to place the natural stream of vapor

~boil off! in contact with the support at a number of cooling

stations ~Fig. 6!. The optimization problem is also simpler

because it reduces to finding only the optimal positions of

Appl. Phys. Rev.: Adrian Bejan

net radiation heat transfer between two adjacent shields is

approximately1,14

5 s AF ~ T 4 2T 4 ! >4 s AFT 3

Q

i

i11

i

i

DT i

,

Di

~11!

the shield area, effective view factor, and StefanBoltzmann

constant. Integrating Eq. ~11! across the stack we obtain a

finite-size constraint that replaces Eq. ~8!,

N

A

FIG. 6. Structural support with discrete stations for helium boil off cooling

~from Ref. 1!.

the cooling stations. The optimal design ~S gen,min! corresponds to the minimum boil off rate, or the minimum cold

end heat leak into the vessel. This problem was solved by

Lagrange multipliers in Ref. 29, which also reports the optimal positions and boil off rates for designs with up to six

intermediate cooling stations and structural materials with

k/T5constant.

The thermodynamic optimization of a stack of radiation

shields in vacuum, Fig. 7, follows essentially the same route

as in Eqs. ~6!~10!. To see this at a glance, assume that the

Ref. 14!.

J. Appl. Phys., Vol. 79, No. 3, 1 February 1996

T0

TL

4 s T 3F

dT,

~12!

where T 0 is the same as the room temperature T H used earlier. The result of minimizing the entropy generation rate

integral ~6! is an optimal radiation heat leak variation

(T), i.e., an optimal way of cooling each shield. The

Q

opt

practical techniques of providing this intermediate effect

~single stream, discrete stations, boil off! have also been applied to stacks of radiation shields. The optimization effort

requires computer assistance when the number of shields is

small and the approximation made in Eq. ~11! does not hold.

Martynovskii et al.30 determined the optimal intermediate

cooling ~and optimal shield temperatures! for minimum entropy generation rate in stacks with one, two, and three

shields. Eyssa and Okasha31 optimized stacks of radiation

shields where the space between shields is filled with superinsulation. Chato and Khodadadi32 minimized the entropy

generation rate in stacks with shield-to-shield spaces occupied by a structural material. Further aspects of the thermodynamic optimization of cryogenic insulation and support

techniques are presented in Chen et al.33

Superconducting devices must communicate with the

room temperature environment not only mechanically but

also electrically. For example, the electric cables ~current

leads! that connect the liquid helium temperature windings to

the room temperature network can be modeled as a heat conducting path of length L, cross-section A, and constant thermal conductivity k. In addition, the cable conducts a total

electric current I, against an electric resistivity re . The fact

that the electric power dissipated via Joule heating in the

cable is inversely proportional to A, and that the conductive

heat leak is proportional to A, guarantees the existence of an

optimal cable cross section for which the two sources of

irreversibility add up to a minimum. Furthermore, when the

cable geometry and material are specified, it is possible to

equip the cable with the optimal intermediate cooling effect

so that the refrigerator power needed to keep the cable cold

is minimized.

The optimization method is the same as in Eqs. ~6!~10!.

The optimal intermediate cooling regime for cryogenic

cables was developed by Agsten34 who minimized the total

power ~refrigerator power1electric power! required to operate the cooled cable. When the single stream cooling technique of Fig. 4 is used, the optimal flow rate of cold helium

gas is1,35

S D

2

optc p L

ILL 1/2

TH

m

1

0

5ln

1

,

kA

T L ln~ T H /T L !

kA

~13!

1195

, and U is

where p is the perimeter of the duct that carries m

the overall heat transfer coefficient based on p. The total

stream-to-stream heat transfer area pL is fixed. We account

for this constraint by eliminating DT between Eqs. ~15! and

~16!, and integrating from x50 to x5L,

pL5

TH

TL

cp

m

dT.

U

Q

~17!

The integral constraint ~17! plays the same role as Eq. ~8!,

and the result of the EGM analysis is again an optimal heat

leak variation,

5

Q

opt

exchanger ~from Ref. 43!.

WiedemannFranz law, L 0 5k r e /T. An additional advantage

to using the flow rate ~13! is that it guarantees the thermal

stability of the cable.36 The optimal cable cross section for

minimum entropy generation rate is1

A opt5

ILL 1/2

0

k ln~ T H /T L !

~14!

heat leak is just one of the optimization application problems

at the interface between cryogenics and electrical engineering. Another wide class of applications deals with the cooling of heat generating electric components that must operate

at a certain temperature. Examples are the superconducting

transition,37 superconducting windings for stationary magnets and rotating machines,38 40 and electronic packages in

computers.41,42

Another class of engineering components that has been

optimized based on the irreversibility minimization principles ~6!~10! is the counterflow heat exchangers that connect the coldest regions of refrigerators and liquefiers to the

room temperature compressor.43 The counterflow sketched in

Fig. 8 was intentionally oriented and labeled in the same way

as the mechanical support of Fig. 3 to stress the analogy

between the two devices. The entropy generation rate associated with the two streams and the space between them ~Fig.

is now the longitudinal

8! is given by Eq. ~6! in which Q

convective heat leak

5m

c p DT

Q

~15!

and DT is the transversal ~stream-to-stream! temperature difference. The equivalent of the finite-size constraint ~8! is

obtained by writing that the enthalpy gained by the colder

stream is equal to the local stream-to-stream heat transfer

rate,

c p dT5 ~ pdx ! UDT,

m

1196

~16!

cp

TH

m

c p T,

ln

m

UpL

TL

S gen,min5

cp

TH

m

ln

UpL

TL

~18!

~19!

UA

/dT) .

or an optimal regime of intermediate cooling, (dQ

opt

The way this cooling effect is built into the practical

design of the counterflow heat exchanger is by bleeding a

e ) of the high pressure stream, expanding it in a

fraction (m

work producing device ~cylinder and piston, or turbine!, and

using this cold stream to cool the counterflow heat exchanger, Fig. 9. The optimal flow rate through the expander

/dT) . When

e,optc p 5 (dQ

is known from Eq. ~18! and m

opt

the pressure ratio P H / P L is not large enough for the ex e to become as cold as the cold end of the

panded fraction m

counterflow (T L ), the engineering solution is to install two or

three expanders along the counterflow. The optimization of

the temperature locations of such a sequence of expanders is

described in Ref. 14. Another fundamental development is

the optimal temperature staging of cryogenic refrigerators.44

One interesting characteristic of the counterflow heat exchanger with optimal intermediate cooling effect is that the

stream-to-stream temperature difference DT opt decreases

proportionally with T, Fig. 9,

S D

DT

T

5

opt

cp TH

m

ln

.

UA

TL

~20!

This rule follows from Eqs. ~15! and ~18! and is widely

recognized in the design of cryogenic counterflow heat

exchangers.45 Another interesting aspect is that the convective heat leak ~18! and entropy generation rate ~19! decrease

when the stream-to-stream thermal conductance UpL increases. In other words, by promoting heat transfer in the

transversal direction, counterflow heat exchangers serve as

effective insulations in the longitudinal direction.

The structure of any low temperature installation contains more than one heat leak path. The intermediate cooling

regime for parallel heat leak paths has been optimized46

based on the EGM approach presented in this section. One

conclusion is that parallel heat leak paths must be fitted individually with optimal continuous distributions of intermediate cooling. References such as 24, 30, and 45 are further

examples of early finite size thermodynamics work in engineering.

Appl. Phys. Rev.: Adrian Bejan

FIG. 9. The optimal intermediate cooling of a counterflow heat exchanger ~from Ref. 14!.

The field of heat transfer engineering adopted the techniques developed in cryogenics and applied them to many

classes of devices for promoting heat transfer. The optimization was carried out at two levels of complexity: complete

components ~e.g., heat exchangers!, and elemental features

~e.g., fins, ducts!. The field is vast, therefore in this section

we review only some of the most basic examples.

through a heat exchanger tube of internal diameter D. The

heat transfer rate per unit tube length, between the tube wall

and the stream, q 8, is given. The entropy generation rate per

unit tube length is47,48

3f

32m

q 82

1

S 8gen5

,

p kT 2 Nu p 2 r 2 TD 5

~21!

way of expressing the wallstream heat transfer coefficient

h. Similarly, the friction factor f accounts for the frictional

pressure drop along the tube, f 5(2d P/dx) r D/(2G 2 ),

/( p D 2 /4). The properties r, T, and k are the

where G5m

bulk density, temperature, and thermal conductivity of the

fluid, and x increases in the downstream direction.

The Nusselt number is a result taken from the field of

0.4

when 2500

heat transfer, e.g., Nu50.023 Re0.8

D Pr

6

2

/( rp D /4). The friction

,ReD ,10 , ReD 5VD/ n and V5m

factor is a result taken from fluid mechanics, namely

when 23104,ReD ,106. In this way Eq.

f 50.046 Re20.2

D

~21! shows at a glance the meaning of Fig. 1, i.e., how thermodynamics is combined from the start with heat transfer

and fluid mechanics in the calculation and minimization of

S 8gen . The first term on the right-hand side is the contribution

J. Appl. Phys., Vol. 79, No. 3, 1 February 1996

8

made by heat transfer, S gen,DT

, while the second term is the

contribution due to fluid friction, S 8gen,D P , in other words

8 5S gen,DT

8

S gen

1S 8gen,D P .

~22!

8

competes against S 8gen,D P : for example, in

flow is that S gen,DT

, the changes in

the smooth tube with fixed q 8 and m

8

and S 8gen,D P have opposing signs as D changes. The

S gen,DT

optimal tube diameter that minimizes the S 8gen expression

~21! is given by48

20.07

ReD,opt52.023B 0.36

,

0 Pr

~23!

):

accounts for the constraints (q 8 ,m

B 05

q 8m

.

1/2 5/2

~ kT ! m / r

~24!

