Design and optimisation of organic Rankine cycles for waste heat recovery in marine applications using the principles of natural selection

Ulrik Larsen, Leonardo Pierobon, Fredrik Haglind, Cecilia Gabrielii

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Power cycles using alternative working fluids are currently receiving significant attention. Selection of working fluid among many candidates is a key topic and guidelines have been presented. A general problem is that the selection is based on numerous criteria, such as thermodynamic performance, boundary conditions, hazard levels and environmental concerns. A generally applicable methodology, based on the principles of natural selection, is presented and used to determine the optimum working fluid, boiler pressure and Rankine cycle process layout for scenarios related to marine engine heat recovery. Included in the solution domain are 109 fluids in sub and supercritical processes, and the process is adapted to the properties of the individual fluid. The efficiency losses caused by imposing process constraints are investigated to help propose a suitable process layout. Hydrocarbon dry type fluids in recuperated processes produced the highest efficiencies, while wet and isentropic fluids were superior in non-recuperated processes. The results suggested that at design point, the requirements of process simplicity, low operating pressure and low hazard resulted in cumulative reductions in cycle efficiency. Furthermore, the results indicated that non-flammable fluids were able to produce near optimum efficiency in recuperated high pressure processes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)803-812
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • Process optimisation
  • Organic Rankine cycle
  • Exhaust heat recovery
  • Large ships
  • Genetic algorithm

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