For physicists and engineers interested in renewable energy and/or irreversible thermodynamics, this book aims to describe forms of solar energy conversion techniques in a unified way. The physical framework used to describe the various conversions is endoreversible thermodynamics - a recently developed subset of irreversible thermodynamics. The book describes situations which are not in equilibrium and in which entropy is continuously created, but which are nevertheless stationary, that is, transient phenomena, oscillations, and so on are excluded. Most undergraduate texts on thermodynamics emphasize equilibrium thermodynamics and reversible processes. No entropy is created and conversion efficiencies are minimal - equal to Carnot efficiency. For irreversible conversion processes, the reader learns only that entropy production is positive and that conversion efficiency is lower than Carnot efficiency. But how great the entropy creation is, and how low the efficiency, is usually not expressed. In dealing with endoreversible thermodynamics, this text enables the reader to calculate the explicit values for a broad class of processes.
It is demonstrated in the text that solar energy conversion is a process particularly suited to being described in this way. This book illustrates general principles using idealized models, and technological examples are presented only to compare reality with theory. The language of the book is fairly mathematical, but the knowledge of anyone who has studied mathematics, physics or chemistry at university level should be able to follow the calculations. No differential equations are used. The book assumes an undergraduate level of physics knowledge and a farmiliarity with SI units.
'This is a delicious book for every scientist interested in thermodynamics, solar energy or both. It describes in a very clear and often subtly humoristic way the physical limits governing the conversion of solar energy into work ... it deserves a place in all private and institutional libraries covering solar engineering or advanced thermodynamics.'
C.W.J. Van Koppen, Solar Energy
Radiation; The solar system; Thermodynamical engines; Wind energy creation; Photothermal conversion; Photovoltaic conversion; Hybrid conversion; Multicolour conversion; Chemical reactions; Photosynthesis; Post scriptum; Appendices; Index.
Number Of Pages: 200
Published: 30th July 1992
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 23.8 x 16.2
Weight (kg): 0.47