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Rev Ge’n Therm (1996) 35, 637-646

0 Elsevier, Paris

Method of entropy generation minimization,

or modeling and optimization based on
combined heat transfer and thermodynamics

Adrian Bejan
Dept of Mechanical Engineering, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina 27708-0300, USA

R&urn6 - Wthode de minimisation de la production entropique ou modklisation et optimisation basCes sur la

combinaison du transfert thermique et de la thermodynamique. La minimisation de la production d’entropie (ECM,
optimisation thermodynamique, ou thermodynamique en temps fini) est une methode de modelisation de procedes
reels (irreversibles) et d’equipements. Les modeles integrent des principes de base en thermodynamique et en transfert
thermique et I’optimisation est assujettie a des contraintes liees a des dimensions finies et des temps finis. L’etonnant
essor de I’ECM est illustre par des exemples extraits d’installations cryogeniques, de transfert thermique, de stockage,
de conversion d’inergie solaire, de centrales de production electrique et d’installations frigorifiques. Une attention
particuliere est portee sur la valeur de I’ingenierie dans les modeles ECM, la contribution de tCte menee par Chambadal
et Novikov en 1957, et les nouvelles directions comme I’ECM des procedes dependent du temps.

Nomenclature Subscripts

A area 11: collector
specific heat at constant pressure Carnot, or reversible part
2 thermal conductance [I: high temperature
D diameter oi internal
EGM method of entropy generation minimization low temperature
f friction factor I;:in minimum
FD drag force opt optimum
irreversibility factor, equation (12) L reversible
; thermal conductivity 0’ per unit length
L length 00 environment
7h mass flow rate
Ns entropy generation number
P perimeter of cross-section

4 heat transfer rate
ratio of thermal conductances (UA),/(UA)i INTRODUCTION
: heat transfer rate
sg,n entropy generation rate
T thermodynamic temperature Entropy generation minimization (EGM, thermody-
u overall heat transfer coefficient based on A namic optimization, or finite-time thermodynamics)
Ux free stream velocity
is a method for modeling actual (irreversible) pro-
ti power cesses and devices. The models incorporate basic
principles of thermodynamics and heat transfer,
Greek symbols and the optimization is subjected to finite-size and
AP pressure drop finite-time constraints. The astonishing growth of
AT temperature difference the EGM field is illustrated with examples drawn
77 first-law efiiciency from cryogenics, heat transfer, storage, solar energy
QI second-lax efficiency conversion, power plants, and refrigeration plants.
f? ratio of temperatures Emphasis is placed on the engineering value of


