Adiabatic walls are theoretical concepts because if in case tehey would exist they would be a perfect thermal insulation. At present, any thermal insulation, however good it may be, always allows some transfer of heat energy.
The term adiabatic refers to elements that prevent the transfer of heat to the environment. An isolated wall is close enough to an adiabatic boundary.
In air conditioning, the processes of wetting (water vapor supply) are adiabatic, since there is no heat transfer, even though the temperature of the air and its relative humidity can be varied. Another example is the adiabatic flame temperature, which is the temperature that could reach a flame if there was no loss of heat to the environment.
Adiabatic heating and cooling are processes that commonly occur due to the change in pressure of a gas. This can be quantified using the ideal gas law.
Last review: December 1, 2016Back