The objectives of TRENERGY are directly linked to the increase in the energy efficiency of the railway transportation mean and to the reduction of the greenhouse gas emission.


Based on previous experience in automotive applications, we have identified three issues of concern for the viability and efficiency of ORC-based engine waste heat recovery systems in the railroad transportation context:


  1. The role of control design which must be integrated from the beginning to system design, so as to obtain enough control authority to enable optimal performance levels.
  2. The design of a compact expander providing the highest efficiency on the broadest operating range.
  3. The choice of the working fluid, which must be not only efficient, safe and stable, but also sustainable in terms of both ozone depleting and global warming potential.


Those are the topics the TRENERGY project will delve into.


The knowledge that will be obtained at the end of the project is:


  • a control design methodology for a whole Rankine system operating with a transient heat source, which should also be applicable to other vehicles than trains;
  • an optimization approach for the internal flow of a working fluid vapor inside a multi-stage compact turbine.



The main hardware deliverables at the end of the project will be:


  • a prototype Rankine system that may prefigure a future pack for diesel electric locomotives;
  • a compact high-efficiency turbine suited to this application, coupling a multi-stage turbine and a high speed electrical generator, compatible with the chosen environmentally friendly working fluid and using no additional lubricant.



Project organization


The scientific and technical program will be developed through three main tasks, or workpackages:


  • System design and optimization (T1), where research relies mainly on simulation;
  • System implementation and testing (T2), focused on the experimental test bench;
  • Analysis, exploitation and dissemination of findings (T3).


An additional task (T0) will be devoted to project management.


Project tasks

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