EGM models, the pioneering contributions made by components must begin with the minimization of
Chambadal and Novikov in 1957, and new direc- entropy generation.
tions such as the EGM of time- dependent processes. The critically new aspect of the EGM method (the
aspect that makes the use of thermodynamics in-
sufficient and distinguishes EGM from exergy anal-
ysis) is the minimization of the calculated entropy
generation rate. To minimize the irreversibility of
a proposed design, the analyst must use the re-
2I METHOD lations between temperature differences and heat
transfer rates, and between pressure differences
and mass flow rates. He must relate the degree
of thermodynamic non-ideality of the design to the
During the last two decades Entropy Generation physical characteristics of the system, namely to
Minimization (EGM) has become an established finite dimensions, shapes, materials, finite speeds
method and field in thermal science and engineer- and finite-time intervals of operation. For this he
ing. The EGM method relies on the simultaneous must rely on heat transfer and fluid mechanics
application of heat transfer and engineering ther- principles, in addition to thermodynamics.
modynamics principles in the pursuit of realistic
models for heat transfer processes, devices and in-
stallations. By realistic models we mean models
that account for the inherent thermodynamic irre-
versibility of the heat, mass and fluid flow processes.
The method is also known as thermodynamic opti-
mization, second-law analysis, and thermodynamic
design, or by new names such as finite-time, en-
doreversible, or exoirreversible thermodynamics. As a special application of the Gouy-Stodola theo-
The development of EGM first became evident rem, it is easy to prove that the power required to
in engineering, specifically, in the fields or refrig- keep a cold space cold is equal to the total rate of
eration (cryogenics), heat transfer, storage, solar entropy generation times the ambient temperature,
thermal power conversion and thermal science edu- with the observation that the entropy generation
cation. These developments were first recognized in rate includes the contribution made by the leakage
textbook form in 1982 [ll. The field has experienced of heat from To into the cold space. The struc-
astonishing growth during the 1980s and 199Os, ture of a cryogenic system is in fact dominated by
in both engineering and physics. The objective of components that leak heat, for example, mechani-
this article is to illustrate how large and diverse cal supports, radiation shields, electric cables and
the EGM field has become. Emphasis is placed on counterflow heat exchangers. The minimization of
the engineering (practical) value of the method, and entropy generation along a heat leak path consists
some of the more recent applications such as the of optimizing the path in harmony with the rest of
optimization of time-dependent processes. the refrigerator of liquefier.
In this presentation, I rely on a point of Figure la shows a mechanical support of length
view acquired during two just completed book L that connects the cold end of the machine (TL)
projects. One was done in collaboration with to room temperature (TH). The rate of entropy
Moran and Tsatsaronis [21,where we presented generation inside the support shown as a vertical
in a gradual and evolutionary manner the current column is:
status of three methods: exergy analysis, EGM and PTH ir
thermoeconomics. The other [3] focused strictly on
the EGM method and the current status of the
EGM literature in both engineering and physics. where the heat leak 4 is allowed to vary with the
Because the size limit of this paper does not permit local temperature T. The local heat leak change do
an extensive list of references, the reader is referred is removed by the rest of the installation, which is
to [3] for a complete and up-to-date bibliography. modeled as reversible. The heat leak is also related
It is instructive to begin with a brief look at to the local temperature gradient and conduction
why in EGM we need to rely on heat transfer and cross-section A:
fluid mechanics, not just thermodynamics. Consider
the most general definition of a thermodynamic Q=kAg
system that functions while in thermal contact
with the ambient (TO). The Gouy-Stodola theorem where the thermal conductivity k(T) decreases to-
[1,41, WmJ - I+ = T&en, states that the destroyed ward low temperatures. Rearranged and integrated
power (tiT,, - ti) is proportional to the total from end to end, equation (?) places a size constraint
rate of entropy generation. If engineering systems on the unknown function Q(T):
and their components are to operate in such a
way that their destruction of work is minimized,
then the conceptual design of such systems and
A ITr. Q

Modeling based on combined heat transfer and thermodynamics

The heat leak function that minimizes the $,,n fixed. The result of the EGM analysis is again an
integral (1) subject to the finite-size constraint (4) optimal heat leak variation,
is obtained based on variational calculus:

In summary, equation (1) was provided by ther- I I
modynamics and equation (3) by heat transfer: to-
gether they prescribe the optimal design (4), which
is characterized by a certain distribution of inter-
mediate cooling effect (d&/dT),,t. Any other design,
Q(T), will generate more entropy and will require
more power in order to maintain the cold end of the x+dx, T+dT--
support at TL. Together, equations (1) and (3) illus- x. T--
trate the method of thermodynamic optimization
subject to a physical constraint, and, to paraphrase
some of the current terminology, they constitute one
of the earliest examples of finite-size thermodynam-
ics. The technological applications of the variable I I
0, TI.
heat leak optimization principle are numerous and
important. In the case of a mechanical support, (a)
the optimal design is approximated in practice by
placing a stream of cold helium gas in counterflow
(and in thermal contact) with the conduction path.
The fabrication of the heat exchanger between the
support and the coolant is less difficult and more
economic if the continuous contact is replaced by a
succession of discrete cooling stations. In this case
the optimal heat leak function required by equation
(4) must be approximated by a stepwise-varying
The thermodynamic optimization of a stack of X+d%------
radiation shields in vacuum follows essentially the
same route as in equations (l)-(4). For example,
Martynovskii et al [51.determined the optimal inter-
. T+‘,T

mediate cooling (and optimal shield temperatures)

for minimum entropy generation rate in stacks with
I t =P

one, two and three shields. The optimal intermedi-

ate cooling regime for cryogenic current cables was
Ti. -I t
--- -

developed based on EGM [ll. (b)

