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Entropy generation minimization. The method of thermodynamic optimization of finite-size systems and finite-time processes. (English) Zbl 0864.76001
Mechanical Engineering Series. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press. 362 p. (1996).
Optimization of real thermodynamic engines requires a minimization of the entropy generation produced by such phenomena as heat and mass transfer or fluid flow. Indeed, the relation between entropy generation and loss of availability was known since the last century, and it was applied to the optimization of some simple processes since the 1950’s. To take into account the above-mentioned irreversibilities is of almost importance when one tries, for instance, to perform a given process in a finite time. Thermodynamic analyses of processes subject to constraints on the total duration or on finite-size effects have become increasingly popular in non-equilibrium thermodynamics since 1975, as attested by a wide bibliography on this subject, and they constitute nowadays a whole field of research in irreversible thermodynamics known as finite-time thermodynamics [S. Sieniutycz and P. Salamon, eds, Finite-time thermodynamics and thermoeconomics, Taylor and Francis, New York (1991)]or entropy generation minimization.
The author was one of the first researchers actively involved in this field, on which he published the first monograph [Entropy generation through heat and fluid flow, Wiley, New York (1982)]. The entropy generation method is “the minimization of thermodynamic irreversibility in real-world applications by accounting the finite-size constraints of actual devices and the finite-time constraints of actual processes”. This is an interdisciplinary research field where converge thermodynamics, fluid mechanics and heat transfer, and which aims to make these fields easier to use and to understand in reference to optimization of real devices. Its main difference with usual exergy analyses is the emphasis on the explicit evaluation of the irreversibilities due to transport phenomena, rather than on concepts brought from equilibrium thermodynamics, as the average values of the thermodynamic potentials of the environment. Typical specific applications are, for instance, maximization of power in power plants, minimization of power consumption in refrigerators and heat pumps, maximization of refrigeration load and cryogen production in low-temperature refigerators and liquefiers, and many others.
The book has 11 chapters. Chapters 1-4 include the fundamental thermodynamic concepts, with a detailed discussion of entropy generation in fluid flow and in heat transfer and its relation to exergy destruction. Chapters 5-10 are devoted to the main illustrations: heat exchangers, insulation systems, storage systems, power generation, solar-thermal power generation, and refrigeration. Chapter 11 deals with time-dependent operation, i.e. with the problem of finding the optimal evolution of the process in time. Each chapter includes a wide bibliography and a few proposed problems. This monograph as well as the related book [the author, G. Tsatsaronis and G. Moran, Thermal design and optimization, Wiley New York, (1996)]will be of interest not only for engineers but also for scientists working on applications of nonequilibrium thermodynamics, heat transfer and fluid mechanics.
Reviewer: D.Jou (Bellaterra)

76-02 Research exposition (monographs, survey articles) pertaining to fluid mechanics
80-02 Research exposition (monographs, survey articles) pertaining to classical thermodynamics