Heat Engine

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Related to Heat Engine: heat pump, Stirling engine

heat engine

[′hēt ‚en·jən]
(mechanical engineering)
A machine that converts heat into work (mechanical energy).
A thermodynamic system which undergoes a cyclic process during which a positive amount of work is done by the system; some heat flows into the system and a smaller amount flows out in each cycle.

Heat Engine


an engine in which thermal energy is converted into mechanical work. Heat engines, which make up the largest group among prime movers, use natural energy sources in the form of chemical or nuclear fuel.

The basis of operation of a heat engine is a closed or arbitrarily closed thermodynamic cycle. The operating efficiency of an ideal heat engine is determined by its thermal efficiency. The operation of a real heat engine, which has additional losses—for example, heat losses and losses caused by friction and vortex formation—is evaluated by the actual efficiency, which is the ratio of the mechanical work at the output shaft of the engine to the heat energy supplied. The actual efficiency of heat engines ranges from 0.1 to 0.6.

Heat engines are divided into piston, rotary, and jet heat engines according to the type of machine carrying out the working thermodynamic process. Combinations of these types, such as turbojet and Wankel engines, are possible. According to the means of heating the working body, heat engines are subdivided into internal-combustion engines, in which both the combustion of fuel and conversion of heat into mechanical work occur in the same working chambers of the engine (the cylinders), and external-combustion engines, in which the working body is obtained or heated outside the engine proper in special devices (for example, the Stirling engine and the steam engine).


References in periodicals archive ?
Conversion of heat to mechanical work in the heat engine is cyclic during the development of appropriate thermodynamic processes [1-3].
We successfully decreased the size of the essential parts of a heat engine, such as the working gas and piston, to only a few micrometres and then assembled them to a machine," stated another researcher called Valentin Blickle.
Heat engine with rotary pistons, X-th National Conference on Heat Engineering, Sibiu, May, 25-27
In an isothermal heat engine cycle, such as Farris' and Lyon's [16] the rubber is stretched from [[lambda].
Since the little heat engine has been turned off, the heat produced will now start to equilibrate within the solid (see Figure 3).
Think about our atmosphere as the heat engine whose role it is to seek a globally balanced distribution of energy, heat and moisture.
SADDLE UP Harnessing energy from a heat engine is kind of like trying to saddle a wild horse.
The water mixes with quicklime stored in the heat engine, creating a reaction that heats the coffee.
If future studies can confirm its existence, the deep feature will force earth scientists to revise their ideas about Earth's internal heat engine, the driving force for plate tectonics.
Cogeneration, also referred to as combined heat and power, or CHP, is the use of a heat engine or a power station to simultaneously generate electricity and heat.