Underdamped stochastic heat engine at maximum efficiency

Author(s): A.Dechant, N. Kiesel, E. Lutz

arXiv:1602.00392 [cond-mat.stat-mech]

Link: Link to publication


We investigate the performance of an underdamped stochastic heat engine for a time-dependent harmonic oscillator. We analytically determine the optimal protocol that maximizes the efficiency at fixed power. The maximum efficiency reduces to the Curzon-Ahlborn formula at maximum power and the Carnot formula at zero power. We further establish that the efficiency at maximum power is universally given by the Curzon-Ahlborn efficiency in the weakly damped regime. Finally, we show that even small deviations from operation at maximum power may result in a significantly increased efficiency.

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