Thermodynamic Systems and Processes Basic Information And Tutorials


• A thermodynamic system is a collection of matter and space with its boundaries defined in such a way that the energy transfer across the boundaries can be best understood.

• Surroundings are everything not in the system being studied.

• Systems are classified into one of three groups:

Isolated system - neither mass nor energy can cross the boundaries
Closed system - only energy can cross the boundaries
Open system - both mass and energy can cross the
boundaries

• A control volume is a fixed region of space that is studied as a thermodynamic system.

• Steady state refers to a condition where the properties at any given point within the system are constant over time. Neither mass nor energy are accumulating within the system.

• A thermodynamic process is the succession of states that a system passes through.

Processes can be described by any of the following terms:

Cyclic process - a series of processes that results in the system returning to its original state

Reversible process - a process that can be reversed resulting in no change in the system or surroundings

Irreversible process - a process that, if reversed, would result in a change to the system or surroundings

Adiabatic process - a process in which there is no heat transfer across the system boundaries

Isentropic process - a process in which the entropy of the system remains unchanged

Polytropic process - the plot of Log P vs. Log V is a straight line, PVn = constant

Throttling process - a process in which enthalpy is constant h1 = h2, work = 0, and which is adiabatic, Q=0.

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