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Towards a Theory of Energy Conversion

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Thiago Burghi.

Consider a general physical system with two power ports: how to transfer energy from one port to the other? This problem is present in many technological applications, from the classical steam engine (how to convert heat into mechanical work) to motors, generators, fuel cells, and energy harvesting. Can we set up a general theory that is delineating the possible limitations in energy transfer, and guides us towards the most efficient (optimal?) control strategies? In this talk I will present some partial answers (which naturally lead to further questions), based on the port-Hamiltonian formulation of physical systems. In particular, I will show how the ‘isothermals’ and ‘adiabatics’ in the classical Carnot cycle for heat engines can be directly generalized to port-Hamiltonian systems endowed with a specific form of internal interconnection structure (as shared by thermodynamic systems). The talk will be illustrated by a series of characteristic examples; from the gas-piston-damper system of thermodynamics to synchronous generators, DC motors and electromechanical actuators.

References: AvdS, D. Jeltsema, Limits to Energy Conversion, IEEE -TAC 2021 AvdS, D. Jeltsema, On Energy Conversion in Port-Hamiltonian Systems, 60th CDC , Austin, 2021

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This talk is part of the CUED Control Group Seminars series.

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