8

is obThe minimum entropy generation rate S gen,min

tained by combining Eq. ~23! with Eq. ~21!. The perfor8 ) relative to the optimal

mance of any other design (D,S gen

design (D opt ,S 8gen,min) is described by the entropy generation

number N S ,

S 8gen

ReD

50.856

N S5

ReD,opt

S 8gen,min

20.8

10.144

ReD

ReD,opt

4.8

,

~25!

fixed. This ratio is plotted in Fig. 10, which shows that the

rate of entropy generation increases sharply on either side of

the optimum. The irreversibility distribution ratio plotted on

8

. The entropy genthe curve is defined as f 5 S 8gen,D P /S gen,DT

Appl. Phys. Rev.: Adrian Bejan

1197

in a smooth tube with heat transfer ~from Ref. 48!.

8 /S gen,min

8

eration rate ratio S gen

is used to monitor the approach

of any design relative to the best design that can be conceived subject to the same constraints. This performance criterion was used extensively in the engineering literature

~e.g., Refs. 1 and 14! and, just last year, was also recognized

in the physics literature.49

The minimization of entropy generation in ducts with

heat transfer attracted considerable interest from engineers

working on heat transfer augmentation techniques. In such

techniques the main objective is to increase the wallfluid

heat transfer coefficient relative to the coefficient of the unaugmented ~i.e., untouched! surface. A parallel objective,

however, is to register this improvement without causing a

damaging increase in the pumping power demanded by the

forced-convection arrangement. These two objectives reveal

the conflict that accompanies the implementation of any augmentation technique: a design modification that improves the

thermal contact ~e.g., roughening the heat transfer surface! is

likely to also augment the mechanical pumping power requirement.

The true effect of a proposed augmentation technique on

thermodynamic performance can be evaluated by comparing

the entropy generation rate of the heat-exchange apparatus

before and after the implementation of the augmentation

technique. This method of optimizing augmentation techniques was proposed in Ref. 50, where it was applied to the

design of ducts with sand-grain roughness and transversal rib

roughness. Spiral tubes, twisted tape inserts, propeller inserts

and tubes with internal spiral ribs were optimized in Ref. 51.

Nelson52 used this method to evaluate the effect of heat

transfer augmentation on optimized full-size heat exchangers. Sekulic et al.53 documented the thermodynamic optimization of several ducts ~smooth and enhanced!, and showed

that the minimum entropy generation design differs markedly from the design based on conventional methods.

Perez-Blanco54 integrated the entropy generation rate along

the entire surface of the heat exchanger, and then evaluated

1198

FIG. 11. The optimal size of a plate, cylinder, and sphere for minimum

entropy generation ~from Ref. 64!.

total entropy generation rate. Zimparov and Vulchanov55 applied the EGM method to assess the merits of using spirally

corrugated tubes. Performance evaluation studies were also

conducted by Chen and Huang56 and Prasad and Shen.57,58

The EGM method was recognized in the most recent review

of heat transfer augmentation techniques.59

The opportunity of minimizing the entropy generation to

determine the optimal sizes of ducts and other heat transfer

devices has been noted by practitioners in the field of chemical process engineering.60 The same topic became a sizable

component in the new edition of a classic undergraduate heat

transfer textbook.61

Another large and diverse group of heat transfer devices

relies on external convection, that is, heat transfer between a

stream and a body immersed in the stream. The minimization

of entropy generation for members of this class has been

performed by adapting the internal flow analyses ~21!~25!

to external flow. The start is the formula for the total entropy

generation rate associated with heat transfer and drag on an

immersed body62

S gen5

~ T 2T ! F U

Q

B

B

`

D `

1

,

T BT `

T`

~26!

where Q

B

B

`

D

`

body temperature, free stream temperature, drag force, and

is profree stream velocity. The relation for calculating Q

B

vided by the field of heat transfer. Similarly, the fluid flow

information required for evaluating F D comes from fluid mechanics. The S gen expression has the same two-term structure

as Eq. ~22!. The competition between the two terms points to

an optimal body size for minimum entropy generation rate.

The simplest example is the selection of the swept length

L of a plate immersed in a parallel stream ~Fig. 11 inset!. The

optimization procedure for laminar and turbulent flow was

Appl. Phys. Rev.: Adrian Bejan

and fluid flow duty. The design is improved and, at the same

time, simplified. Even the teaching of the discipline of heat

transfer benefits from this approach.

Elemental features such as ducts and fins are what heat

exchangers are made of. The EGM method was also applied

to heat exchangers as complete, more complex systems.

Consider for example the counterflow heat exchanger seen in

Fig. 8, where the inlet conditions (T H , P H ) and (T L , P L ) are

c p , and

fixed. The two streams have the same capacity rate m

the fluid is the same ideal gas (R,c p ). Each stream flows

with pressure drop through a space ~passage! of length

(L H ,L L ) and hydraulic diameter (D h,H ,D h,L ). The subscripts H and L refer to the high pressure side and, respectively, low pressure side of the heat transfer surface. It has

been shown that the rate of entropy generation of each passage is minimized if the passage slenderness ratio is selected

optimally66

S D

L

Dh

FIG. 12. Optimal pin fin diameter and length for minimum entropy generation ~from Ref. 62!.

given in Ref. 1, and for turbulent flow in Ref. 63. The results

for ReL,opt5U ` L opt / n are shown in Fig. 11 where B is the

duty parameter

B5

/W

Q

B

U ` ~ k m T ` Pr1/3! 1/2

~27!

same figure shows the corresponding results for the optimal

diameter of a cylinder in cross flow,63,64 where ReD,opt

5 U ` D opt / n , and B is given by Eq. ~27!. The optimal diameter of the sphere1,63,64 is referenced to the sphere duty parameter defined by

B s5

Q

B

.

n ~ k m T ` Pr1/3! 1/2

~28!

bodies with heat transfer in external flow. The size of a fin of

given shape can be optimized by minimizing S gen of Eq. ~26!

while accounting for the internal heat transfer characteristics

~longitudinal conduction!65 of the fin. Figure 12 shows one

example of how to select the optimal length and diameter of

a pin fin ~cylindrical spine!, where ReL,opt5U ` L opt / n ,

2 . The figure was

ReD,opt5U ` D opt / n , and B5 rn 3 kT ` /Q

B

1/2 21/6

drawn for M 5(k/l) Pr 5100 where k and l are the fin

and fluid thermal conductivities. Optimal sizes for other fin

shapes are reported in Ref. 62.

The technological benefit of applying the EGM method

to heat transfer devices is that such devices are notorious for

their large number of dimensions, which have to be selected

by the designer. The thermodynamic optimization method

shows how to select certain dimensions such that the device

J. Appl. Phys., Vol. 79, No. 3, 1 February 1996

5

opt

t

,

4G @~ R/c p ! f St # 1/2

*

~29!

S D SD

~30!

R

S gen,min

52 t

cp

m

cp

1/2

f

* St

1/2

*

the mass velocity through the passage flow cross-section A f ,

/A f . As a first approximation, the ratio f /St is

namely G5m

a constant for a given type of heat exchanger surface.66 The

subscripts H and L are dropped from Eqs. ~29! and ~30!

because one such set can be written for either passage. This

further illustrates the power of the method: the same optimization rule applies on both sides of the heat transfer surface.

In Eq. ~29! we see just one of the geometric optima that

have been developed. The balanced counterflow heat exchanger subject to fixed heat transfer area was optimized in

Ref. 66, which also reported the optimization subject to fixed

heat exchanger volume. The doubly constrained optimization

of the counterflow heat exchanger with fixed area and volume was reported in Ref. 14. In Refs. 47 and 66 we see early

examples of finite size thermodynamics applications in heat

transfer. The optimization subject to fixed total number of

heat transfer units ~N tu! was developed in a noteworthy study

by Sekulic and Herman.67 Another line of research focused

on the thermodynamic optimization of several types of heat

exchangers where the fluid friction irreversibility is

negligible.68 71 Heat exchangers with phase change ~boilers,

condensers! were optimized by London and Shah,72 Zubair

et al.,73 and Lau et al.74

Extensions to the study of entropy generation in counterflow heat exchangers66 have been performed by Sarangi

and Chowdhury68 and Huang.75 Grazzini and Gori76 reconsidered the entropy generation analysis, and distinguished

between three separate entropy generation number definitions, two of which are new. They investigated the extrema

of these numbers, and applied their results to an air-to-air

counterflow heat exchanger. In chemical engineering,

Tondeur77 and Tondeur and Kvaalen78 showed that, for a

Appl. Phys. Rev.: Adrian Bejan

1199

is that where the entropy generation rate is distributed in the

most uniform way possible.

A study of crossflow heat exchangers was conducted by

Baclic and Sekulic.79 Their study reveals once again the

tradeoff between heat transfer and fluid flow irreversibilities,

as well as the remanent ~imbalance! irreversibility associated

purely with the crossflow arrangement. Several basic studies

of the thermodynamics of forced convection heat transfer in

heat exchangers were undertaken by Soumerai.80,81 The relationship between entropy generation minimization and cost

minimization was illustrated by Wepfer et al.82 in the problem of deciding the optimal size of a steam pipe and its

insulation.

The generation of entropy at the local ~differential! level

in heat exchangers was documented by El-Sayed,83 Liang

and Kuehn,84 Evans and von Spakovsky,85 and Drost and

Zaworski.86 The calculation and display87 of entropy generation rate distributions through heat and fluid flow fields was

recommended by Paoletti et al.,88 White and Drost,89 Cheng

and Huang,90 Drost and White,91,92 Benedetti and Sciubba,93

and Cheng et al.94 Taken together, these studies argue that

commercial computational fluid dynamics packages should

have the capability of displaying entropy generation rate

maps for both laminar and turbulent flows.

