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The Triogen ORC technology is based on the widely known and proven Rankine Cycle principle. It was named after William John Macquorn Rankine, a Scottish polymath and Glasgow University professor. The Rankine cycle is a cycle that converts heat into work. The heat is supplied externally to a closed loop.

The Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) is named for its use of an organic (high molecular mass) fluid with a liquid-vapour phase change (boiling point), occurring at a lower temperature than the water-steam phase change in a steam turbine installation. The relatively low temperature heat is converted into useful work that, in itself, can be converted into electricity.