This study analyzed the variation law of engine exhaust energy under various operating conditions to improve the thermal efficiency and fuel economy of diesel engines. An organic Rankine cycle (ORC) waste heat recovery system with internal heat exchanger (IHE) was designed to recover waste heat from the diesel engine exhaust. The zeotropic mixture R416A was used as the working fluid for the ORC. Three evaluation indexes were presented as follows: waste heat recovery efficiency (WHRE), engine thermal efficiency increasing ratio (ETEIR), and output energy density of working fluid (OEDWF). In terms of various operating conditions of the diesel engine, this study investigated the variation tendencies of the running performances of the ORC waste heat recovery system and the effects of the degree of superheat on the running performance of the ORC waste heat recovery system through theoretical calculations. The research findings showed that the net power output, WHRE, and ETEIR of the ORC waste heat recovery system reach their maxima when the degree of superheat is 40 K, engine speed is 2200 r/min, and engine torque is 1200 N·m. OEDWF gradually increases with the increase in the degree of superheat, which indicates that the required mass flow rate of R416A decreases for a certain net power output, thereby significantly decreasing the risk of environmental pollution.
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