# Carnot efficiency vs thermal efficiency

1. Dec 22, 2013

### bigu01

Is Carnot efficiency the same as thermal efficiency?

2. Dec 22, 2013

### SteamKing

Staff Emeritus
Not necessarily. Carnot efficiency represents the maximum possible efficiency which can be obtained by a given thermodynamic cycle. It is calculated based strictly on the maximum and minimum temperatures which occur in the cycle. Broadly speaking, thermal efficiency represents the ratio of work energy output to energy input.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thermal_efficiency