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Is the efficiency of heat engine more in hilly areas than in plains?

  1. Mar 6, 2014 #1
    In hilly areas temp is low than plain areas.So the temperature of source as well as sink must be low.But ratio remains same.So efficiency is same as in plain areas? Is my logic correct? Or anything else? Can it be more?
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 6, 2014 #2
    What source?
  4. Mar 6, 2014 #3


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    Staff: Mentor

    What sink? What kind of heat engine?
  5. Mar 6, 2014 #4

    Andrew Mason

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    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    Assuming you had a Carnot engine with a hot reservoir temperature that was constant but a cold sink that was the same as the ambient temperature, your engine would be more efficient in a colder environment.

    But real heat engines don't use the ambient temperature as a cold sink. They simply expel the expanded gas to the environment and take in new air. If that new air gets colder the hot reservoir (a chemical reaction) has to use more heat to get its temperature high enough for the engine to use it to produce mechanical work. This is one reason why car engines are less efficient in the winter.

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