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Reversible Process Structures as a Base of Sustainable Engineering

[+] Author Affiliations
Wolfgang G. Winkler

HAW Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany

Mark C. Williams

Fellow Electrochemical Society, Morgantown, WV

Paper No. IMECE2011-65407, pp. 371-372; 2 pages
  • ASME 2011 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Volume 4: Energy Systems Analysis, Thermodynamics and Sustainability; Combustion Science and Engineering; Nanoengineering for Energy, Parts A and B
  • Denver, Colorado, USA, November 11–17, 2011
  • Conference Sponsors: ASME
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5490-7
  • Copyright © 2011 by ASME


The analysis of exergy losses of a system is a well-known way to determine the influence of the second law on existing systems. Thermo-economics combines this methodology with economic calculations. Using this methodology engineering becomes an evolutionary process. Since system structures are virtual, reversible system structures are possible and inevitable irreversibility is only caused by its real components. They can be described by their exergetic efficiency. Thus reversible system structures can be used as general valid benchmarks for system engineering. It allows easy comparison or a trade-off between possible solutions. The use of a few basic reversible processes allows the building of larger reversible structures including an effective management of released and demanded entropy within the system, as can be shown in different applications and missions. The effective use of renewable sources can be considered as well however bioprocesses are not investigated yet.

Copyright © 2011 by ASME



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