Regression Models for the Evaluation of the Techno-Economic Potential of Organic Rankine Cycle-Based Waste Heat Recovery Systems on Board Ships Using Low Sulfur Fuels

Enrico Baldasso*, Maria E. Mondejar, Ulrik Larsen, Fredrik Haglind

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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When considering waste heat recovery systems for marine applications, which are estimated to be suitable to reduce the carbon dioxide emissions up to 20%, the use of organic Rankine cycle power systems has been proven to lead to higher savings compared to the traditional steam Rankine cycle. However, current methods to estimate the techno-economic feasibility of such a system are complex, computationally expensive and require significant specialized knowledge. This is the first article that presents a simplified method to carry out feasibility analyses for the implementation of organic Rankine cycle waste heat recovery units on board vessels using low-sulfur fuels. The method consists of a set of regression curves derived from a synthetic dataset obtained by evaluating the performance of organic Rankine cycle systems over a wide range of design and operating conditions. The accuracy of the proposed method is validated by comparing its estimations with the ones attained using thermodynamic models. The results of the validation procedure indicate that the proposed approach is capable of predicting the organic Rankine cycle annual energy production and levelized cost of electricity with an average accuracy within 4.5% and 2.5%, respectively. In addition, the results suggest that units optimized to minimize the levelized cost of electricity are designed for lower engine loads, compared to units optimized to maximize the overall energy production. The reliability and low computational time that characterize the proposed method, make it suitable to be used in the context of complex optimizations of the whole ship’s machinery system
Original languageEnglish
Article number1378
Issue number6
Number of pages20
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Organic rankine cycle
  • Low sulfur fuels
  • Waste heat recovery
  • Regression model
  • Predictive model
  • Ship
  • Techno-economic feasibility
  • Machinery system optimization

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