The four processes in the Rankine cycle[edit source | edit beta

Ts diagram of a typical Rankine cycle operating between pressures of 0.06bar and 50bar
There are four processes in the Rankine cycle. These states are identified by numbers
in brown! in the abo"e Ts diagram.
• Process 1-2# The working fluid is pumped from low to high pressure. $s the fluid
is a li%uid at this stage the pump re%uires little input energy.
• Process 2-3# The high pressure li%uid enters a boiler where it is heated at
constant pressure by an e&ternal heat source to become a dry saturated "apour.
The input energy re%uired can be easily calculated using mollier diagram or h's
chart or enthalpy'entropy chart also known as steam tables.
• Process 3-4# The dry saturated "apor e&pands through a turbine( generating
power. This decreases the temperature and pressure of the "apour( and some
condensation may occur. The output in this process can be easily calculated using
the )nthalpy'entropy chart or the steam tables.
• Process 4-1# The wet "apour then enters a condenser where it is condensed at
a constant pressure to become a saturated li%uid.
*n an ideal Rankine cycle the pump and turbine would be isentropic( i.e.( the pump and
turbine would generate no entropy and hence ma&imi+e the net work output. ,rocesses
-'. and /'0 would be represented by "ertical lines on the T'1 diagram and more closely
resemble that of the 2arnot cycle. The Rankine cycle shown here pre"ents the "apor
ending up in the superheat region after the e&pansion in the turbine(
which reduces
the energy remo"ed by the condensers.
Real Rankine cycle non'ideal![edit source | edit beta ]
Rankine cycle with superheat
*n a real power plant cycle the name 3Rankine3 cycle is used only for the ideal cycle!(
the compression by the pump and the e&pansion in theturbine are not isentropic. *n
other words( these processes are non're"ersible and entropy is increased during the
two processes. This somewhat increases the power re%uired by the pump and
decreases the power generated by the turbine.
*n particular the efficiency of the steam turbine will be limited by water droplet formation.
$s the water condenses( water droplets hit the turbine blades at high speed causing
pitting and erosion( gradually decreasing the life of turbine blades and efficiency of the
turbine. The easiest way to o"ercome this problem is by superheating the steam. 4n
the Ts diagram abo"e( state / is abo"e a two phase region of steam and water so after
e&pansion the steam will be "ery wet. 5y superheating( state / will mo"e to the right of
the diagram and hence produce a drier steam after e&pansion.
Basic Cycle
The Rankine cycle is the fundamental operating cycle of all power plants where an
operating fluid is continuously evaporated and condensed. The selection of
operating fluid depends mainly on the available temperature range. Figure 1 shows
the idealized Rankine cycle.
The pressure-enthalpy (p-h) and temperature-entropy (T-s) diagrams of this cycle
are given in Figure 2 . The Rankine cycle operates in the following steps:
• -!-" Isobaric Heat Transfer. #igh pressure li$uid enters the boiler from
the feed pump () and is heated to the saturation temperature (!). %urther
addition of energy causes evaporation of the li$uid until it is fully converted to
saturated steam (").
• "-& Isentropic Expansion. The vapor is e'panded in the turbine( thus
producing work which may be converted to electricity. )n practice( the
e'pansion is limited by the temperature of the cooling medium and by the
erosion of the turbine blades by li$uid entrainment in the vapor stream as the
process moves further into the two-phase region. *'it vapor $ualities should be
greater than +,-.
• &-. Isobaric Heat Rejection. The vapor-li$uid mi'ture leaving the turbine
(&) is condensed at low pressure( usually in a surface condenser using cooling
water. )n well designed and maintained condensers( the pressure of the vapor is
well below atmospheric pressure( approaching the saturation pressure of the
operating fluid at the cooling water temperature.
• .- Isentropic Compression. The pressure of the condensate is raised in the
feed pump. /ecause of the low specific volume of li$uids( the pump work is
relatively small and often neglected in thermodynamic calculations.