Definition of heat engine in US English:

heat engine


  • A device for producing motive power from heat, such as a gasoline engine or steam engine.

    • ‘Simply designed, fuel cells are more efficient at converting chemical energy into work than a heat engine.’
    • ‘They were interested in how steam and heat engines operate - particularly the question of how to evaluate and measure their efficiency.’
    • ‘With the heat engine working harder, the winds and, therefore, the waves, are driven to higher intensity, too, and more of their sodium-laden spume lands on the icecaps.’
    • ‘In the nineteenth century, with Newtonian physics pretty well assimilated and a lot of work in thermodynamics going on, man was looked on as a heat engine, about 40 per cent efficient.’
    • ‘Since the heat engine in the Prius is turned off at various points in the operating cycle, the air conditioning compressor had to be electric drive and not mechanical.’
    • ‘Well you think of a hurricane as just this big heat engine.’
    • ‘In 1824 Sadi Carnot's interest in improving the performance of steam engines led him to think about the efficiency of a heat engine in a new and fundamental way.’
    • ‘These storms, they're just like big heat engines, Larry.’
    • ‘They do not understand the limits to efficiency presented by the physical properties of heat engines.’
    • ‘The mantle of the Earth behaves as a heat engine.’
    • ‘Along the way, he connected Joule's work with that of Carnot on heat engines.’
    • ‘His experimental work may, however, have prompted Kelvin to propose the absolute scale of temperature in 1848 using ideas of temperature, based on the efficiency of heat engines.’
    • ‘Day after day it was just such a waste to see nature display its heat engine in all its glory and to know that so few folks, if anyone at all, was out there taking advantage of all this free energy.’
    • ‘This entire thing, now, is just going to be its own heat engine.’
    • ‘Descartes, instead, explained the heart as a heat engine that expanded the blood, forcing it out through the circulatory system.’
    • ‘If you think of these things as big heat engines, and you're seeing an example of that engine, the hurricanes convert that warm Gulf water, for instance, or Atlantic water into energy, the same way a car converts gasoline into energy.’
    • ‘This is a key requirement for cranking up their efficiency toward the maximum efficiency possible for any heat engine.’
    • ‘Through its reaction with oxygen, hydrogen releases energy explosively in heat engines or quietly in fuel cells to produce water as its only byproduct.’