Waste Heat Recovery: The Next Challenge for Commercial Vehicle Thermomanagement
A significant driver for the development of future commercial vehicles is likely to be the introduction of fuel consumption related legislation in various regions around the world. The application of a waste heat recovery system to the powertrain of such vehicles is seen as a possible step, amongst many, to help them achieve the required fuel economy. In particular, the Rankine Cycle (a closed steam cycle) is often proposed as a potential means for deriving work from the engine exhaust heat. Rankine Cycle systems are already in use in off-highway applications, such as stationary engines or marine power-packs. However, the technical and commercial viability of these systems for on-highway, principally long haul truck application is as yet unproven. Aspects such as the in-use economy benefits, the system performance density, the component robustness and all interactions with the other vehicle systems have to be evaluated.