Interactive Self-Study Module: Rankine Cycle
Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, University of Colorado Boulder 

This module uses screencasts and interactive simulations to explain the Rankine Cycle. It then provides example problems to allow the user to test themselves. We suggest using the learning resources in the following order:

  1. Attempt to answer the multiple-choice ConcepTests before watching the screencasts or working with the simulations.
  2. Watch the screencasts that describe the Rankine Cycle and answer the questions within the screencasts.
  3. Use the two interactive simulations to further understand the behavior of the cycle.
  4. Try to solve the example problems before watching the solutions in the screencasts.
  5. Answer the ConcepTests.

The Rankine Cycle converts high temperature heat into work, and Rankine cycles with modifications are used in many power plants. 

This module is intended for a thermodynamics course.

Before studying this module, you should:

After studying this module, you should be able to:
  1. Apply the first law (and, where appropriate, account for efficiencies using the second law) to the boiler, condenser, turbine, and  liquid pump in a Rankine cycle. 
  2. Calculate the work generated from a Rankine cycle. 
  3. Sketch a Rankine cycle on a T- S diagram and sketch how the turbine path changes when the turbine is irreversible.
  4. Draw a Rankine cycle on a pressure versus enthalpy diagram. 
  5. Calculate the thermodynamic efficiency for a Rankine cycle.