Rankine Cycle

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In a Rankine cycle (schematic of cycle shown when "Rankine cycle" selected from a drop down menu), high-pressure liquid water (1) enters a boiler where it is heated to saturation temperature (2), vaporized, and superheated (3). The superheated steam is fed to a steam turbine, which expands the steam and generates mechanical work. The steam exits the turbine at a lower pressure and temperature as either superheated steam or steam at saturation temperature with a quality (4). This steam is condensed (5), and the liquid water is compressed in a pump to high pressure (1). The cycle is shown on a pressure-enthalpy (P-H) digaram. You can vary the inlet pressure to the turbine (P3), and you can select one of four outlet pressures (P4). You can also vary the turbine efficiency η, which is the ratio of work produced by the turbine to the work produced by a reversible turbine between the same inlet and outlet pressures. The pathway for the irreversible turbine (η < 1) is the thick dashed line on the P-H diagram, and the reversible turbine pathway is represented by the thin dotted line. Selecting "turbine" from the dropdown menu shows the inlet and outlet conditions for the turbine and the work generated.


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