The Kalina Cycle® is the most significant improvement in thermal power plant design since the advent of the Rankine Cycle in the mid 1800s. In a typical Rankine Cycle power plant, a pure working fluid, water or low molecular weight organic compounds, is heated in a boiler and converted into high-pressure, high temperature vapor which is then expanded through a turbine to generate electricity in a closed loop system. The Kalina Cycle® utilizes an ammonia-water mixture as a working fluid to improve system efficiency and provide more flexibility in various operating conditions. The Kalina Cycle® can improve power plant efficiency by 10% to 50% over the Rankine Cycle depending on the application. As plant operating temperatures are lowered, the relative gain of the Kalina Cycle® increases in comparison with the Rankine Cycle.

Download an introduction to the Kalina Cycle® paper

Explore the thermodynamic Kalina Cycle® components and fluid solutions through an interactive flow diagram

Performance and Reliability

Improved plant efficiency, more efficient use of fixed resource, less power production risk

  • 20% to 50% more power than competing technology processes at lower temperatures
  • 10% to 40% more efficient than steam Rankine at medium temperatures
  • Better off-design performance - greater net electricity on hot and cold days by changes in ammonia-water composition
  • Lower boiling point fluid, less sensitivity to decreases in brine or heat source inlet temperature
  • Lower specific plant price (total construction cost divided by net kW generated)

A proven technology, composition changes in the power cycle similar to refrigeration plants

  • Kalina Cycle® is a process technology with no new components
  • Standard power plant design practice
  • 100 years of steam turbine experience
  • Standard heat transfer components
  • No technological or component improvements required for implementation

Simpler power cycle for recovered energy generation projects

  • A heat transfer oil cycle is not required for transferring energy due to flammability concerns of the cycle working fluid
  • Simpler operation and control

Environmental and Safety

Ammonia-Water working fluid is evironmentally friendly and proven safe to operate

  • Environmentally benign, ammonia is commonly found in nature
  • Ammonia vents easily, and is self-alarming
  • Ammonia is produced on a world scale for many industrial and domestic uses
  • Proven safety record in ammonia synthesis, power plants and refrigeration plants