Energy conversion in shape memory alloy heat engine part I: theory
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Shape Memory Alloy (SMA) can be easily deformed to a new shape by applying a small external load at low temperature, and then recovers its original configuration upon heating. This unique shape memory phenomenon has inspired many novel designs. SMA based heat engine is one among them. SMA heat engine is an environment-friendly alternative to extract mechanical energy from low-grade energies, for instance, warm wastewater, geothermal energy, solar thermal energy, etc. The aim of this paper is to present an applicable theoretical model for simulation of SMA-based heat engines. First, a micro-mechanical constitutive model is derived for SMAs. The volume fractions of austenite and martensite variants are chosen as internal variables to describe the evolution of microstructure in SMA upon phase transition. Subsequently, the energy equation is derived based on the first thermodynamic law and the previous SMA model. From Fourier’s law of heat conduction and Newton’s law of cooling, both differential and integral forms of energy conversion equation are obtained.