Inderscience Publishers

Constructal theory of energy-system and environment flow configurations

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This paper outlines the place occupied by the constructal law in thermodynamics, and provides a vision of the future development of energy engineering as a transdisciplinary science of systems of systems. Natural and man-made flow systems do not exist in isolation. The optimal balance between engineered flow systems and their surroundings is achieved through the optimal distributing of thermodynamic imperfections. The paper traces the development of constructal theory from a principle of maximisation of flow access in morphing configurations to engineering discoveries, such as optimal internal spacings, tree-shaped flow networks, machine flight, and multi-scale flow structures for maximal heat transfer density. The introduction of constructal theory and design in thermodynamics education is also discussed.

Keywords: constructal law, dendritic, energy engineering, environment flow configurations, machine flight, tree networks, thermodynamics, system of systems, flow access, flow systems, heat transfer, multi-scale flow, education, exergy

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