Efficiency at maximum power: An analytically solvable model for stochastic heat enginesT. Schmiedl and U. Seifert
II. Institut für Theoretische Physik, Universität Stuttgart - 70550 Stuttgart, Germany
received 27 August 2007; accepted in final form 13 November 2007; published January 2008
published online 10 December 2007
We study a class of cyclic Brownian heat engines in the framework of finite-time thermodynamics. For infinitely long cycle times, the engine works at the Carnot efficiency limit producing, however, zero power. For the efficiency at maximum power, we find a universal expression, different from the endoreversible Curzon-Ahlborn efficiency. Our results are illustrated with a simple one-dimensional engine working in and with a time-dependent harmonic potential.
05.40.Jc - Brownian motion.
05.70.Ln - Nonequilibrium and irreversible thermodynamics.
82.70.Dd - Colloids.
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