Definition: Rankine cycle
Sometimes referred to as the steam cycle. Fuel is used to heat a liquid to produce a high pressure gas that expands and produces work, such as turning a turbine; when the turbine is connected to a generator, it produces electricity. Usually water is the liquid used in the Rankine cycle (to produce steam), but other liquids can also be used. The exhaust vapor expelled from the turbine condenses and the liquid is pumped back to the boiler to repeat the cycle.
- The Rankine cycle is a model that is used to predict the performance of steam turbine systems. The Rankine cycle is an idealized thermodynamic cycle of a heat engine that converts heat into mechanical work. The heat is supplied externally to a closed loop, which usually uses water as the working fluid. It is named after William John Macquorn Rankine, a Scottish polymath and Glasgow University professor.
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