For example, Figs. 13~a! and 13~b! show the flow and

temperature fields in the entrance region to a vertical channel

with mixed ~forced1natural! convection. The right wall is

heated ~T 1!, and is fitted with horizontal fins. The left wall is

cooled to the ambient temperature ~T 0!, which is also the

temperature of the fluid that enters through the bottom of the

channel. New in this display of numerical information is Fig.

13~c!, which shows the contour lines of the local ~volumetric! entropy generation rate. For the latter, Paoletti et al.88

proposed plotting contour lines for constant values of the

/(S gen,DT

1S dimensionless group S gen,DT

gen,D P ), to show the

relative importance of heat transfer irreversibility in the local

total entropy generation rate ~see also Refs. 93 and 95!.

The thermodynamic optimization of complete heat exchanger systems was performed by Tapia and Moran,96 Ranasinghe et al.,97 and Li et al.98 Heat exchanger networks

were optimized by Hesselmann,99 Chato and Damianides,100

and Sekulic and Milosevic.101 Regenerators were optimized

by Tsujikawa et al.102 for gas-turbine power plants, by

Hutchinson and Lyke103 for Stirling cycle machines, and

Matsumoto and Shiino104 for cryogenic plants. Heat exchangers with offset strip-fin surfaces were optimized more

recently by Schenone et al.105

The method was also extended in several fundamental

directions of heat transfer science. The generation of entropy

by pure heat conduction, in the absence of fluid flow, has

come under close scrutiny in more recent papers. Bisio106

focused on one-dimensional heat conduction in systems with

time-dependent boundary conditions. The thermal conductivity was a function of temperature and the coordinate of the

heat flux direction. He examined homogeneous as well as

multilayered systems, and pointed out relations between entropy generation extrema and the solution to the heat conduction problem ~the temperature distribution!. Extensions of

1200

vertical duct with mixed convection ~from Ref. 94: Courtesy of Prof. C.-H.

Cheng, Tatung Institute of Technology, Taipei!.

this work cover conduction in a medium with thermal conductivity ~or its derivative! that is a piecewise continuous

function of temperature,107 and thermal conductivity that is

also a function of the temperature gradient in the heat flux

direction.108

An entirely new area of application of entropy generation by conduction is being charted by the work of Kinra and

his associates109113 at Texas A&M University. They used the

entropy generation calculations to explain and predict damping in homogeneous and inhomogeneous elastic systems.

They named their theory elastothermodynamic damping.

Kinras approach begins with the observation that a material that is stressed reversibly and adiabatically always experiences local changes in temperature, however small. This

thermoelastic effect can be predicted using the first law and

the second law. The new observation is that since the temperature field and the stress field are coupled, nonuniformities in stress and materials properties induce nonuniformities

in temperature. As a consequence, heat is conducted locally

from regions of relatively high temperature to regions of low

temperature. The entropy generated by conduction throughout the material is responsible for the damping effect.

Kinra, Bishop, and Milligan have used this approach to

demonstrate that it is now possible to design a composite

Appl. Phys. Rev.: Adrian Bejan

Theirs is an interdisciplinary example of the importance of

the concept of entropy generation in the field of materials

design. This is an important development, because the other

applications collected in this review come strictly from the

mainstream of thermal engineering ~Fig. 1!.

As an analogy to the convective heat transfer irreversibility illustrated in Fig. 10, the competition between mass

transfer and fluid flow irreversibilities was demonstrated by

San et al.114 The irreversibility of combined heat and mass

transfer was minimized in internal flow by San et al.115 and

in external flow by Poulikakos and Johnson.63 Carrington

and Sun116,117 reconsidered the internal and external flow

problems. Sun and Carrington118 developed a general analysis of the flow of a fluid mixture with heat conduction, mass

diffusion, fluid friction, and chemical reactions.

The generation of entropy in reacting flows with radiation has been studied by Arpaci and his associates119124 and

Puri.125 For example, Arpaci and Selamet122 focused on premixed flames stabilized above a flat flame burner, and

showed that the tangency condition ~i.e., the minimum

quench distance! is related to an extremum of the entropy

generation rate, which is inversely proportional to the Peclet

number. Puri125 minimized the entropy generation rate of a

droplet burning in a stream. He showed that the minimum

entropy generation rate corresponds to a tradeoff between

drag and mass loss from the droplet, and to maximum energy

per unit mass flowrate at the combustor exit.

The entropy generation rate in convection through a

saturated porous medium was presented in Ref. 126. The

general form for the local entropy generation rate due to

combined heat, mass, and fluid flow through a porous medium is given in Ref. 14.

V. STORAGE SYSTEMS

processes has generated a subfield of its own. The applications are diverse, for example, sensible heating versus latent

heating, or the temporary storage of heating versus the

storage of refrigeration. Common to all these applications

is the search for optimal strategies for executing heating and

cooling processes, i.e., the search for optimal histories, or

optimal evolutions in time.

The earliest work of this type127 focused on the sensible

heating of a storage element ~solid or incompressible liquid!

of mass M and specific heat C, by using a stream of hot gas

,c p ,T ` ) as shown in Fig. 14. Initially, the storage element

(m

is at the ambient temperature T 0 . Gradually, the element temperature T and the gas outlet temperature T out rise and approach T ` . The temperature histories T(t) and T out(t) can be

written analytically as functions of the dimensionless time u

and the number of heat transfer units N tu based on the

stream-element thermal conductance UA ~fixed!,

u 5t

cp

m

,

MC

N tu5

UA

.

cp

m

~31!

two sources of entropy generation, the heat transfer between

J. Appl. Phys., Vol. 79, No. 3, 1 February 1996

FIG. 14. Solid or liquid-bath element for sensible heat storage ~from

Ref. 127!.

the stream and the storage element, and the heat transfer

between the exhaust and the ambient. A third source, neglected here but treated in Ref. 127, is the pressure drop on

the gas side of the UA heat exchanger. It was shown that the

total entropy generated from t50 to t5t is minimum at a

certain time ~duration! of the heating process, t opt or uopt . In

the limit t!t opt , the generated entropy is due mainly to the

internal source, while in the limit t@t opt the dominant source

is the external thermal mixing ~Fig. 14!. Charts for calculating the optimal heating time uopt as a function of N tu and

(T ` 2T 0 )/T 0 are available in Refs. 1 and 127. For

(T ` 2T 0 )!T 0 , the optimal heating time is available in

closed form:

u opt5

1.256

.

12exp~ 2N tu!

~32!

greater, Eq. ~32! shows that uopt is of the order of 1, or that

c p ). In conclusion, for engineering design purt opt;M C/(m

poses, the optimal heating strategy is such that the process

must be terminated when the thermal inertia of the hot gas

c p t) becomes of the same order as the thermal inerused (m

tia of the storage element (M C).

The thermodynamic optimization of the element of Fig.

14 during a complete storage and removal cycle ~i.e., heating

followed by cooling back to T 0! was performed by Krane.128

An improvement to the single-element storage method of

Fig. 14 is the use of several elements in series, as proposed in

Ref. 1. This proposal was investigated in great detail by Taylor et al.129 based on a solid distributed-storage-element

model in which the storage material temperature varied continuously along the stream. Taylor et al. showed among other

things that the longitudinal conduction of heat through the

storage material during the periodic operation of the heat

exchanger can have a major impact on the overall irreversibility of the installation. The overall entropy generation is

again a strong function of the time interval required by the

storage part of the cycle: the identification of the optimal

storage time interval is critical. The series of storage units

was optimized further by Sekulic and Krane.130

Closely related to the continuous one-dimensional storage scheme with periodic counterflow circulation is the class

of periodic heat exchangers recognized as regenerators. The

design of this type of heat exchanger was approached on the

basis of EGM by San et al.131 Their model consists of twodimensional parallel-plate channels sandwiched between

Appl. Phys. Rev.: Adrian Bejan

1201

This question is essential in the operation of large scale superconducting systems, which must be cooled down before

they can function. Note that to minimize the amount of cooling agent ~cryogen! is equivalent to minimizing the refrigerator work needed to produce the cryogen, or the total entropy generated in the cold space.

This problem was solved by variational calculus for the

opt(t) that minimizes the m inteoptimal flow rate history m

gral ~33! subject to the time constraint t c . The details can be

found in Refs. 1 and 140. The end result is

opt~ t ! 5

m

FIG. 15. Batch cooling and temperature history during a cooldown process

~from Ref. 140!.

through the storage material is neglected. An important difference between this regenerator model and the continuous

storage system analyzed by Taylor et al.129 is that in the regenerator the stream exhausted during the storage phase is

not dumped into the atmosphere.

The minimization of entropy generation in periodic-flow

regenerative heat exchangers was studied also by Hutchinson

and Lyke,103 Shen and Worek,132 Mathiprakasam and

Beeson,133 Das and Sahoo,134 and Sahoo and Das.135 The

thermodynamic arguments of this section were combined

with overall cost minimization arguments into a thermoeconomics extension of the sensible heat storage process by Badar et al.136 and Kotas and Jassim.137

An overview of the thermodynamic optimization of sensible heat storage methods was presented by Rosen et al.138

Treated were the individual storage and removal processes as

well as the complete cycle. The emphasis was on the development of simple and consistent ways ~conventions! to

evaluate and compare the performance of competing designs.

This work was continued by Rosen139 who showed that different efficiency measures are suitable for different applications, and that it is important to agree on a common efficiency definition before comparing designs of the same class.

The thermodynamic optimization of heating and cooling

processes continued in two additional directions. One is the

optimization subject to a finite-time constraint. Figure 15 illustrates the fundamental question of how to cool a mass to a

prescribed temperature level (T L ) during a fixed time interval t c , while using the minimum quantity of coolant140

m5

tc

1202

~ t ! dt.

m

~33!

U~ T !A

C *c p~ T !

