Utilisation of diesel engine waste heat by Organic Rankine Cycle

Jovana Radulovic, Benedikt Kölsch

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    In this paper, three different organic liquids were investigated as potential working fluids in an Organic Rankine Cycle. Performance of Methanol, Toluene and Solkatherm SES36 was modelled in an ORC powered by a diesel engine waste heat. The ORC model consists of a preheater, evaporator, superheater, turbine, pump and two condensers. With variable maximum cycle temperatures and high cycle pressures, the thermal efficiency, net power output and overall heat transfer area have been evaluated.

    Methanol was found to have the best thermal performance, but also required the largest heat transfer area. While Toluene achieved lower thermal efficiency, it showed great work potential at high pressures and relatively low temperatures. Our model identified the risks associated with employing these fluids in an ORC: methanol condensing during the expansion and toluene not sufficiently superheated at the turbine inlet, which can compromise the cycle operation. The best compromise between the size of heat exchanger and thermodynamic performance was found for Methanol ORC at intermediate temperatures and high pressures. Flammability and toxicity, however, remain the obstacles for safe implementation of both fluids in ORC systems.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)437–448
    JournalApplied Thermal Engineering
    Early online date9 Jan 2015
    Publication statusPublished - 5 Mar 2015


    • Organic Rankine Cycle
    • Net power output
    • Thermal efficiency
    • Heat exchanger
    • Diesel engine waste heat


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