This cycle was first defined by John Ericsson in 1833. It was initially applied to an engine and comprises adiabatic compression and expansion and isobaric heat transfer as illustrated in the figure below.
As a fuel-burning prime mover, this is not a particularly practical cycle as the valve separating the high pressure heat exchange space from the expansion space (at Point 2 in the figure below) has to operate at the maximum cycle temperature. This proved challenging in 1833 and remains challenging if the cycle is used in this way.
Machines operating on this cycle using atmospheric air as the working fluid did have a long and successful history as refrigeration devices to preserve meat on long distance routes from Australia and New Zealand to England in the 19th and early 20th centuries, until superseded by more compact vapour compression machines. These machines were typically of heavy 19th century-style construction and, due to their intended function, their main design requirement was absolute reliability.
The cycle is similar to the Brayton cycle and is used extensively in modern gas turbine engines.back