A second-law analysis of the combustion process in a diesel engine is presented for a single-zone model. Expressions for availability and the availability balance are developed in detail from the energy and entropy balances and applied in a manner that allows the irreversibility due to combustion to be separated from that associated with heat transfer to the walls. Availability is divided into two components: thermomechanical and chemical availability. For the first time, chemical availability of the cylinder contents is dealt with rigorously, which allows for a correct determination of combustion irreversibilities. The analysis is applied in a parametric study of the effects of combustion timing, mass burning rate, and heat transfer rate on the irreversibility and system availability.

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