Numerous earlier studies have compared the merits of different working fluids for use in Rankine power systems. Most often, however, these have considered a limited number of specific fluids for which the needed thermodynamic properties are known. In the investigation summarized here, the Redlich-Kwong fluid model was used to develop a thermodynamic similarity framework that can be used as a comparative model for evaluating the performance of Rankine cycle working fluids. This can be viewed as a reduced order model that, based on thermodynamic similarity, quantifies the characteristics of the working fluids in terms of a single dimensional coordinate space defined by the choice of critical temperature. The advantage of this framework is that it allows exploration of the performance advantages of working fluids for which full thermodynamic properties are not yet available. Predictions of the model for common fluids were examined and conclusions regarding optimal fluids for solar Rankine systems are discussed.

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