Another class of engineering components that Fig 1. (a) Mechanical support with variable heat leak;
Wkc[of;nterflow heat exchanger with longitudinal heat
have been optimized based on the EGM method
are the counterflow heat exchangers that connect
the coldest regions of refrigerators and liquefiers to
the room temperature compressor. The counterflow This cooling effect can be built into the practical
sketched in figure lb was intentionally oriented design of the counter-flow heat exchanger by bleed-
in the same way as the mechanical support of ing a fraction (tie) of the high pressure stream,
figure la to stress the analogy between the two expanding it in a work producing device (cylinder &
devices. The entropy generation rate associated piston, or turbine), and using the cold stream to cool
with the two streams and the space between the counterflow heat exchanger. The optimal flow
them (fig lb) is given by equation (1) in which rate through the expander is known from equation
& is now the longitudinal convective heat leak (5), ti,,,,tcP = (dQ/dT),,t. When the pressure ratio
Q = ticPAT, and AT is the transversal (stream-to- PHI PL is not large enough for the expanded fraction
stream) temperature difference. The equivalent of tie to become as cold as the cold end of the coun-
the finite-size constraint (3) is obtained eliminating terflow (TL), the engineering solution is to install
AT from tic,dT = (pdx)UAT where p is the two or three expanders along the counterflow. The
perimeter of the duct that carries 7iz, and u is optimization of the temperature locations of such
the overall heat transfer coefficient based on p. a sequence of expanders is described in [4]. One
The total stream-to-stream heat transfer area P_Lis interesting characteristic of the counter-flow heat

A Bejan

exchanger with optimal intermediate cooling effect where Qn, TB, T, , FD and U, are the heat transfer
is that the stream-to-stream temperature differ- rate, body temperature, free stream temperature,
ence ATopt decreases proportionally with T, namely drag force and free stream velocity. The relation
(AT/T) = (rjZ+/UA) In (TH/TL). This rule is widely for calculating 0~ is provided by the field of heat
recognized in the design of cryogenic counter-flow transfer. Similarly, the fluid flow information re-
heat exchangers. quired for evaluating FD comes from fluid mechan-
ics. The 5&, expression has the same two-term
structure as equation (7). The competition between
the two terms points to an optimal body size for
minimum entropy generation rate. Such optimal
4I HEAT TRANSFER sizes have been reported for the flat plate in par-
allel flow (laminar and turbulent), the sphere and
the cylinder in cross-flow. Considerable EGM work
Workers in the mainstream of heat transfer adopted has been done on the optimization of heat transfer
the techniques developed in cryogenics and applied augmentation techniques, as shown by the review
them to many classes of devices for promoting in 131.
heat transfer. The optimization was carried out The EGM method was also applied to heat ex-
at two levels of complexity: complete components changers as complete systems. Counterflow heat
(eg, heat exchangers), and elemental features (eg, exchangers were optimized subject to fixed area,
fins, ducts). For example, the flow of a single-phase fixed volume, and fixed area and volume. Similar
stream rizthrough a heat exchanger tube of internal EGM work as done in recent years on phase-change
diameter D. The heat transfer rate per unit tube heat exchangers, cross-flow heat exchangers, regen-
length, between the tube wall and the stream, q’, erators, and heat exchanger networks. For exam-
is given. The entropy generation rate per unit tube ple, Tondeur and Kvaalen [61 showed that, for a
length is: given duty, the best configuration of a heat and
mass process is that in which the entropy gener-
$,, = & +x2p2TD5
327i23f ation rate is distributed in the most uniform way
possible. Several authors have recommended that
The Nusselt number is a result taken from the commercial computational fluid dynamics packages
field of heat transfer, while the friction factor is from should have the built-in capability of displaying lo-
fluid mechanics. In this way equation (6) shows at cal entropy generation rate fields in both laminar
a glance how thermodynamics is combined from and turbulent flow (eg, Paoletti et al [71). Fun-
the start with heat transfer and fluid mechanics damental EGM studies have also focused on con-
in EGM. The first term on the right side is vective mass transfer, reacting flows, radiative heat
the contribution made by heat transfer, while the transfer, convection through porous media, and con-
second term is the contribution due to fluid friction: duction through non-homogeneous and anisotropic
s’$?en= &!n,aT + $?n,aP (7)

