The Equivalence of Maximum Power and Minimum Entropy Generation Rate in the Optimization of Power Plants

[+] Author and Article Information
Adrian Bejan

Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science, Duke University, P. O. Box 90300, Durham, NC 27708-0300

J. Energy Resour. Technol 118(2), 98-101 (Jun 01, 1996) (4 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2792711 History: Received July 25, 1995; Revised February 27, 1996; Online November 06, 2007


It is shown that to maximize the power output of a power plant is equivalent to minimizing the total entropy generation rate associated with the power plant. This equivalence is illustrated by using two of the oldest and simplest models of power plants with heat transfer irreversibilities. To calculate the total entropy generation rate correctly, one must recognize that the optimization process (e.g., the variability of the heat input) requires “room to move,” i.e., an additional, usually overlooked, contribution to the total entropy generation rate.

Copyright © 1996 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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