The maximum power efficiency 1-√τ: Research, education, and bibliometric relevance
1 Departamento de Física Aplicada and IUFFYM, Universidad de Salamanca, 37008 Salamanca, Spain
2 Unidad Profesional Interdisciplinaria en Ingeniería y Tecnologías Avanzadas, Instituto Politécnico Nacional, Av. IPN No. 2580, L. Ticomán, México D.F. 07340, México
Received: 24 October 2014
Revised: 7 May 2015
Published online: 17 July 2015
The well-known efficiency at maximum power for a cyclic system working between hot Th and low Tc temperatures given by the equation 1-√τ(τ=Tc/Th), has become a landmark result with regards to the thermodynamic optimization of a great variety of energy converters. Its wide applicability and sole dependence on the external heat bath temperatures (as the Carnot efficiency does) allows for an easy comparison with experimental efficiencies leading to a striking fair agreement. Reversible, finite-time, and linear-irreversible derivations are analyzed in order to show a broader perspective about its meaning from both researching and pedagogical point of views. Its scientific relevance and historical development are also analyzed in this work by means of some bibliometric data. This article is supplemented with comments by Hong Qian and a final reply by the authors.
© EDP Sciences, Springer-Verlag, 2015