Definition: Brayton cycle
A thermodynamic cycle using constant pressure, heat addition and rejection. Fuel and a compressor are used to heat and increase the pressure of a gas; the gas expands and spins the blades of a turbine, which, when connected to a generator, generates electricity.
- The Brayton cycle is a thermodynamic cycle named after George Bailey Brayton that describes the workings of a constant pressure heat engine. The original Brayton engines used a piston compressor and piston expander, but more modern gas turbine engines and airbreathing jet engines also follow the Brayton cycle. Although the cycle is usually run as an open system (and indeed must be run as such if internal combustion is used), it is conventionally assumed for the purposes of thermodynamic analysis that the exhaust gases are reused in the intake, enabling analysis as a closed system.The engine cycle is named after George Brayton (1830–1892), the American engineer who developed it originally for use in piston engines , although it was originally proposed and patented by Englishman John Barber in 1791. It is also sometimes known as the Joule cycle. The Ericsson cycle is similar to the Brayton cycle but uses external heat and incorporates the use of a regenerator. There are two types of Brayton cycles, open to the atmosphere and using internal combustion chamber or closed and using a heat exchanger.