A characteristic of all heat transfer devices with

fluid flow is that ~?&+r competes against $en,AP:
for example, in the smooth tube with fixed q’ and
riz, the changes in the two terms have opposing
signs as D changes. The optimal tube diameter that
minimizes (6) can be obtained analytically. The
performance of any other design (D, S&,) relative
to the optimal design (Dopt, $en,min) is described by The optimization of time-dependent heating and
the entropy generation number Ns, which for the cooling processes has generated a subfield of its
turbulent regime assumes the form: own. Common to all these applications is the
-0.8 search for optimal strategies for executing heating
s’ and cooling processes, ie, the search for optimal
Ns = - t?en
histories, or optimal evolutions in time (see also
5 9). The earliest work of this type 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 (ti, cp, T,) as
Another large and diverse group of heat transfer shown in figure 2. Initially, the storage element is
devices relies on external convection, that is heat at the ambient temperature TO.
transfer between a stream and a body immersed
The sensible heating process has two sources
in the stream. The total entropy generation rate
of entropy generation, the heat transfer between
associated with heat transfer and drag on an
the stream and the storage element, and the heat
immersed body is:
transfer between the exhaust and the ambient.
Toa) + F~uce It was shown that the total entropy generated is
= C~B(TB
sgm T T


(9) minimum at a certain time (duration) of the heating

Modeling based on combined heat transfer and thermodynamics

Internal EXterflal collector and the power cycle such that the power
irreversibility irrevenibility
output is maximum. This design is represented by
the optimal collector temperature:


where R = (UA),/UA)i,

Omaz = T,,,,,/To and T,,,,,

QO is the maximum (stagnation) temperature of the
collector. There is a corresponding coupling between
_-_- ___-_-_
SVStWll 7& ambient a collector and a refrigeration cycle. More complete
collector models also accounted for the radiation
Fig 2. The irreversibilities of sensible-heat storage [I].
effect on the heat loss to the ambient.

process, topt. For engineering design purposes, the

optimal heating strategy is such that the process
must be terminated when the thermal inertia of the
hot gas used (ti+) becomes of the same order as the
thermal inertia of the storage element (MC). The
complete storage and removal cycle was optimized
in subsequent EGM studies.
The optimization of heating and cooling processes lo reversible
continued in two additional directions. One is the power plant

optimization subject to a finite-time constraint, and

addresses the fundamental question of how to cool
or heat a mass to a prescribed temperature level Fig 3. Solar power plant model with collector-ambient heat
during a fixed time interval t,, while using the loss and collector-power cycle heat exchanger [II.
minimum quantity of coolant or heating agent [l].
The other direction is concerned with phase- Another research direction is the optimal alloca-
change storage elements, eg, latent heating instead tion of a fixed heat transfer area in a solar power
of sensible heating. This activity began with plant. Another is the area-constrained optimization
Bjurstrom and Carlsson @I who showed that of a model with phase-change energy storage at the
the entropy generated during heating (melting) is hot end of the cycle, between the collector and the
minimum when the melting temperature of the working fluid. One useful result is that the melt-
storage material has the optimal value T,,,, = ing material must be such that its melting point
(T,To)l/*. Numerous studies accounted for the is the geometric average of the collector and ambi-
details of the actual (time-dependent) melting ent temperatures, Tm,opt = (TcTo)‘/*. The growing
and solidification processes, including the effect of literature on solar power plant models includes non-
natural convection, the optimization of two or more isothermal collectors, time-varying solar input, and
phase-change elements in series, the optimization sensible heat storage in the collector. Extraterres-
of shell-and-tube heat exchangers with storage in trial solar power plant models have been optimized
the shell, and the optimization of a latent heat subject to fixed total (collector + radiator) area [4,91:
element coupled in series with a power plant. the optimal collector/radiator area ratio is 0.54.
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 generation of mechanical or electrical power the installation is constrained, there is an optimal
has been subjected to thermodynamic optimization way of allocating the hardware between the various
in many studies that cover a vast territory, The components. When the daily variation of the solar
first power generation area to use EGM models heat input is known, there is an optimal time-
regularly was that of solar driven power plants dependent strategy of operating the power plant.
[1,41. An example of an early model is the power
plant driven by a solar collector with convective
heat leak to the ambient (fig 3). The heat leak was
modeled as proportional to the collector-ambient
temperature difference, & = (UA),(T, - To). The 7I OTHER POWER PLANTS
internal heat exchanger between the collector and
the hot end of the power cycle (the user) was
modeled similarly, Q = (UA)i(Tc - T,,). It was found In 1957 papers and several engineering textbooks
that there is an optimal coupling between the in French, Russian and English, Chambadal [lo]