1/2

~34!

temperature history. The constant C * can be evaluated by

using the time constraint t c . Equation ~34! is a compact result with important engineering implications. Bearing in

mind that the heat transfer coefficient U varies as T decreases, we learn that during poor heat transfer conditions

~low U! the flow rate should be lower. Furthermore, since

during cooldown the coolant c p increases, the flow rate

should decrease even more as the end of the process nears.

The engineering work on the optimization of heating and

cooling subject to time constraints was continued recently in

the physics literature by Andresen and Gordon,141 who minimized the generation of entropy instead of the amount of

heating or cooling agent used. As heat source or heat sink

they assumed a heat reservoir of temperature that can be

(t) of Fig.

varied at will, instead of the coolant flow rate m

15. Between the heat reservoir and the thermal inertia they

assumed several heat transfer rate laws, e.g., convection with

a constant heat transfer coefficient, and radiation with constant ~temperature-independent! emissivities. In a companion

paper, Andresen and Gordon142 considered the related problem where the heating of the body of interest is effected by a

stream, while the heat reservoir temperature may change or

remain constant. The result of the EGM procedure is again

an optimal flow rate of the heating agent. In both papers the

effect of pressure drop was neglected.

The other direction of the work on storage systems is

concerned with phase-change storage elements, e.g., latent

heating instead of sensible heating. This activity began with

the papers of Bjurstrom and Carlsson143 and Adebiyi and

Russell144 who applied to a phase-change storage element the

entropy generation analysis given in Ref. 127 and Fig. 14 for

the single-phase element. These authors showed that the entropy generated during heating ~melting! is minimum when

the melting temperature of the storage material has the optimal value

T m,opt5 ~ T ` T 0 ! 1/2.

~35!

guides the designer in the selection of the type of phasechange material.

The details of the real ~time-dependent! melting and solidification processes were accounted for in Refs. 145 and

146, where it was shown that Eq. ~35! is a good approximation for the optimal phase-change temperature. Lim et al.147

showed that Eq. ~35! holds for the entire melting and solidiAppl. Phys. Rev.: Adrian Bejan

FIG. 16. Latent heat storage by using two phase-change materials in series

~from Ref. 147!.

the storage element. The same authors showed that the thermodynamic performance of the latent heat storage process

can be improved by using two or more different phasechange materials in series. Two such elements are pictured in

Fig. 16, for which there are two optimal melting temperatures ~i.e., two materials! as shown in Fig. 17. The dimensionless optimal temperatures in Fig. 17 are referenced to Eq.

~35!,

namely

t 1,opt5T m,1,opt /(T ` T 0 ) 1/2 and t 2,opt

1/2

5T m,2,opt /(T ` T 0 ) . Lim et al.147 similarly optimized an infinite number of phase-change materials heated in series, and

a single material melted by an unmixed stream.

The thermodynamic optimization of practical storage installations with melting and solidification has attracted a lot

of interest in both engineering and physics. For example,

Adebiyi148 considered a bed with particles with several ratios

of latent heat to sensible heat storage capability. He modeled

the heat conduction as one dimensional in the cylindrical

pellet geometry. For the complete storage and removal cycle,

he found that the optimal phase-change temperature is equal

to the arithmetic average of the heat source and ambient

temperatures.

Charach and Zemel149 optimized the thermodynamic

performance of latent heat storage in the shell of a shell-andtube heat exchanger. The focus was on the effect of twodimensional heat transfer, that is, as a step beyond the onedimensional model employed by De Lucia and Bejan.145

Charach and Zemel149 also considered the effect of pressure

drop on the stream side of the heat exchanger. Their analysis

has been extended by Charach and Zemel150 and Charach151

to the complete melting and solidification cycle, by using a

quasisteady treatment of the phase change process occurring

in the shell. These latest studies showed that the optimal

phase-change temperature is bounded from above and from

below by the arithmetic and, respectively, geometric averages of the source and ambient temperatures.

Another interesting direction has been the study of latent

heat storage units coupled in series with a power plant, and

optimized over the entire storage and removal cycle. Bellecci

and Conti152 showed that minimization of entropy generation

and operation stability are two competing criteria in the optimization of the aggregate installation. The arithmetic average of the extreme temperatures emerges again as the optimal phase-change temperature. Detailed modeling and

J. Appl. Phys., Vol. 79, No. 3, 1 February 1996

shell-and-tube phase-change heat exchanger were performed

by Bellecci and Conti.153,154

Aceves-Saborio et al.155 developed a systematic way of

modeling phase-change storage systems, by applying the

lumped model to many independent phase-change capsules.

They also considered the more general case where the phasechange material melts over a finite temperature range. In an

earlier study, Aceves-Saborio et al.156 optimized a single

latent-heat cell by first simulating numerically the phasechange process. This is an important and difficult task because the natural convection currents that occur in the liquid

control the shape and movement of the liquidsolid interface

~e.g., Sec. 10.4 in Ref. 157!. It was shown by De Lucia and

Bejan145 that when the melting process is controlled by natural convection the optimal melting temperature is equal to

the geometric average shown in Eq. ~35!.

Adebiyi et al.158 constructed a numerical model for

simulating and then optimizing the performance of storage

systems with multiple phase-change materials. They found

that the second law efficiency of systems with multiple materials can exceed by 13%26% the efficiency of systems

employing a single material. A fundamental study of EGM in

time-dependent unidirectional heat conduction was conducted by Charach and Rubinstein.159

VI. SOLAR POWER PLANTS

been subjected to thermodynamic optimization in many studies that cover a vast territory. Therefore in this section and

Sec. VII we cover only some of the central ideas and the

literature that followed. We do this chronologically, i.e., in

the order in which the use of the method reached critical

mass in the various sectors of the power generation field.

This occurred first in the optimization of solar driven power

plants, as exemplified by the solar theme chosen for a

recent book160 dedicated to the application of the method.

Book chapters on the application of the EGM method to

solar power plants appeared earlier in Refs. 1 and 14.

In a 1957 paper, Muser161 optimized the power produced

by an engine driven by solar heating. Musers model is

equivalent to the upper portion drawn between T s and T L in

Fig. 18. The hot end of the heat engine cycle receives heat

from a solar collector (T H ) that sees not only the solar disc

(T s ) but also the cold universe ~T `!. The heat engine cycle is

modeled as reversible, with the cold end in equilibrium with

the ambient. Muser161 and, independently, Castans,162

Jeter,163 and De Vos and Pauwels164 showed that the power

is maximum when the collector temperature has

output W

the optimal value given by

4T 5H,opt23T L T 4H,opt2T 4s T L 50.

~36!

an optimal design can be found based on a model that combines only the thermodynamics of the (T H 2T L ) compartment with the irreversibility of radiation heat transfer in the

three-surface enclosure formed by T H , T s , and T ` . The

same combination of thermodynamics and radiation heat

Appl. Phys. Rev.: Adrian Bejan

1203

FIG. 18. Model of solar power plant with heat transfer irreversibilities at the

hot end and the cold end ~after Refs. 14 and 65!.

the series arrangement of Fig. 16 ~From Ref. 147!.

)

2Q

shows that when the external irreversibility due to (Q

is taken into account, the maximization of W is indeed analogous to the minimization of S gen , in agreement with the

Gouy-Stodola theorem ~5!.

De Voss book160 is also a review of the models such as

Fig. 18 that have been used in physics. In this section we

review some of the engineering contributions to the field,

which are not covered in Ref. 160. For example, the model

of Fig. 18 refers to an extraterrestrial solar power plant that

uses a radiator to reject heat to the universe ~T `!. The heat

transfer from T L to T ` is by radiation in a two-surface enclosure. In Refs. 14 and 65 this power plant model was optimized subject to the total area constraint

A H 1A L 5A.

transfer was the method used independently in 1971 by Martynovskii et al.30 in the optimization of radiation shields.

Another important observation is that to maximize the

is equivalent to minimizing the total entropy

power output W

generation rate associated with the solar power plant ~Ref.

14!. Note that as T H is varied during the optimization pro , from T to

cess, the net solar heat input to the collector ~Q

s

heat input available from the sun must be greater than any Q

value that might be required in the course of W maximiza be this sufficiently large ~and fixed! heat transfer

tion. Let Q

),

is intercepted by the collector (Q

rate. A portion of Q

ground, i.e., be rejected to the ambient T L . Both portions

vary with the lone degree of freedom in the power plant

, or W

!. The total entropy generation rate

design ~T H , Q

S gen5

1204

2Q

1

Q

Q

Q

W

1

2

1

52 1Q

2

TH Ts

TL

TL

TL Ts

~37!

~38!

The design has two degrees of freedom, and the twicemaximized power output is represented by

A H,opt50.35A,

F Hs

S D

Ts

T H,opt

A L,opt50.65A,

~39!

51.538,

~40!

W

max50.0414s AF Hs T s ,

~41!

collector-sun view factor. If we substitute T s 55762 K and

F Hs ;1024 into this solution we obtain T H,opt > 520 K and

T L,opt > 340 K for the recommended extreme temperatures

~boiler, condenser! of the power cycle executed by the working fluid. Another technological aspect of this result is that

the radiator area should be roughly twice as large as the

collector area.

As a way to think, the extraterrestrial solar power plant

model of Fig. 18 is related to the conversion of solar heating

into wind power ~natural convection! on earth. This power is

Appl. Phys. Rev.: Adrian Bejan

FIG. 19. Solar power plant model with collector-ambient heat loss and

collector-power cycle heat exchanger ~from Ref. 167!.

finite temperature differences. The thermodynamic heat engine that drives any natural convection process was also

noted in the field of natural convection heat transfer ~Ref.

126!. The theoretical limits of the conversion of terrestrial

solar heating into wind power were investigated by Gordon

and Zarmi,165 De Vos and Flater,166 and De Vos.160

Another engineering model is the power plant driven by

a solar collector with convective heat leak to the ambient,167

which is shown in Fig. 19. The heat leak was modeled as

proportional to the collectorambient temperature differ 5(UA) (T 2T ). The internal heat exchanger beence, Q

0

c

c

0

tween the collector and the hot end of the power cycle ~the

5(UA) (T 2T ). It was

user! was modeled similarly, Q

i

c

u

found that there is an optimal coupling between the collector

and the power cycle such that the power output is maximum.

