Optimization of a model external combustion engine

Yehuda B. Band, Oded Kafri, Peter Salamon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Using the Pontryagin maximum principle we optimize the operating conditions of a model external-combustion engine to obtain maximal efficiency. The model engine consists of a cylinder equipped with a piston containing a gas, pumped with a given time-dependent rate of heating, and coupled to a heat bath. We consider a fully cyclic engine, wherein both the volume and the energy of the working fluid are periodic. Such engines possess a finite optimal compression ratio. The gain in efficiency over nonoptimal paths is significant. We demonstrate the results with a numerical example, and we perform a thermodynamic analysis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29-33
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Applied Physics
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Dec 1982

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy (all)


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