Volume 119, Number 5, September 2017
|Number of page(s)||6|
|Published online||21 November 2017|
Underdamped stochastic heat engine at maximum efficiency
1 Department of Physics #1, Graduate School of Science, Kyoto University - Kyoto 606-8502, Japan
2 Vienna Center for Quantum Science and Technology (VCQ), Faculty of Physics, University of Vienna A-1090 Vienna, Austria
3 Department of Physics, Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg - D-91058 Erlangen, Germany
Received: 19 July 2017
Accepted: 30 October 2017
We investigate the performance of an underdamped stochastic heat engine, using the paradigmatic model of a harmonic oscillator with time-dependent frequency. We analytically determine the optimal protocol that maximizes the efficiency at fixed power. The maximum efficiency reduces to the Curzon-Ahlborn formula at maximum power and to the Carnot formula at zero power. We establish that the efficiency at maximum power is universally given by the Curzon-Ahlborn efficiency for weak damping. We further show that even small deviations from operation at maximum power results in a significantly increased efficiency.
PACS: 05.70.Ln – Nonequilibrium and irreversible thermodynamics / 05.40.-a – Fluctuation phenomena, random processes, noise, and Brownian motion
© EPLA, 2017
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