This design is represented by the optimal collector temperature

T c,opt u 1/2

max1R u max

,

5

T0

11R

~42!

maximum ~stagnation! temperature of the collector. The corresponding optimal coupling between a collector with heat

loss and a refrigerator was documented by Sokolov and

Hershgal.168

Radiation heat transfer contributes significantly to the

collectorambient heat loss mechanism when the collector

operating temperature rises above the 100200 C range.

The radiation effect on the heat loss and the optimization of

the solar power plant were analyzed by Howell and

Bannerot.169 A sample of their results for optimal collector

temperature is presented in Fig. 20 for four classes of collector designs ~A, B, C, D!, which are described in Ref. 169.

The dimensionless radiative heat loss parameter a and convective heat loss parameter b are also defined in Ref. 169.

Howell and Bannerot produced similar graphs for the optimal thermodynamic design of solar driven power cycles

~Stirling, Ericsson, Brayton!, heat pumps, and absorption refrigerators.

The solar power plant model with collectorambient

heat loss and heat exchanger between the cold end of the

J. Appl. Phys., Vol. 79, No. 3, 1 February 1996

~after Ref. 169!.

power cycle and the ambient was optimized in Ref. 170 subject to a total heat transfer area constraint. The same study

presents the area-constrained optimization of a model with

phase-change energy storage at the hot end of the cycle,

between the collector and the working fluid. One useful result is that the melting material must be such that its melting

point is the geometric average of the collector and ambient

temperatures,

T m,opt5 ~ T c T 0 ! 1/2.

~43!

were optimized in Ref. 167. Models with collectors operating under time-varying conditions dictated by the daily insolation cycle were optimized in Refs. 171 and 172. A model

with time-dependent solar heating and variable amount of

fluid in the collector was optimized in Ref. 172. In this

model the collector has the ability to store the solar input as

sensible heat, and to deliver it to the rest of the power plant

when the solar heating effect is less intense.

The common message of these models is that several

extremely basic tradeoffs exist in the thermodynamic optimization of power plants driven by heat transfer from the sun.

The models share the feature that heat loss always occurs

between the collector and the ambient. The thermodynamic

tradeoffs are of two kinds. When the overall size of the installation is constrained, there is an optimal way of allocating

the hardware ~e.g., heat transfer area! between the various

components. When the daily variation of the solar heat input

is known, there is an optimal time-dependent strategy of operating the power plant.

Thermodynamic tradeoffs have been found in the optimization of the direct ~photovoltaic! conversion of solar radiation. This work was reviewed in the book by De Vos160

and continues today. For example, Baruch and Parrott173 examined the possibility of constructing a Carnot cycle for the

conversion of photovoltaic energy by using electronhole

plasma as the working substance.

The basic thermodynamic limits to the conversion of solar radiation have attracted considerable attention. This work

was reviewed in Ref. 174, where it was also shown that the

Appl. Phys. Rev.: Adrian Bejan

1205

of freedom in the optimization of the power plant: the hot

end of the inner compartment, or the exhaust temperature

as a function of T and

T HC . It is not difficult to express W

HC

is maximized when

to show that W

T HC,opt5 ~ T H T L ! 1/2.

~44!

maximum power is

h 512

FIG. 21. The sources of entropy generation in Chambadals power plant

model ~from Ref. 197!.

Spanner,176 and Jeter163 are complementary, and can be unified into a single theory. Related aspects were considered

more recently by Badescu.177180 For example Badescu178

showed that the maximum efficiency decreases abruptly

when the collector concentration ratio decreases.

Roy and Grasse181 reviewed comparatively the practical

merits of solar power technologies across the entire spectrum, from photovoltaic to solarthermal applications. The

mechanisms of entropy generation in solar collectors were

also investigated by Fujiwara,182 Suzuki,183 and Han and

Lee.184 The thermodynamic optimization of collectors

coupled with power plants was considered further by

Grazzini,185 Borner et al.,186 De Vos et al.,187 and Yan and

Chen.188 Models with radiation-dominated collector and radiator were optimized by De Vos and van der Wel189 and

Gotkun et al.190

A more applied line of inquiry concerns the thermodynamic optimization of specific designs of processes and

power plants driven by solar heating. Recent examples are

the optimization of flat-plate solar air heaters,191,192 phasechange energy storage,193 and solar assisted heat pumps.194

The optimal coupling between solar collectors and Stirling

and Ericsson cycles was also documented by Badescu.195

Another type of power plant driven by a renewable energy source is the power plant with heating from a hot-dryrock system. The optimal time-dependent strategy of running

such a power plant ~e.g., the optimal water flow rate! was

developed in Ref. 196.

VII. NUCLEAR AND FOSSIL POWER PLANTS

Novikov5 showed independently that the hot-end temperature of a power plant can be optimized such that the power

output is maximum. Chambadals analytical argument corresponds to the model drawn by the author in Fig. 21. The

power plant is driven by a stream of hot single-phase fluid of

inlet temperature T H and constant specific heat c p . The

power plant model has two compartments. The one sandwiched between the surface of temperature T HC and the ambient (T L ) operates reversibly. The area of the T HC surface is

assumed to be sufficiently large such that the outlet tempera1206

S D

TL

TH

1/2

~45!

when the heat exchanger area is finite and the exhaust temperature is higher than hot-end temperature of the reversible

compartment.197 Equation ~45! also holds when the unmixed

stream of Fig. 21 is replaced with a single-temperature

~mixed! fluid inside that heat exchanger.197

The maximum-power efficiency ~45! can also be derived

by minimizing the total entropy generation rate associated

with the power plant.197 One obvious source of entropy generation in Fig. 21 is the heat exchanger. The other is less

obvious: it is the dumping of the used stream into the ambient. This second source was featured prominently by an entire subfield dedicated to the optimization of storage systems

~Sec. IV, Fig. 14!. The dumping of the T HC -hot exhaust is an

essential part of the optimization process: T HC is a degree of

freedom only when the exhaust (T HC ) is free to float, i.e.,

when it is not required ~used! by someone else downstream.

The external irreversibility indicated in Fig. 21 is an essential

part of the physics of the optimization process: without it the

plant design cannot be optimized. This additional irreversibility is what gives the design room to move, therefore it can

be called the room-to-move irreversibility.

With reference to Fig. 21, the total entropy generation

rate due to the power plant is

~46!

where the stream was treated as an ideal gas at constant

5m

5m

c p (T H 2T HC ) and Q

c p (T HC 2T L ).

pressure, Q

H

e

Equation ~46! shows that S gen has a minimum with respect to

T HC , and that the S gen,min design corresponds to the

maximum-power formulas ~44! and ~45!.

It is worth noting that if we had overlooked the roomto-move irreversibility, that is, if we had written only the

entropy generation associated with the visible confines of the

power plant, then we would have found that S gen has a minimum at a T HC value that differs from the maximum-power

value ~44!. These T HC values differ not because maximum

power and minimum entropy generation rate are two different designs, but because an oversight has occurred in the

evaluation of the total rate of entropy generation. This observation sheds light on the physics literature claim198 that, in

Appl. Phys. Rev.: Adrian Bejan

5 (1 1 i)Q

(s d 2 s a ) 5 (1 1 i)(s d,rev 2 s a ), or Q

L

L,rev , where

The rest of the power plant operates reversibly. Novikovs

optimal heating temperature and efficiency for maximum

power output,

T HC,opt5 ~ 11i ! 1/2~ T H T L ! 1/2,

FIG. 22. Power plant driven by heating from a combustion chamber with

well mixed products of combustion ~from Ref. 14!.

maximum power are two different design conditions.

A maximum power design similar to Chambadals is the

optimal combustion chamber temperature that was derived

independently in Ref. 14. Figure 22 shows a two-part model

of a power plant with isobaric and isothermal ~well mixed!

combustion chamber. It was shown that when the specific

heats of all the products of combustion are assumed to be

sufficiently constant ~independent of temperature!, the maximum power design corresponds to a hot-end ~flame! temperature (T f ) equal to the geometric average of the adiabatic

flame temperature ~T af! and the ambient temperature ~T 0!,

T f ,opt5 ~ T afT 0 ! 1/2.

~47!

by Odum and Pinkerton,199 who gave several examples from

engineering, physics, and biology, without deriving results

such as Eqs. ~44! and ~45!. Equal credit for such results goes

to Novikov5 who, like Chambadal, published them in 1957.

Novikovs analysis was reprinted in English in NorthAmerican engineering textbooks200,201 as well as in Russian

engineering textbooks.7,202,203 His model is shown in Fig. 23.

The hot-end heat exchanger of finite thermal conductance

into the working fluid,

UA drives the heat transfer rate Q

H

which is heated at constant temperature (T HC ) from state (b)

to state (c). The fluid is expanded irreversibly from (c) to

(d): Novikov accounted for this irreversibility by writing

S D

TL

TH

~48!

1/2

~49!

match Chambadals Eqs. ~44! and ~45! in the limit where the

expansion is executed reversibly ~i50!.

The efficiency formula ~45! was rediscovered in 1975 in

the physics literature by Curzon and Ahlborn.8 Their model

differed from Chambadals and Novikovs in two respects.

First, the power plant operated in unsteady fashion, in time.

It executed a four-process ~two-stroke! cycle modeled as in

Sadi Carnots original memoir, however, the piston and cylinder apparatus made contact during finite time intervals

with the two heat reservoirs. This contact occurred across

finite temperature differences. The second new feature in

Curzon and Ahlborns model is the heat transfer irreversibility ~finite thermal conductance! placed at the cold end of the

cycle. In summary, the maximum-power efficiency ~45! may

be called, chronologically, the ChambadalNovikov

CurzonAhlborn efficiency, or the CNCA efficiency for

short.

