# Why use c_p and not c_v as specific heat - Thermodynamics

Hey all,

I am working on a problem that goes like this:

The cargo space of a refrigerated truck whose inner
dimensions are 12 m 3 2.3 m 3 3.5 m is to be precooled
from 25°C to an average temperature of 5°C. The construc-
tion of the truck is such that a transmission heat gain occurs
at a rate of 120 W/°C. If the ambient temperature is 25°C,
determine how long it will take for a system with a refrigera-
tion capacity of 11 kW to precool this truck.

The solutions manual calculates the mass of the air inside the truck and afterwards does
$$Q=mc_p\Delta T$$
to calculate the amount of heat removed.

My question is: why do we use $$c_p$$ here and not $$c_v$$
It's a closed system, such that
$$Q=m(u_2-u_1)=mc_v\Delta T$$
right?

Last edited:

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BvU
Homework Helper
2019 Award
It's a closed system
How does the solution manual
The solutions manual calculates the mass of the air inside the truck

rude man
Homework Helper
Gold Member
A truck is not really a closed system. It's much more liely to be vented somewhere to atmospheric pressure.