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Thermodynamics: Thermal Efficiency

The second law of thermodynamic states that Qout can never equal zero. This means that no process that converts energy into work can be 100% efficient. To calculate thermal efficiency the following equation would be used.

Thermal Efficiency Equation (1)

In all real life systems some of the input energy is wasted, and is very difficult to save Qout since it must be reject to complete the cycle. For example, most auto engines have a 25% efficiency, while diesel engines have a 40% efficiency, and finally a well designed gas turbine power plant can have a 60% efficiency.

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