SCO colloquium: Arjan van der Schaft


16:00 - 17:00


Title: Towards a Theory of Energy Conversion

Abstract: Consider a general physical system with two power ports: how to transfer energy from one port to the other? This problem is appearing in many technological areas, from the classical steam engine (how to convert heat into mechanical work) to motors, generators, fuel cells, and energy harvesting. Can we set up a general theory that is delineating the possible limitations in energy transfer, and guides us to efficient control strategies?

In this talk I will present some partial answers, starting from the port-Hamiltonian formulation of physical systems. In particular, I will show how the ‘isothermals’ and ‘adiabatics’ in the classical Carnot cycle for heat engines can be directly generalized to port-Hamiltonian systems endowed with a specific interconnection structure. The talk will be illustrated by a series of characteristic examples; from the gas-piston-damper system of thermodynamics to synchronous generators, DC motors and electromechanical actuators.


A. van der Schaft, D. Jeltsema, Limits to Energy Conversion, IEEE-TAC, 2021
A. van der Schaft, D. Jeltsema, On Energy Conversion in Port-Hamiltonian Systems, 60th CDC, Austin, 2021
The colloquium will take place online in Google Meet. You can email the organizer for a link to the meeting.

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