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Available potential energy and exergy in stratified fluids

Tailleux, R. ORCID: (2013) Available potential energy and exergy in stratified fluids. Annual Review of Fluid Mechanics, 45. pp. 35-58. ISSN 1545-4479

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1146/annurev-fluid-011212-140620


Lorenz’s theory of available p otential energy (APE) remains the main framework for studying the atmospheric and oceanic energy cycles. Because the APE generation rate is the volume integral of a thermodynamic efficiency times the local diabatic heating/cooling rate, APE theory is often regarded as an extension of the theory of heat engines. Available energetics in classical thermodynamics, however, usually relies on the concept of exergy, and is usually measured relative to a reference state maximising entropy at constant energy, whereas APE’s reference state minimises p otential energy at constant entropy. This review seeks to shed light on the two concepts; it covers local formulations of available energetics, alternative views of the dynamics/thermodynamics coupling, APE theory and the second law, APE production/dissipation, extensions to binary fluids, mean/eddy decomp ositions, APE in incompressible fluids, APE and irreversible turbulent mixing, and the role of mechanical forcing on APE production.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Interdisciplinary Research Centres (IDRCs) > Walker Institute
Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > Department of Meteorology
ID Code:29194
Publisher:Annual reviews

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