The basic principle of operation of a novel engine, which combines a thermosyphon with a Rankine engine, is introduced. The proposed configuration is a vertical sealed cylinder functioning as a combination of an evaporator, an insulated section and a condenser.
An axial flow turbine is installed towards the upper end of the cylinder. The diameter of the turbine is less than the internal diameter of the cylinder to provide space for a jacket for the collection of the condensed fluid. The height difference between this liquid reservoir and the level of the liquid in the evaporator section provides the head required to return the liquid from the condenser to the evaporator. The turbine drives an electric generator which is directly coupled to it. Two wires through a sealed gland transfer the electric power to the external electrical load.
The main applications of this combined thermosyphon and Rankine Engine, abbreviated to TSR Engine, are for power production from solar ponds and for waste heat utilisation. The theoretical formulation, as well as results from computer simulations and the experimental results on a prototype unit, is presented.