What is a Thermodynamic Cycle?

This phase diagram shows that the process path for a cycle begins and ends at the same state.
A system completes a

thermodynamic cycle

when it undergoes two or more processes and the system returns to its initial state.
This lesson is only an introduction to thermodynamic cycles. You will be learning more about them in each of the following chapters.
In this lesson we will consider:
  1. Power Cycles

  2. Refrigeration Cycles

  3. Heat Pump Cycles

Two ways to categorize thermodynamic cycles:
Open Cycles
Gas Cycles
Closed Cycles
Vapor Cycles
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Ch 4, Lesson F, Page 1 - What is a Thermodynamic Cycle?