An entirely different way of modeling the irreversible

operation of a power plant was proposed in 1976 in

engineering.204 The loss of heat from the hot end of the

power plant was modeled as a thermal resistance ~bypass

heat leak! in parallel with an irreversibility free compartment

, Fig. 24. The hotthat produces the actual power output W

end temperature T H could vary. The heat leak was modeled

as proportional to the temperature difference between the hot

5C(T 2T ), where C is the therend and the ambient, Q

C

H

L

mal conductance of the leaky insulation of the power plant.

The power is maximum when the hot-end temperature T H

reaches the optimal level

FIG. 23. Novikovs model for a steady-state power plant with heat transfer and expander irreversibilities ~from Ref. 197!.

J. Appl. Phys., Vol. 79, No. 3, 1 February 1996

1207

FIG. 24. Power plant model with bypass heat leak ~after Ref. 204!.

T H,opt5T L 11

Q

H

CT L

1/2

~50!

max/Q H ! is expectedly lower

than the Carnot efficiency,

12T L /T H,opt ~ 11r ! 1/221

,

~51!

5

11T L /T H,opt ~ 11r ! 1/211

/(CT ) is the dimensionless thermal resistance

where r5Q

H

L

of the power plant insulation. An optimal hot-end temperature exists because when T H , T H,opt the Carnot efficiency of

the right-hand side of the model of Fig. 24 is too low, while

bywhen T H . T H,opt too much of the fixed heat input Q

H

passes the power producing component.

An interesting aspect of this power plant model is that

when we minimize the entropy generated inside the dashed

box between T H and T L in Fig. 24, we find an optimum that

differs from Eqs. ~50! and ~51! ~Ref. 1!. This paradox is an

indication that the entropy generation calculation is incorrect, as noted earlier under Eq. ~46!. For if T H is a degree of

freedom in the design, then the hot end of the power plant

must be free to float between the ambient and another ~necessary! heat reservoir whose temperature T f ~fixed! must be

always higher than T H . The neglected room-to-move irre

versibility occurs as Q

H crosses the temperature gap

(T f 2T H ). It is easy to show that by minimizing the entropy

generated between T f (.T H ) and T L in Fig. 24, the optimal

hot-end temperature and efficiency match Eqs. ~50! and ~51!

~Ref. 12!.

Curzon and Ahlborns work8 triggered a series of papers

on power maximization in the physics literature. Reviews of

this specialized line of research were published by

Andresen205 and Andresen et al.206 Noteworthy in this series

is the first follow up paper,207 which appeared in 1977 and in

which the power plant was modeled in the steady state. Compared with Novikovs model ~Fig. 23!, the model of Ref. 207

had three new features: ~i! a finite thermal conductance at the

cold end, ~ii! a speed-dependent dissipation of mechanical

power caused by shaft friction, and ~iii! a speed-independent

FIG. 25. Steady-state power plant model with finite hot-end and cold-end

thermal conductances ~from Ref. 1!.

h5

1208

steady state power plant model look like the one drawn in

Fig. 25, which will be discussed shortly. Feature ~ii! illustrates the interplay between friction, thermodynamics, and

heat transfer in the application of the method ~Fig. 1!. Regarding feature ~iii!, to which Andresen et al.207 refer as

heat leak, it must be noted that the origin of that energy

interaction is the work reservoir, or, in the authors own terminology, a reservoir with infinite temperature ~i.e., an

energy interaction accompanied by zero entropy transfer!.

Feature ~iii! is actually power dissipation ~e.g., electric, Joule

heating! or a friction leak as stressed by Grazzini,208 not a

bypass heat leak in the sense of Fig. 24.

The steady-state power plant model with two finite heat

exchangers was proposed independently in Ref. 1, not for

deriving the CNCA efficiency ~45!, but for answering a more

direct technological question: Given the two heat exchangers

~U H A H and U L A L ! and an additional unit of expensive heat

transfer area (DA), should DA be placed at the hot end, or at

the cold end? The finite-area allocation problem was generalized by considering a power plant that makes contact with

an infinity of heat reservoirs distributed over a finite temperature interval, and by deriving based on variational calculus the optimal distribution of area over the same temperature interval ~Ref. 1!.

The optimal allocation of heat exchanger inventory in

the power plant model of Fig. 25 was illustrated in Refs. 10

and 14, where it was assumed that the total thermal conductance is fixed,

U H A H 1U L A L 5UA.

~52!

Appl. Phys. Rev.: Adrian Bejan

Eq. ~45!, can be maximized one more time by choosing the

proper ratio U H A H /(U L A L ) subject to constraint ~52!. The

optimal conductance allocation rule is

~ U H A H ! opt5 ~ U L A L ! opt .

~53!

inventory UA is minimized subject to fixed power output.209

If, instead of Eq. ~52!, the optimization is performed subject

to the total area constraint

A H 1A L 5A

~54!

1

A H,opt

5

.

A

11 ~ U H /U L ! 1/2

~55!

also be derived by minimizing the entropy generation rate of

the power plant model of Fig. 25. In this alternate approach

H

vary, i.e., that the appropriate room-to-move entropy generation rate197 must be included in the calculation of the total

entropy generation rate. On the other hand, if the heat input

is treated as fixed,197 the only degree of freedom left in

Q

H

the optimization of the model of Fig. 25 is the allocation of

the finite heat exchanger inventory. For example, if the UA

inventory is constrained in accordance with Eq. ~52!, then

the optimal allocation rule continues to be Eq. ~53!, with the

corresponding maximum efficiency197 @see also the discussion under Eq. ~63!#:

W

TL

max

h5

512

Q

T

H

12

4Q

H

UAT H

21

~56!

Rubin and Andresen211 optimized the temperature staging of two power plants fitted with three finite-size heat exchangers, Fig. 26. They showed that the efficiency at maxi 1W

) is given by the same formula as

mum total power (W

1

2

in Eq. ~45!. The power output was maximized further in Ref.

170, where the total thermal conductance inventory was constrained

U H A H 1U M A M 1U L A L 5UA.

FIG. 26. Combined-cycle power plant with three heat exchangers ~from

Ref. 170!.

UA inventory ~52! must be divided equally between the two

heat exchangers, cf. Eq. ~53!. Third, there is a tradeoff between investing more in the heat exchanger equipment (UA)

and in the resistance R i to the bypass heat leak

~57!

and the resulting maximum power are

~ U H A H ! opt5 ~ U M A M ! opt5 ~ U L A L ! opt ,

1W

! 5

~W

1

2 max

F S DG

TL

1

UAT H 12

9

TH

~58!

1/2 2

~59!

mechanisms illustrated in Figs. 24 and 25 is the model with

heat leak and two heat exchangers,10 Fig. 27. The power

output can be maximized in three ways. First, the optimal

temperature ratio across the imagined reversible compartment turns out to be the same as in Ref. 8,

S D S D

T HC

T LC

opt

TH

TL

1/2

~60!

FIG. 27. Power plant model with bypass heat leak and two finite-size heat

exchangers ~from Ref. 10!.

Appl. Phys. Rev.: Adrian Bejan

1209

empirical efficiency data T H was erroneously taken as equal

to the highest temperature reached by the working fluid, instead of the equivalent temperature of the combustion chamber as an exergy source ~Ref. 14!. An alternative explanation

for the position of the empirical data is provided by the

model of Fig. 29, in which the bypass heat leak of Fig. 24 is

optimized in harmony with the power-producing compartment, i.e., in accordance with the method used in cryogenics

~Fig. 3!. When the entropy generated inside the insulation of

resistance R i is minimized as in Eqs. ~6!~10!, the power

plant model of Fig. 29~b! delivers maximum power with the

efficiency170

FIG. 28. The efficiencies of: actual power plants, models with finite heat

exchangers, and a model with bypass heat leak optimized in harmony with

the power-producing compartment ~From Ref. 170!.

Q

i

H

L

i

i

compete against one another in the cost constraint

p c UA1p r R i 5K,

~61!

where p c and p r are the unit costs of conductance and resistance, then the optimal way of allocating the cost is

p c ~ UA ! opt5p r R i,opt .

~62!

by Gordon and Huleihil,212 Gordon and Orlov,213 and Pathria

et al.214

The technological applicability of the modeling features

presented so far in this section varies. The practical implications of results such as Eqs. ~53! and ~62! are clear: the heat

exchanger inventory and the total cost must be divided in

certain ways. The practical meaning of the optimal temperature staging ~60! is less clear. Equation ~60! means that there

is one set of optimal internal temperatures (T HC,opt ,T LC,opt)

for each set of specified heat exchanger sizes. The message

to the designer is that the working fluid must be selected in

such a way that it can be heated while at a certain temperature ~e.g., boil at T HC,opt in a simple ideal Rankine cycle!,

and be cooled while at another optimal temperature ~e.g.,

condense at T LC,opt! for each given pair of heat exchanger

sizes, U H A H and U L A L . The designer is considerably less

free to play around with the fluid type ~e.g., to abandon the

use of water! than to divide the UA inventory. This reality,

the author believes, explains at least in part why

Chambadals2 4 and Novikovs57,200203 optimal boiler temperature ~44! was not noted more in engineering. Another

reason is that large scale power plants are designed ~opti ,

mized! per unit of rate of fuel consumption @e.g., fixed Q

H

Eq. ~56!#, not with a freely varying ~infinitely abundant! heat

input.

Another way to summarize the modeling features reviewed in this section is by comparing the reported efficiencies of actual power plants ~the dots in Fig. 28! with the

CNCA efficiency ~45!. The efficiency data are based on a

compilation started in Ref. 8 and continued in Refs. 10 and

14. The agreement between the data and Eq. ~45! tends to

suggest that the irreversible nature of power plants is captured by simple models with finite heat exchangers ~e.g.,

1210

h 512

TL

TH

11ln

.

