Baumeister, Theodore Formerly, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Columbia University, New York, New York; Editor in Chief, "Standard Handbook for Mechanical Engineers"
Last reviewed:January 2020
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A thermodynamic cycle used as an ideal standard for the comparative performance of heat-engine and heat-pump installations operating with a condensable vapor as the working fluid. Applied typically to a steam power plant, as shown in the illustration, the cycle has four phases: (1) heat addition bcde in a boiler at constant pressure p1 changing water at b to superheated steam at e, (2) isentropic expansion ef in a prime mover from initial pressure p1 to back pressure p2, (3) heat rejection fa in a condenser at constant pressure p2 with wet steam at f converted to saturated liquid at a, and (4) isentropic compression ab of water in a feed pump from pressure p2 to pressure p1.
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