A class of solar-driven heat engines is modeled as a combined system consisting of a solar collector and a unified heat engine, in which muti-irreversibilities including not only the finite rate heat transfer and the internal irreversibility, but also radiation-convection heat loss from the solar collector to the ambience are taken into account. The maximum overall efficiency of the system, the optimal operating temperature of the solar collector, the optimal temperatures of the working fluid and the optimal ratio of heat transfer areas are calculated by using numerical calculation method. The influences of radiation-convection heat loss of the collector and internal irreversibility on the cyclic performances of the solar-driven heat engine system are revealed. The results obtained in the present paper are more general than those in literature and the performance characteristics of several solar-driven heat engines such as Carnot, Brayton, Braysson and so on can be directly derived from them.

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