The Rankine cycle is used commercially to generate power in stationary power plants using water as the working fluid. For waste heat recovery applications, where the temperature is lower, water is typically replaced by a carefully selected organic fluid. This work is based on using the waste heat in an automobile to generate electricity using the Organic Rankine cycle (ORC) with R245fa (1, 1, 1, 3, 3 penta-fluoropropane) as the working fluid. The electricity thus generated can be used to drive the accessory load or charge the battery which in any case helps improve the fuel economy. A simple transient numerical model has been developed that is capable of capturing the main effects of this cycle. Results show that exhaust heat alone can generate enough electricity that is capable of bringing about an improvement to the fuel economy under transient drive cycle conditions. Power output during EPA Highway drive cycle is much higher than EPA City due to higher exhaust mass flow rate and temperature. Time needed to reach operating conditions or in other words, the warm-up time plays an important role in the overall drive cycle output. Performance is found to improve significantly when coolant waste heat is used in conjunction with the residual exhaust heat to pre-heat the liquid. A sizing study is also performed to keep the cost, weight, and packaging requirement down without sacrificing too much power. With careful selection of heat exchanger design parameters, it has been demonstrated that the backpressure on the engine can be actually lowered by cooling off the exhaust gas. This lower backpressure will further boost the fuel economy gained by the electricity produced by the Rankine bottoming cycle.

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