This paper formulates the interactions between thermodynamics and economics for complex systems in a manner which assures a wise use of nonrenewable energy resources. The concept of “essergy” (generalized potential work) is used to reduce all thermodynamic processes to a common basis of evaluation and comparison. The concept of “internal economy” is used as a means of estimating the economic value of essergy, thus permitting a designer to trade essergy dissipation against capital expenditure in the main dissipative zones of a thermodynamic system. This approach extends the classical optimization problem of balancing running expenses against fixed charges of single-zone, single-degree-of-freedom systems to stagewise as well as interconnected multi-zone multidegrees-of-freedom systems. A companion paper discusses some detailed applications.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.