Otto Cycle

Otto Cycle

An 'Otto cycle' is an idealized thermodynamic cycle which describes the functioning of a typical spark ignition reciprocating piston engine, the thermodynamic cycle most commonly found in automobile engines.

The Otto cycle is constructed out of:

TOP and BOTTOM of the loop: a pair of quasi-parallel adiabatic processes
LEFT and RIGHT sides of the loop: a pair of parallel isochoric processes

The adiabatic processes are impermeable to heat: heat flows into the loop through the left pressurizing process and some of it flows back out through the right depressurizing process, and the heat which remains does the work.

The processes are described by:

  • Process 1-2 is an isentropic compression of the air as the piston moves from bottom dead centre (BDC) to top dead centre (TDC).
  • Process 2-3 is a constant-volume heat transfer to the air from an external source while the piston is at top dead centre. This process is intended to represent the ignition of the fuel-air mixture and the subsequent rapid burning.
  • Process 3-4 is an isentropic expansion (power stroke).
  • Process 4-1 completes the cycle by a constant-volume process in which heat is rejected from the air while the piston is a bottom dead centre.

The Otto cycle consists of adiabatic compression, heat addition at constant volume, adiabatic expansion, and rejection of heat at constant volume. In the case of a four-stroke Otto cycle, technically there are two additional processes: one for the exhaust of waste heat and combustion products (by isobaric compression), and one for the intake of cool oxygen-rich air (by isobaric expansion); however, these are often omitted in a simplified analysis. Even though these two processes are critical to the functioning of a real engine, wherein the details of heat transfer and combustion chemistry are relevant, for the simplified analysis of the thermodynamic cycle, it is simpler and more convenient to assume that all of the waste-heat is removed during a single volume change.

A P-V animation of the Otto cycle is very useful in the analysis of the entire process.

Read more about Otto Cycle:  History, Cycle Analysis

Other articles related to "cycle, otto cycle, cycles, otto":

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