Finite-size effect on optimal efficiency of heat engines
AbstractThe optimal efficiency of quantum (or classical) heat engines whose heat baths are n-particle systems is given by the strong large deviation. We give the optimal work extraction process as a concrete energy-preserving unitary time evolution among the heat baths and the work storage. We show that our optimal work extraction turns the disordered energy of the heat baths to the ordered energy of the work storage, by evaluating the ratio of the entropy difference to the energy difference in the heat baths and the work storage, respectively. By comparing the statistical mechanical optimal efficiency with the macroscopic thermodynamic bound, we evaluate the accuracy of the macroscopic thermodynamics with finite-size heat baths from the statistical mechanical viewpoint. We also evaluate the quantum coherence effect on the optimal efficiency of the cycle processes without restricting their cycle time by comparing the classical and quantum optimal efficiencies.