Interactive Self-Study Module: Rankine Cycle


This module uses screencasts and interactive simulation(s) to explain the Rankine Cycle. It then provides example problems to allow the user to test themselves. Your retention of material in this module will increase if you write down reasons for your answers to ConcepTests, questions in screencasts, and questions to answer before using interactive simulation(s), and you try to solve the example problems before watching the solutions in the screencasts. We suggest using the learning resources in the following order:

  1. Attempt to answer the multiple-choice ConcepTest and solve the example problem 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. Review important equations for the Rankine cycle.
  4. Use the interactive simulation(s) to further understand the behavior of the cycle.
  5. Try to solve the example problems before watching the solutions in the screencasts.
  6. Answer the ConcepTests.
  7. Look at the list of key points, but only after you try to list the key points yourself.
  • 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 be able to:
After studying this module, you should be able to:
  • 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.
  • Calculate the work generated from a Rankine cycle.
  • Sketch a Rankine cycle on a T- S diagram and sketch how the turbine path changes when the turbine is irreversible.
  • Draw a Rankine cycle on a pressure versus enthalpy diagram.
  • Calculate the thermodynamic efficiency for a Rankine cycle.