Thermo-economic performance of an organic rankine cycle system recovering waste heat onboard an offshore service vessel

C.W. Ng, I.C.K. Tam, D. Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
81 Downloads (Pure)


Recent regulatory developments in the global maritime industry have signalled an increased emphasis on the improvement of energy efficiency onboard ships. Among the various efficiency enhancement options, recovering waste heat using the organic Rankine cycle (ORC) has been studied and identified as a promising one in many earlier studies. In this paper, a marine application of ORC for waste heat recovery will be discussed by performing the first law thermodynamic analysis based on the operating profile and machinery design data of an offshore service vessel (OSV) and defining four standard cycle configurations that include simple, recuperated, dual heat source, and with intermediate heating. The use of five hydrocarbon working fluids that are suitable for shipboard usage comprising cyclopentane, n-heptane, n-octane, methanol and ethanol are examined. The economic analysis found that annual fuel saving between 5% and 9% is possible and estimated a specific installation cost of $5000–8000 USD/kW. Among the various options, the methanol ORC in a simple cycle configuration is found to have the shortest payback time relatively balancing between annual fuel saving and total module cost. Finally, the simple cycle ORC running on methanol is further examined using the second law entropy generation analysis and it is found that the heat exchangers in the system accounted for nearly 95% of the overall entropy generation rate and further work is recommended to reduce this in the future.
Original languageEnglish
Article number351
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Marine Science and Engineering
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 14 May 2020


  • Organic Rankine cycle (ORC)
  • marine application
  • thermo-economic analysis
  • entropy
  • generation analysis
  • offshore service vessel


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