Brayton Cycle

Brayton Cycle

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Brayton Cycle

What is the
Brayton Cycle?

Gas turbines operate on the principal of the Brayton Cycle, which is defined as a constant pressure cycle, with four basic operations which it accomplishes simultaneously and continuously for an uninterrupted flow of power.

Background Information and History of Rudolph Diesel and Sadi Carnot

Rudolph Diesel was educated at the predecessor school to the Technical University of Munich, Germany. In 1878, he was introduced to the work of Sadi Carnot, who theorized that an engine could achieve much higher efficiency than the steam engines of the day. Carnot envisioned a cycle in which a gas is compressed, heated, allowed to expand, and then cooled. After the gas is cooled, the cycle begins anew. Mechanical energy is used to compress the gas and thermal energy to heat it. In turn, expansion of the gas yields mechanical energy, and its cooling yields thermal energy. The net result is conversion of thermal energy to mechanical energy.

Diesel sought to apply Carnot’s theory to the internal combustion engine. The efficiency of the Carnot Cycle increases with the compression ratio—the ratio of gas volume at full expansion to its volume at full compression. Nicklaus Otto invented an internal combustion engine in 1876 that was the predecessor to the modern gasoline engine. Otto’s engine mixed fuel and air before their introduction to the cylinder, and a flame or spark was used to ignite the fuel-air mixture at the appropriate time. However, air gets hotter as it is compressed, and if the compression ratio is too high, the heat of compression will ignite the fuel prematurely. The low compression ratios needed to prevent premature ignition of the fuel-air mixture limited the efficiency of the Otto engine.

Rudolph Diesel wanted to build an engine with the highest possible compression ratio. He introduced fuel only when combustion was desired and allowed the fuel to ignite on its own in the hot compressed air. Diesel’s engine achieved an efficiency higher than that of the Otto engine and much higher than that of the steam engine. It also eliminated the trouble-prone electric-spark ignition system. Diesel received a patent in 1893 and demonstrated a workable engine in 1897. Today, diesel engines are classified as “compression-ignition” engines, and Otto engines are classified as “spark-ignition” engines.


Brayton Cycle

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Engineering & Project Development Services

Graz Cycle power plants have exceeded 65% (net electrical cycle efficiency) 
which is greater than the typical of state-of-the-art combined cycle power plant.

More information at:


The Graz Cycle is also known as the "Zero Emission Power Plant!"


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The Renewable Energy Institute is "Changing The Way The World Makes and Uses Energy by Providing Research & Development, Funding and Resources That Creates Sustainable Energy via 'Carbon Free Energy,' 'Clean Power Generation' and 'Pollution Free Power' Through Expanding the use of Renewable Energy Technologies."


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