A Bejan

and Novikov [ill showed independently that the written only the entropy generation associated with
hot end temperature of a power plant can be the visible confines of the power plant, then we
optimized such that the power output is maximum. would have found that &, has a minimum at a
Chambadal’s analytical argument corresponds to THC value that differs from the maximum-power
the model drawn in figure 4. The power plant is value (11). These THC values differ not because
driven by a stream of hot single-phase fluid of inlet maximum power and minimum entropy generation
temperature TH and constant specific heat c,. The rate are two different designs, but because an error
power plant model has two compartments. The one has occurred in the evaluation of the total rate of
sandwiched between the surface of temperature entropy generation. This observation contradicts
THC and the ambient (TL) operates reversibly. The the claim [121 that, in power plants with the
area of the THC surface is assumed sticiently large maximum power efficiency (ll), minimum entropy
such that the outlet temperature of the stream is generation and maximum power are two different
equal to THC . There is only one degree of freedom in design conditions.
the optimization of the power plant: the hot end of A maximum power design similar to Cham-
the inner compartment, or the exhaust temperature badal’s is the optimal combustion chamber tem-
THC. It is not difficult to express W as a function of perature that was derived independently in [41. It
THC, and to show that the conversion efficiency at was shown that when the specific heats of all the
maximum power is: products of combustion are assumed sufficiently
l/2 constant (independent of temperature), the maxi-
THcyopt = (THTL)"~, (11) mum power design corresponds to a hot end (flame)
temperature equal to the geometric average of the
adiabatic flame temperature and the ambient tem-
perature, as in the first of equation (11).
Novikov 1111equally deserves credit for equation
(11) (see fig 5). The hot end heat exchanger of finite-
thermal conductance UA drives the heat transfer
rate QH into the working fluid, which is heated
ticp at constant temperature (THc) from state (b) to
state (c). The fluid is expanded irreversibly from
(c) to (d): Novikov accounted for this irreversil$lity
by writing (sd - sa) = (1 + i)(Sd,rev - sa),or QL =
(1 + ~)QL,~~~,where (1 + i) > 1 and QL is the heat
transferred to the ambient (TL). The rest of the
_____________ power plant operates reversibly. Novikov’s optimal
heating temperature and efficiency for maximum
power output:
Fig 4. The sources of entropy generation in Chambadal’s
power plant model 131. THqopt = (1 + i)1'2(T~T~)"2,

~=l-(l+i)““(g2 (12)

It can be shown that the efficiency formula (11) match Chambadal’s equation (11) in the limit where
also holds when the heat exchanger area is small the expansion is executed reversibly (i = 0). It
and the exhaust temperature is higher than the hot has been shown [31 that in Novikov’s model the
end temperature of the reversible compartment [31. maximum-power efficiency can also be derived by
Equation (11) also holds when the unmixed stream minimizing the total entropy generation rate: the
of figure 4 is replaced with a single-temperature latter must tak? into account the variability of
(mixed) fluid inside that heat exchanger 131. the heat iFput QH over a certain design interval
The maximum-power efficiency (11) can also be 0 < QH < Q (fixed). Again, this development contra-
derived by minimizing the total entropy generation dicts the report 1121 that maximum W and mini-
rate associated with the power plant. One source of mum S,,, are two different designs.
entropy generation in figure 4 is the heat exchanger. The Chambadal-Novikov efficiency (11) was re-
The other is the dumping of the used stream into discovered almost two decades later in the physics
the ambient: THC is a degree of freedom only when literature by Curzon and Ahlborn [131. Another way
the exhaust (THC) is free to float, ie, when it is not of modeling the irreversible operation of a power
required (used) by someone else downstream. The plant is shown in figure 6. The loss of heat from the
external irreversiblity indicated in figure 4 is an hot end of the power plant was modeled as a ther-
essential part of the physics of the optimization mal resistance (bypass heat leak) in parallel with
process: without it the plant design cannot be an irreversiblity free compartment that produces
optimized. This additional irreversibility is what the actual power. The heat leak was modeled as
gives the design room to moue, therefore it can be proportional to the temperature difference between
called the room-to-moue irreversibility [31. the hot end and the ambient, &C = c(TH - TL),
It is worth noting is that if we had overlooked where C is the thermal conductance of the leaky in-
the room-to-move irreversiblity, that is, if we had sulation of the power plant. The power is maximum

Modeling based on combined heat transfer and thermodynamics




Fig 5. Novikov’s model for a steady-state power plant with heat transfer and expander irreversibilities [3].

