A high-efficiency solar rankine engine with isothermal expansion

Opubo N. Igobo, Philip A. Davies*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalSpecial issuepeer-review


Though the principle of the solar Rankine cycle is well known, with several examples reported in the literature, there is yet a scarcity of engines that could be efficiently applied in small-scale (<100 KW) applications. Hence, this paper presents a variant of the engine that uses an isothermal expansion to achieve a theoretical efficiency close to the Carnot limit. Generation of steam inside the power cylinder obviates the need for an external boiler. The device is suitable for slow-moving applications and is of particular interest for driving a batch-desalination process. Preliminary experiments have shown cycle efficiency of 16%, and a high work ratio of 0.997.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)i27-i33
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Low-Carbon Technologies
Issue numberSuppl.1
Publication statusPublished - 12 May 2013
EventHeat Powered Cycles conference 2012 - Alkmaar, Netherlands
Duration: 10 Sept 201212 Sept 2012

Bibliographical note

Heat Powered Cycles conference 2012 (HPC 2012), 10 Sep 2012 - 12 Sep 2012, Alkmaar, Netherlands


  • rankine cycle
  • solar energy


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