The impact of component performance on the overall cycle performance of small-scale low temperature organic Rankine cycles

Article English OPEN
White, M. ; Sayma, A. I. (2015)

Low temperature organic Rankine cycles offer a promising technology for the generation of power from low temperature heat sources. Small-scale systems (~10kW) are of significant interest, however there is a current lack of commercially viable expanders. For a potential expander to be economically viable for small-scale applications it is reasonable to assume that the same expander must have the ability to be implemented within a number of different ORC applications. It is therefore important to design and optimise the cycle considering the component performance, most notably the expander, both at different thermodynamic conditions, and using alternative organic fluids. This paper demonstrates a novel modelling methodology that combines a previously generated turbine performance map with cycle analysis to establish at what heat source conditions optimal system performance can be achieved using an existing turbine design. The results obtained show that the same turbine can be effectively utilised within a number of different ORC applications by changing the working fluid. By selecting suitable working fluids, this turbine can be used to convert pressurised hot water at temperatures between 360K and 400K, and mass flow rates between 0.45kg/s and 2.7kg/s, into useful power with outputs between 1.5kW and 27kW. This is a significant result since it allows the same turbine to be implemented into a variety of applications, improving the economy of scale. This work has also confirmed the suitability of the candidate turbine for a range of low temperature ORC applications.
  • References (2)

    [1] Turboden, 2014, “Turboden - Organic Rankine Cycle Turbogenerators for Clean Electric Energy Production”,, [Accessed: 15/11/2015].

    [2] ORMAT Technologies Inc., 2014, “ORMAT Technologies Inc.”, [Accessed: 15/11/2015].

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