Rankine 2020 identifies key challenges

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Published: 11 August 2020


Amost 200 delegates took part in the virtual Rankine 2020 conference, which highlighted some of the challenges facing the RACHP industry.

IIR Rankine 2020 – Advances in Heating, Cooling and Power Generation, was organised by the Institute of Refrigeration as a 5-day online event. It incorporated over 90 speaker presentations, organised in 20 chaired sessions and 14 hosted cross-topic debate sessions called “coffee lounges”. 

The event attracted close to 200 delegates, who were able to share the latest research in refrigerants and system design, and innovation compressors and components. Speakers and delegates discussed the challenges and opportunities of linking the worlds of refrigeration, air conditioning and heat pumps and Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) to address the need for more sustainable heating and cooling. 

Conference Chair Andy Pearson highlighted some of the challenges the conference identified, including the slow adoption of new technologies by end users, the need for greater systems integration thinking and skill shortages experienced in both fields.  

The conference attracted three renowned keynote speakers: Eckhard Groll of Purdue University on next-generation cooling and heating, Mark McLinden of NIST on r-evolution in refrigerants and Vincent Lemort of University of Liege on trends and future prospects for ORC.  Each gave an overview of their topic – running out of time to answer all of the questions that flooded in from across the globe.  

The achievements of young researchers were also recognised at the event with a high level of student attendance and the presentation of prizes for the three top papers:

  • Scalability of Chemical Looping Heat Pump Technology; Junyoung Kim of Purdue University
  • Semi-empirical Evaluation of HCFO-1224yd(Z) as a Replacement for HFC-245fa in High Temperature Heat Pumps; Carlos Mateu-Royo of Universitat Jaume I
  • Gradient Based Design Optimization of a Radial Inflow Turbine; Brede Hagen of Norwegian University of Science and Technology

Delegates from different countries and time zones were able to connect and were encouraged to exchange ideas with some of the leading experts in their field. The coffee lounge debates became the stage for lively discussion and interactive polling on key issues.  A 3-minute-Thesis session gave five researchers the chance to present ongoing research to a global audience and get valuable feedback to inspire their next steps.

With all technical sessions recorded, those who took part have been given repeat access to all presentations and papers until the end of this year. For anyone who missed the conference but wants to find out more about why the work of William Rankine is still relevant today, a recording of speakers celebrating the scientist’s life and legacy is available from the IOR’s website.   

The IOR conference team is now looking ahead to the 200th anniversary of Lord Kelvin’s birth in 2024.