TH

TL

~63!

The agreement between Eq. ~63! and the efficiencies reported in Fig. 28 suggests that an actual power plant may

also be viewed as an obstacle to direct heat transfer from the

heat source T H to the heat sink T L , i.e., as an insulation

designed to produce maximum power when its size is constrained. A third alternative to explaining the position of the

reported efficiencies is provided by the fixed-heat-input

model: Equation ~56! agrees well with all the plotted h data

/(UAT ) has a value of order

if the dimensionless group Q

H

H

0.1. The constancy of this group makes sense because both

and UA scale with the overall size of the power plant.

Q

H

Two notes on the history of the discipline of heat transfer

can be made at this point. The assumed proportionality between convective heat transfer rate and temperature difference, e.g.,

5U A ~ T 2T !

Q

H

H H

H

H1

~64!

as Newtons law of cooling. A study of the original writings shows that there is no published basis on which to attribute such a formula to Newton ~Ref. 65!. Newton stated

that the cooling rate of a body ~i.e., the derivative dT/dt! is

proportional to the temperature difference between the body

and the ambient. To use an analytical statement such as Eq.

~64!, Newton would have needed the concepts of quantity of

FIG. 29. ~a! Power plant model with bypass heat leak to the ambient, and

~b! the optimization of the heat transfer interaction between the bypass

conductance and the power-producing compartment ~From Ref. 170!.

Appl. Phys. Rev.: Adrian Bejan

which were conceived roughly a hundred years later by

Black,14 Wilcke,14 and Fourier,65 respectively. Proportionalities such as Eq. ~64! are the invention of Fourier, who defined in this way the convective ~fluid flow! heat transfer

coefficient as a concept distinct from that of thermal conductivity. To his contemporaries and the subsequent development of heat transfer science, Fouriers heat transfer coefficient was revolutionary: it is an important reason why he,

and not Biot, won the race for the development of a successful analytical theory of conduction heat transfer.

The second observation concerns the nonlinear alternative to Eq. ~64!, which in the physics literature is sometimes

referred to as the Dulong & Petit law. This terminology

belongs to the mid-1800s, when it was known empirically

that the heat transfer relation can be more complicated than

in Eq. ~64!. The readers may be interested to know that modern heat transfer is now a mature science, which is capable of

anticipating the nonlinear heat transfer rates based on highly

successful theories of forced convection, natural convection,

radiation, mixed convection, and conjugate heat transfer. The

predictive powers of heat transfer science were developed

over the past 200 years on the back of analytical advances

made, chronologically, in heat conduction, hydrodynamics,

thermal radiation, aerodynamics, boundary layer theory, and

convection in porous media. The most recent overviews of

the current status of heat transfer science are presented in

Refs. 65, 157, and 215.

The work that has been published on the thermodynamic

optimization of power plant models is sizable. As we saw in

Fig. 23, Novikovs model included the effect of irreversible

expansion through the turbine of the steam cycle. Lu,216

Grazzini,208 Ibrahim et al.,217,218 and Wu and Kiang219 extended this model by also accounting for the irreversibility of

the compression process and for the fact that the temperature

of the working fluid changes along the two heat exchangers.

Petrescu et al.220 generalized the model by including the effect of piston speed and type of working fluid.

The model of Fig. 27 was extended by Swanson221 to

account for the capacity flow rates and effectivenessN tu

relations of the heat exchangers. Swanson showed that in this

case the optimal thermal conductance allocation ratio depends on the total number of heat transfer units of the two

heat exchangers. A similar model was optimized by Ibrahim

and Klein222 and Lee and Kim,223,224 who extended it further

to the optimization of Lorentz cycles, and by Ibrahim

et al.,217 who also considered the life-cycle economic optimization of the power plant.

The four-process ~two-stroke! model of Curzon and

Ahlborn8 and its steady-state counterpart ~Fig. 25! was pursued along several lines. These were reviewed most recently

by Wu et al.,225 Feidt et al.,226 and Arias-Hernandez and

Angulo-Brown,227 to whom the reader is directed. For example, in several studies beginning with Gutkowicz-Krusin

et al.,228 the assumption that the heat transfer rates are proportional to the local temperature differences was replaced

with more general, nonlinear heat transfer models that account for natural convection, radiation, and temperature dependent properties.229231 The maximum power efficiency

J. Appl. Phys., Vol. 79, No. 3, 1 February 1996

formula ~45! does not hold when the heat transfer model is

not linear. Early studies were also contributed by Rubin,232

Lucca,233 Rozonoer and Tsirlin,234 and Mozurkewich and

Berry.235 The effect of speed on optimal performance was

studied by Spence and Harrison236 and Petrescu et al.220

There is an important technological issue to consider in

connection with the two-stroke model inspired by Ref. 8. In

Sadi Carnots 1824 essay we were told of a gas contained in

a cylinder and piston apparatus that underwent a cycle composed of two strokes and four processes: two quasistatic and

isothermal processes interspaced with two quasistatic and

adiabatic processes. Curzon and Ahlborn8 added finite thermal resistances between the cylinder and the respective temperature reservoirs, and, in this way, described and optimized

the time-dependent evolution of the cycle. Although the

cycle described by Curzon and Ahlborn is a good instrument

for teaching, it is a questionable roadmap to improvements in

the thermodynamic performance of real heat engines. Recall

that the maximized power output can be further increased by

increasing the thermal conductances associated with the isothermal processes. Can this be accomplished in a real heat

engine in which the same cylinder wall is asked to be a

perfect insulator during one process and a very good thermal

conductor during the next process in the same stroke? The

engine builders have faced this question early in the development of practical machines. Examples are Watts 1769

separate condenser, Braytons 1873 external combustion

chamber, and Otto and Langens 1876 internal combustion

engine ~Ref. 14!.

Another line of research focused on individual features

of the four-process model. Band et al.237 performed the optimization of the heating process undergone by a fluid in a

piston and cylinder apparatus. Richter and Ross238 and

Fairen and Ross239,240 considered the effect of timedependent operation and inertia. Orlov and Berry241 optimized an engine model where the working fluid is nonisothermal and viscous ~with pressure drop! while in contact

with the heat reservoirs. The mechanical optimization of the

kinematics of engines is an interesting direction defined by

the work of Senft.242244 Related to this is the cylindroids

rotary engine of Vargas and Florea.245

The maximization of work output as opposed to power

output was pursued by Grazzini and Gori246 and Wu et al.225

Subtle differences between the maximum power in timedependent ~reciprocating! versus steady-flow power plant

models were clarified by Kiang and Wu.247 As an ecological

figure of merit in power plant optimization, Angulo-Brown9

2T S , where S is

proposed to maximize the function W

L gen

gen

the entropy generation rate of the power plant and T L is the

heat sink temperature.

Nomenclature innovations included the introduction of

the term endoreversible ~Rubin!232 to describe the reversibility of the innermost compartment such as the one shown

in Fig. 25, or alternatively, the term exoirreversible for the

external irreversibilities that surround the same compartment

~Radcenco!.248 As pointed out by Berg,249 the concept of

internal reversibility ~or external irreversibility! is basically

the same as the local thermodynamic equilibrium model that

serves as foundation for all modern heat transfer and fluid

Appl. Phys. Rev.: Adrian Bejan

1211

introduced in 1977 specifically for the optimization of thermodynamic processes subjected to time constraints.250

Alefeld251 analyzed an entire steam-cycle modern power

station, and showed how the entropy generation rates contributed by the components can be summed up to evaluate

the overall performance of the power plant. A similar procedure was illustrated using the simple Rankine cycle in Ref.

14. The Rankine cycle power plant was also analyzed and

optimized by Wilson and Radwan,252 Roche,253 Habib and

Zubair,254 Smith,255 and Radcenco et al.256 Several of these

studies emphasized the importance of matching the variable

temperature of the working fluid to the temperature of the

heating agent. The graphic presentation and optimization of

complex power cycles was illustrated by Jin and Ishida.257

A comprehensive treatment of the distribution of sources

of entropy generation in a gas-turbine power plant was

present by Denton.258 The effect of turbine blade cooling on

entropy generation was investigated by Farina and

Donatini.259 Fundamental studies of power maximization in

simple Brayton ~Joule! cycles were conducted by Leff,260

Landsberg and Leff,261 Wu,262 as well as in Refs. 10 and 14.

Organ263 presented a detailed analysis of the distribution

of entropy generation in a Stirling-cycle power plant. This

topic and the maximization of power received considerable

attention in subsequent papers by Organ,264 Organ and

Jung,265 Radcenco et al.,256 Ladas and Ibrahim,266 and Blank

et al.267 Reviews of this field were published by Organ,268

Reader269 and, in a recent book, by Organ.270

A systematic treatment of the Otto, Brayton ~Joule!, Diesel, and Atkinson cycles was made by Leff260 and, in a generalized form, by Landsberg and Leff.261 The Diesel cycle

was optimized for maximum power by Hoffman et al.,271

and the distribution of entropy generation was studied by

Primus and Flynn.272 Papers on Otto-cycle power plants

were written by Mozurkewich and Berry235 and AnguloBrown et al.273 Internal combustion power plants were also

optimized by Orlov and Berry:274 potentially important in

practice is the fact that optimized stroke-by-stroke cycles

such as the Otto cycle require optimal time-dependent piston

motions, which, in turn, require optimal kinematics ~linkages, shapes! between piston and crankshaft.

Ocean thermal energy conversion ~OTEC! power plants

were optimized by Johnson275 and Wu.276 The MHD power

cycle was treated by Aydin and Yavuz277 and Human.278 The

on and off operation of power plants that have to be shut

down to have their heat exchangers cleaned ~defouled! was

optimized in Ref. 279. An example of the model of timedependent operation is shown in Fig. 30, where fouling is

assumed to occur on the surfaces of the hot-end heat exchanger. The thickness of the scale increases with time, d(t).

