The project will last three years, starting from January 1st 2013.
Its purpose is to assess the interes of using a Rankine thermodynamic cycle to
recover part of the heat
dissipated in the exhaust
gas of diesel engines and
thus increase the efficiency of the "power packs" providing propulsion for Diesel-electric trains.
Up to now, Rankine systems have been mainly used for stationary equipment (power plants, heat recovery from boilers and furnaces, ...), although applications to transport have been studied (for trains, trucks, and more recently, cars) or even implemented, in the case for large ships. For lighter transportation means, several scientific and technical bottlenecks need to be removed before Rankine systems can be considered cost-effective devices for increasing energy efficiency. Among the main problems of Rankine systems for mobile applications, we can recall those posed by the rapid and uncontrolled variations of the heat source as well as by the limited cooling capacity of the system.
The projet partners are IFP Energies nouvelles (project leader), ALSTOM Transport, ENOGIA and the Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (DynFluid) of Arts et Métiers-ParisTech.