Rankine cycle

Thermodynam.
the hypothetical cycle of a steam engine in which all heat transfers take place at constant pressure and in which expansion and compression occur adiabatically. Also called Clausius cycle.
[1895-1900; named after W. J. M. RANKINE]

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Ideal cyclical sequence of changes of pressure and temperature of a fluid, such as water, used in an engine, such as a steam engine.

Described in 1859 by William Rankine, it is used as a standard for rating the performance of steam power plants. In the Rankine cycle, the working substance of the engine undergoes four successive changes: (1) heating at constant volume (as in a boiler), (2) evaporation and superheating (if any) at constant pressure, (3) isentropic expansion in the engine, and (4) condensation at constant pressure with return of the fluid to the boiler. See also Carnot cycle.

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      in heat engines, ideal cyclical sequence of changes of pressure and temperature of a fluid, such as water, used in an engine, such as a steam engine. It is used as a thermodynamic standard for rating the performance of steam power plants. The cycle was described in 1859 by the Scottish engineer William J.M. Rankine.

      In the Rankine cycle the working substance of the engine undergoes four successive changes: heating at constant pressure, converting the liquid to vapour; reversible adiabatic expansion, performing work (as by driving a turbine); cooling at constant pressure, condensing the vapour to liquid; and reversible adiabatic compression, pumping the liquid back to the boiler.

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Universalium. 2010.

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