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Heat Engines


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Heat Source
A reservoir that supplies heat into a heat engine.
Thermal Energy Reservoir
A large body of heat at a certain temperature, that supplies or receives heat from a system. It is assumed that the temperature of the resevoir does not change as heat flows out or into it.
Heat Sink
A reservoir that absorbs heat leaving a heat engine (usually the ambient surroundings).
Prime Mover
The moving parts that deliver the work (e.g. steam turbine).
Work Output
The net useful work supplied by the heat engine.
Thermal Efficiency
"What you get over what you pay for."
Kelvin-Planck Statement of 2nd Law
"It is impossible to construct a heat engine that will operate in a cycle and take heat from a reservoir and produce an equivalent amount of heat."
Carnot Efficiency
The maximum thermal efficiency of a reversible heat engine. 1 - T2/T1