If the heat input OH is treated as fixedin a

model with two heat exchangers, the only degree
of freedom left in the optimization is the allocation
r---- --- II QH
------1 of the finite-heat exchanger inventory. For example
[33, if the UA inventory is constrained, then the
I Carnot
optimal allocation rule continues to be equation
(141, with the corresponding maximum efficiency:
1 Tj=.
=l-$(l-$&-l (16)
The optimal way to allocate the fixed ther-
mal conductance inventory of a combined cycle
power plant with three heat exchangers, UA =
(UL&)opt. Another example is the engine model
TI. with bypass heat leak (fig 61, in which the in-
sulation (the heat leak) is optimized in harmony
Fig 6. Bejan’s power plant model with bypass heat leak with the power-producing compartment, ie, in ac-
and variable hot-end temperature 111. cordance with the cryogenics method of figure la:
the maximum power efficiency of such a model:
when the variable hot end temperature TH reaches
the optimal level:
l/2 >
TH,opt = TL 1+ m (13) is in approximate numerical agreement with
( ‘>
the Chambadal-Novikov-Curzon-Ahlborn efficiency
A large segment of the EGM literature is (11). This agreement suggests that an actual power
concerned with power plant models with the plant may be viewed as an obstacle to direct heat
features of figures 4-6, or combinations of such transfer from source (TH) to sink (TL),ie, as an in-
features (reviews can be found, for example, in sulation designed to produce maximum power when
[3,4,14,151). One topic of continuing interest is the its size is constrained.
optimal allocation of a heat exchanger inventory in
a model with two heat exchangers. For example, the
question addressed in 111 was: given the two heat
exchangers (UHAH and ULAL) and an additional
unit of heat transfer area (AA), should AA be
placed at the hot end, or at the cold end? If the
total thermal conductance UA = UHAH + ULAL is
fixed, the optimal conductance allocation rule is:
The modeling features used for power plants (5 6
(UH-‘bf)opt = (ULAdopt (14) and 7) have also been used in the optimization
If the total area is constrained, A = AH + AL, the of refrigeration plants. This extensive work is
optimal area allocation result is: reviewed in 131. The model that was studied
the most is the refrigerator composed of a cold
AT - [1+ (g,“‘]-’ (15) end heat exchanger (eg, evaporator), a reversible

A Bejan




7; Load 1

Fig 7. (a) Refrigeration plant model with two finite size heat exchangers [l]; (b) model with bypass heat leak
irreversibility 141.