It was shown that the period-averaged power output is maximized when the on time interval has an optimal duration.

The optimal design conditions are reported in dimensionless

charts that also hold for power plants in which fouling occurs

on the surfaces of the cold-end heat exchanger.

1212

FIG. 30. Model of power plant with on and off operation and scale ~fouling!

accumulating on the hot-end heat exchanger surface ~from Ref. 197!.

and VII! have also been used in the optimization of refrigeration plants. This body of work parallels in several respects

the work done on power plants, therefore its review in this

article will be more brief. It is interesting that by ending this

article with a second look at refrigeration we are in fact

completing a circle that started in cryogenic engineering

~Sec. III!. This is another indicator of how established the

method is, and how well rounded the field has become.

The model that was studied the most is the refrigerator

composed of a cold-end heat exchanger ~e.g., evaporator!, a

reversible compartment that receives power and moves the

entropy stream toward higher temperatures, and a roomtemperature heat exchanger ~e.g., condenser!. This model is

shown in Fig. 31~b!. It was used first by Andresen et al.207

who focused on the optimal temperature staging of the three

FIG. 31. ~a! Actual steady-state refrigeration plant, and ~b! model with two

finite size heat exchangers ~from Refs. 1 and 209!.

Appl. Phys. Rev.: Adrian Bejan

FIG. 32. Refrigerator model with bypass heat leak and two finite-size heat

exchangers ~from Ref. 281!.

25!, in a refrigerator there is no optimal T HC /T LC ratio for

minimum power input.

The model of Fig. 31~b! was proposed independently in

Ref. 1 for determining the optimal allocation of a finite heat

exchanger inventory. This topic was pursued along several

lines in the literature. In Ref. 1, the initial question was

where to invest an additional unit of heat transfer area (DA)

when the cold-end conductance U L A L and room temperature

conductance U H A H are given. Goth and Feidt280 assumed

that the total heat transfer area A is constrained according to

Eq. ~54!, and showed that the power input is minimum when

A is divided as shown in Eq. ~55!. An independent study281

was based on the optimization based on the UA constraint

~52!, and led to the conclusion that the thermal conductance

inventory must be split evenly between the two heat exchangers, cf. Eq. ~53!. The same optimization rule applies

when the UA inventory is minimized subject to fixed power

input.209,282

Of technological importance is that compact design rules

such as Eqs. ~53! and ~54! lead to savings in power input,

and that they apply to power plants as well. The model of

Fig. 31~b! was also analyzed by Yan and Chen283,284 and

Grazzini.285 The optimal allocation of either A or UA in a

modern defrosting refrigerator based on the vapor compression cycle with fluids R-12 or R-134a is documented numerically in Ref. 286.

A model that combines the heat exchanger irreversibilities of Fig. 31~b! with the heat leak irreversibility of Fig. 3

was proposed in Ref. 281 ~Fig. 32!. The bypass heat leak was

modeled as proportional to the room-load temperature differ 5(T 2T )/R . There are two degrees of freedom

ence, Q

i

H

L

i

, the alloin the maximization of the refrigeration effect Q

L

cation of the heat exchanger inventory between the two ends

of the machine, and the allocation of cost between the total

heat exchanger inventory and the thermal insulation. Specifically, when the heat transfer rates are modeled as

5U A (T 2T ), and

5U A (T 2T ) and Q

Q

HC

H H

HC

H

LC

L L

L

LC

the heat exchanger inventory is constrained according to Eq.

~52!, the optimal UA allocation rule is Eq. ~53!. If the thermal conductance inventory UA and the thermal resistance of

J. Appl. Phys., Vol. 79, No. 3, 1 February 1996

as Eq. ~61!, then the optimal cost allocation rule is given by

Eq. ~62!. We see again the power of compact design optimization results such as Eqs. ~53! and ~62!: they apply across

the board, to power plants and refrigeration plants. The

model of Fig. 32 was used subsequently by Agrawal and

Menon287 and Chen.288 The optimal allocation of heat exchanger inventory subject to a constraint that is qualitatively

related to Eq. ~52! was documented by Klein.289

Another practical merit of this modeling method is with

respect to correlating and explaining the trends in the data

reported on the performance of existing refrigeration plants.

To correlate the data is important because correlations are

needed for making projections on the refrigeration needs of

future large scale projects ~e.g., Ref. 40!. This line or work

was pursued in Refs. 14 and 281 for low temperature refrigerators, and in Ref. 290 for near ambient refrigerators and

heat pumps ~chillers!.

The power of the method can be seen by examining the

cloud of performance data of actual refrigerators,291 Fig.

33. The data cover refrigerators in the temperature range 1.8

,106 W.

K,T L ,90 K and capacity ~size! range 0.1 W,Q

L

The ordinate shows the reported second-law efficiencies

. A three-line analysis

hII5COP/~COP!rev where COP5Q L /W

of the model of Fig. 34 predicts that hII should vary as14,281

C iT H

h II5 11

QL

12

TL

TH

DG

21

~65!

5C (T 2T ). A comparison with Fig. 33 shows that Eq.

Q

L

i

H

L

;5 is an adequate curve fit for the re~65! with C i T H /Q

L

ported performance data. Equation ~65! predicts several of

the observed trends. First, hII decreases monotonically as C i

increases, which should be expected because leakier refrigerated enclosures make less efficient refrigeration plants.

Second, hII decreases as T L /T H decreases. Third, the second increases, which

law efficiency ~or the COP! increases as Q

L

means that larger machines are more efficient. Finally, the

fact that the empirical data of Fig. 33 are fitted by

;5 means that in modern low temperature refrigC i T H /Q

L

erators the heat leak is of the order of five times the actual

refrigeration load. Some of these trends were also anticipated

by Gordon and Ng290 and Ref. 281 based on more complex

models such as Fig. 32.

Other aspects of improving the thermodynamic performance of refrigeration machines are discussed by

Alefeld.292,293 In contrast to using exergy analysis, Alefeld

describes the effectiveness of components in terms of their

respective contributions to the total entropy generation rate.

The optimal distribution of a finite amount of insulation over

a cold enclosure of nonuniform temperature was developed

in Ref. 294. The application of this insulation allocation principle to a modern domestic refrigerator with two temperature

compartments ~fridge and freezer! is described in Ref. 295.

Even closer to modern refrigeration technology is the optimization of time-dependent refrigerators that must be defrosted periodically. The model of Fig. 35 was sufficient for

pinpointing an optimal rhythm of on and off operation when

the growth of the frost layer thickness d(t) is known. OptiAppl. Phys. Rev.: Adrian Bejan

1213

FIG. 33. Compilation of the second-law efficiencies of existing refrigerators and liquifiers ~from Ref. 291!.

and manufacture are presented in Ref. 286 for refrigerators

based on the vapor compression cycle. These results cover

not only the optimal control of the defrosting cycle but also

the optimal allocation of a finite heat transfer area to the

evaporator and the condenser.

The formation of frost on cold heat exchangers is detrimental to refrigerator thermodynamic performance, which is

why the optimization of the freezing and frost removal cycle

is an important technological issue. Most interesting is that

the same phenomenonthe same on and off cyclecan be

viewed and optimized as something beneficial, namely, the

maximization of ice production in industrial ice making installations. Models of the same class as Fig. 35 have been

used to determine the optimal freezing and removal fre-

quency for the manufacture of ice on the outside of horizontal tubes296 and on the inside or outside of vertical surfaces

of several shapes.297 The analyses also require the use of

contact melting theory.298 This optimization principle is relevant to the production by intermittent solidification of other

materials, not just ice.

FIG. 34. Model of refrigeration plant with heat leak irreversibility ~from

Refs. 14 and 281!.

FIG. 35. Model of refrigerator with unsteady operation and frost accumulation on the evaporator surface ~from Ref. 197!.

1214

IX. CONCLUSION

amounts to the bridging of the gaps between thermodynamics, heat transfer and fluid mechanics. Today a common

methodology unites these seemingly separate disciplines,

and, when viewed as self-standing, the method and its various models are surprisingly simple. This review showed that

new contributions are being added at an accelerated pace in

opportunity to distribute the hardware optimally in the design of actual installations. The contribution made by simple

models and the method of entropy generation minimization

is to show the way, i.e., to uncover new opportunities for the

work that will follow in industrial research and development.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

Rothman, for inviting me to prepare this review article. I also

thank the National Science Foundation for supporting my

current research on basic thermodynamics, heat transfer, and

fluid mechanics.

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1

FIG. 36. The diversity and structure of the field of entropy generation minimization ~finite time thermodynamics, or thermodynamic optimization!

~from Ref. 197!.

diverse as the topics: engineers, physicists, chemists, and optimal control scientists. My hope299 is that this review will

lead to more effective interactions between the various sectors of the field, and, certainly, to a broader and more accurate view of the field.

A birds-eye-view of the territory we just covered is

shown in Fig. 36. The field has a two-dimensional structure

with specific applications added steadily on the vertical, and

with the optimization level indicated on the horizontal. The

optimization can be approached from left, by focusing from

the start on the total system and dividing it into compartments that account for identifiable irreversibilities. In this

case, success depends greatly on the analysts intuition ~feel

for irreversibility sources!: this stresses the importance of

teaching the entropy generation minimization method as an

integral part of thermodynamics. The optimization can also

be approached from the right in Fig. 36, by recognizing that

systems are made of actual components, that each component may contain a large number of one or more elemental

features, and that each elemental feature owes its irreversibility to processes that occur at the differential level.

The present review emphasized the fundamental and

technological implications of the optimal results delivered by

the method. At a fundamental and pedagogical level, the

method EGM is changing thermodynamics itself, i.e., the

way in which we think and apply thermodynamic principles.

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models as simple as Figs. 27 and 32, then there is a real

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39

95

40

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