A Comparison of Organic and Steam Rankine Cycle Power Systems for Waste Heat Recovery on Large Ships

Jesper Graa Andreasen, Andrea Meroni, Fredrik Haglind

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This paper presents a comparison of the conventional dual pressure steam Rankine cycle process and the organic Rankine cycle process for marine engine waste heat recovery. The comparison was based on a container vessel, and results are presented for a high-sulfur (3 wt %) and low-sulfur (0.5 wt %) fuel case. The processes were compared based on their off-design performance for diesel engine loads in the range between 25% and 100%. The fluids considered in the organic Rankine cycle process were MM(hexamethyldisiloxane), toluene, n-pentane, i-pentane and c-pentane. The results of the comparison indicate that the net power output of the steam Rankine cycle process is higher at high engine loads, while the performance of the organic Rankine cycle units is higher at lower loads. Preliminary turbine design considerations suggest that higher turbine efficiencies can be obtained for the ORC unit turbines compared to the steam turbines. When the efficiency of the c-pentane turbine was allowed to be 10% points larger than the steam turbine efficiency, the organic Rankine cycle unit reaches higher net power outputs than the steam Rankine cycle unit at all engine loads for the low-sulfur fuel case. The net power production from the waste heat recovery units is generally higher for the low-sulfur fuel case. The steam Rankine cycle unit produces 18% more power at design compared to the high-sulfur fuel case, while the organic Rankine cycle unit using MM produces 33% more power.
Original languageEnglish
Article number547
Issue number4
Number of pages23
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Bibliographical note

Copyright: 2017 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).


  • Waste heat recovery
  • Organic Rankine cycle
  • Steam Rankine cycle
  • Off-design
  • Turbine efficiency
  • Diesel engine
  • Marine vessel
  • Container ship
  • Maritime
  • Sustainability
  • Low sulfur fuel

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