compartment that receives power and moves the 0~ increases, which means that larger machines
entropy stream toward higher temperatures, and a are more efficient.
room-temperature heat exchanger (eg, condenser),
(see fig 7~). In ref [l], the question was where to
invest an additional unit of heat transfer area (AA)
when the cold end conductance ULAL and room
temperature conductance UHAH are given. Goth
and Feidt [161 assumed that the total heat transfer 9I TIME-DEPENDENT OPERATION
area A is constrained and showed that the power
input is minimum when A is divided as shown
in equation (15). When the optimization is based One growth area in EGM is the optimization
on the UA constraint, the thermal conductance of the time-dependent operation of a process
inventory must be split evenly between the two or installation. In each case the objective is to
heat exchangers (cf Eq 14). The same optimization determine the optimal evolution of the process in
rule applies when the UA inventory is minimized time, ie, the optimal history. This subfield began
subject to flxed power input. The allocation of a with the problems illustrated in § 5. In this section
finite UA or A can also be optimized in more we take a brief look at four of the most recent
complex refrigerator models, such as that of a examples from our group’s work 131.
modern defrosting refrigerator based on the vapor
compression cycle and fluids R-12 or R-134a 1171. Figure 8 shows what is perhaps the simplest
model of a modern defrosting refrigerator with frost
Another practical merit of EGM models is that accumulation on the evaporator surface. The frost
they explain the trends in the data reported on layer is detrimental to refrigerator thermodynamic
the performance of existing refrigeration plants. To performance. The refrigerator operates in on and
correlate the data is important because correlations off fashion, so that the frost is removed during
are needed for making design projections on the the off intervals. It has been shown that when
refrigeration needs of future large scale projects. A the off interval (cleaning time) is specified, the on
3-line analysis of the model of figure 7b predicts interval can be optimized in such a way that the
that the second-law efficiency (vi) should vary as: refrigerator power requirement (averaged over the
on and off cycle) is minimum. More complicated
(realistic) defrosting refrigerator models can also be
m= [l+z$ql-g)]-l (18) optimized in this way.
The corresponding on and off optimization prob-
where Ci is the thermal conductance of the leaky lem in the power generation area consists of de-
insulation, 0~ = Ci (TH - TL ) . A comparison with the termining the time to shut down a power plant
reported performance data shows that equation (18) and remove the scale from its heat exchangers [ 181.
with C~THIQL M 5 is an adequate curvefit. Equation Fouling, or scale formation, decreases the heat ex-
(18) predicts several of the observed trends. First, changer conductances and conversion efficiency of
mr decreases monotonically as Ci increases, which the power cycle. There is an optimal on interval (ie,
should be expected because leakier refrigerated power generation) for a specified heat exchanger
enclosures make less efficient refrigeration plants. cleaning time interval. This is true for fouling ei-
Second, 91 decreases as TL/TH decreases. Third, ther in the hot end heat exchanger or in the cold
the second-law efficiency (or the COP) increases as end heat exchanger.

Modeling based on combined heat transfer and thermodynamics

ambient To

space TL
irreversiblt :
refrigerata I _w

evaporator Tmin I

Fig 8. Model of a refrigerator with on and off operation and frost accumulation on the evaporator surface [3, IS].

The formation of frost on cold heat exchangers thermodynamics and heat transfer. The method
is detrimental to refrigerator thermodynamic per- and field that unite these classical disciplines is
formance, which is why the optimization of the entropy generation minimization. Today EGM is
freezing and frost-removal cycle is an important an established method in both fundamental and
technological issue. Most interesting is that the applied heat transfer (eg, 119,201). I am delighted
same phenomenon - the same cycle - can be viewed that this, historically an engineering method, has
and optimized as something beneficial, namely, the spread even outside engineering to attract contribu-
maximization of ice production in industrial ice tions from physicists, mathematicians and optimal
making installations. This optimization principle is control scientists.
relevant to the production by solidification of other
materials, not just ice. On the basis of a simple 64 I-
EGM model, it was shown [31 that the frequency
of the ice formation and removal cycle can be op-
timized for maximum time-average rate of ice (or
solid) production.
For example, figure 9 shows the growth of an
ice sheet on a plane wall in contact with water
at solidification temperature, when S increases as
t112. If the freezing time is tl and the specified
ice removal time is t2, the time averaged rate of
ice production is proportional to ti’2/(tl + t2): this
quantity is maximized when tl is selected such that
0 ‘1 ‘1 + L1 L
t1,opt = t2.

Another example of time-dependent operation

Fig 9. The periodic production of ice: the freezing time tl,
is the case of a power plant driven by heating followed by the ice removal time t2 [31.
from a deep hot-dry-rock deposit. The water stream
circulated through the rock fissure cools the rock
by time-dependent conduction. When the lifetime
of power plant operation is fixed 131, there is an On the practical side, the EGM method has
optimal water flow rate such that the total work shown repeatedly that fundamental optima (trade-
produced is maximum. offs) exist when the thermodynamic optimization is
subjected to finite-size and finite-time constraints.
For example, a fixed heat exchanger inventory can
be divided optimally among the components of an

installation. If these optima exist in EGM models
as simple as the ones reviewed in this article, then
real opportunities exist for the optimal distribution
of hardware in the design of actual installations.
A quiet revolution is taking place in thermodynam- The practical contribution of EGM is the same as
ics, and it amounts to the closing of the gap between that of any other fundamental method: it is to show

A Bejan

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