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Investigations on a Two Stage ORC Installation

Investigations on a Two Stage ORC Installation

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Published by: Dragoș Bândean on Oct 18, 2010
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Investigations on a Two Stage ORC Installation

A. Pîslă, D.C. Bândean,
Technical University of Cluj-Napoca, Machine Building Faculty, Department of Machine Tools and Industrial Robots
Abstract-This paper focuses on the steps that need to be taken in investigating an ORC – Organic Rankine Cycle installation in order to improve its efficiency. An important step is choosing the working fluid (an organic fluid). There are many parameters that influence the thermodynamic performance of the process. These parameters as well as some environmental characteristics are shown in the first part of the paper. The second part focuses on a small program developed for the optimization of a proposed energy recuperative installation. The program is divided in three subprograms. Each sub-program focuses on the optimization of a different pressure region of the process. The paper describes the program and the calculation procedure behind it.
Expansion machine 1 Expansion machine 2 Cooling

Exhaust gas Boiler
Exhaust gas power


Biogas engine

Cooling water power

Storage tank


In today’s global environment, our attention turns more and more towards renewable and sustainable energy sources. New energy conversion technologies are required in order to insure the production of electricity without generating environmental pollution. Among them, low-grade heat sources are considered as appropriate candidates for the new energy sources. Candidates for this kind of improvement are industrial applications where a lot of waste heat is generated and in general lost. For this we intend to build an energy recuperative system based on the organic Rankine cycle (ORC). Electrical energy is usually produced using a process based on the Rankine cycle, with water as a working agent. The ORC process uses an organic working fluid instead of water. The properties of organic fluids make them ideal candidates for use in low grade heat applications. Sources of heat for this kind of process can be industrial sites, as stated above, or others like solar panels, geothermal energy or biomass. A high level of efficiency for this type of process can be achieved by properly selecting the working agent and the working conditions. The proposed installation (figure 1) is based on the usual water-steam cycle Rankine installation and it has the following main components: - storage tank - pump - preheater - evaporator - one or two expansion modules - condenser

Figure 1 The general layout of the proposed installation

II. THE WORKING FLUID According to the T-s (temperature-entropy) diagram, the working fluids can be categorized into three groups [4]: - Wet fluids, having a negative slope on their vapor saturation curve, and have a low molecular mass, such as water or R22 - organic fluid (figure 2):

Figure 2 T-s diagram of a wet fluid


Dry fluids, having a positive slope on their vapor saturation curve and a high molecular mass, such as R113 or isopentane – organic fluids (figure 3):

03 134.034 0. meaning it should be noncorrosive. Based on these properties and on other specific requirements regarding practical applications. facilitating the fluid selection phase. TABLE I THERMODYNAMIC PROPERTIES OF ORGANIC FLUIDS [5] Fluid R11 R22 R113 R123 M [g/mol] 137. This is potentially harmful for the installation. There are other parameters to be taken into consideration when choosing a working fluid.38 152.99MPa 214ºC – 3. a database and a calculation procedure have been developed. as the liquid droplets can damage the machine [3]. The fluid should be commercially available and it shouldn’t be too expensive. II.41MPa 96. they are eliminated in this case.2 Because the ORC process is used with low temperature heat sources. making overheating problematic. such as R11 or R245fa – organic fluids (figure 4) Nonflamable R134a R245fa TABLE II ENVIRONMENTAL PROPERTIES OF ORGANIC FLUIDS [5] Figure 4 T-s diagram of an isentropic fluid Fluid R11 R22 R113 R123 R134a R245fa ODP 1 0. Generally. THE CALCULATION PROGAM In order to theoretically improve the efficiency of the proposed installation.The critical pressure and temperature should be well above the highest values of these parameters in the process (table 1). wet fluids are excluded from the beginning. a fluid assessment procedure can be developed. The fluid should be safe. The software used for this development was MS Excel.Low freezing point. non-corrosive with favorable heat transfer and transport properties (high heat exchanger efficiency and low pump power requirements). This adds to the costs and size of the installation. as a fluid with these characteristics will absorb more energy from the source in the evaporator The above two tables (table 1 and table 2) show some organic fluids with some of their properties. almost having a vertical slope on their vapor saturation curve. the chosen working fluid should be non-flammable. the fluid enters the wet vapor phase. Although the dry fluids are suitable for low grade heat processes. .- - - and thus reduce the required flow rate. and nontoxic. Because of this the fluid has to be cooled down at the exhaust of the expander before entering the two-phase state. so that the fluid will not solidify when it’s in the low-temperature area of the process. the main parameters defining these types of characteristics are the “ozone depleting potential” (ODP) and the “greenhouse warming potential” (GWP) [6]. . some of them being the ease of correlation between the database. and the pump consumption [2]. This can be done by the use of a regenerator between the exhaust of the pump and the exhaust of the expander. the . The ASHRAE safety classification of the refrigerant is a good indicator of the dangerousness level of the fluid (table 2).012 0 0 GWP 3360 1710 5330 120 1320 950 ASHARE classification A1 A1 A1 B1 A1 B1 Atmospheric lifetime 45 12 85 1. This is due to the fact that that during the isentropic transformation in the expansion machine. It has been chosen for various reasons.3 14 7.The heat of vaporization and the density of the fluid should be high.37 86. the chosen working fluid is R245fa.05 Shape of saturation vapor curve Isentropic Wet Dry Isentropic Wet isentropic Critical point 198ºC – 4. nonflammable.06MPa 154ºC – 3. the size of the facility. For this particular application.93 102.67MPa 101ºC – 4. It should have a low environmental impact. because after the isentropic transformation they remain into the overheated vapor phase.64MPa Safety Figure32 T-s diagram of a dry fluid - Isentropic fluids.9 0.47 187.44MPa 184ºC – 3.1ºC – 4. Some of these are: .

There are three pressure levels: 1. 3.5 bar increment in this case) and the “back” button which displays the first menu page. Medium pressure – at the inlet of the first expansion machine. This action will display a window which contains information boxes about every process point. One can select the pressure value form the first page.5 bar increment). The program first does the isentropic transformation from the high pressure to the medium pressure state. and some other data. “part 3” or for the first part by clicking one of the high pressure values (in this case. The menu buttons contain the pressure values (16 – 19 bar with a 0. So for 8 bar with this entropy value (1. The variables are: The enthalpy The entropy The total energy input The energy absorbed as heat in the condenser The transformed energy in the expansion machines The cycle efficiency The global variables are: The pressure The pressure ratio The temperature The known parameters are: The turbine efficiency The screw engine efficiency The mass flow rates If a change is made to the global variables or to the known parameters. For the optimization of the whole process the major varying parameters are the pressure and the temperature. but in reality it is not. The starting point for the calculations is the entrance of the first expansion machine. This is done by a matching procedure as shown in figure 7 [1]: . Fuel data In the part the main focus is on the turbine inlet pressure value. enthalpy and entropy values. matching the data according to the entropy values. The three parts of the program are built on these pressures. It represents the main variable. from 16 bar to 19 bar with a 0. Circuit diagram Database Expander characteristics Pressure range Part 1 Pressure and temperature for the first point Boundary conditions Figure 6 The program interface Efficiency = max? No Yes Part 2 Part 3 Results Figure 5 The algorithm for the calculation and optimization progam There is a simple first page of the program where one can select any of these three parts by clicking on one of the buttons marked “part 2”. The program developed for the calculation and optimization of the different points of the installation is composed out of three major parts. 2.calculation procedure and the interface. temperature. all of which were basically integrated in the same window. On the right there are some variables as well as some known parameters (figure 6) [1]. High pressure – at the inlet of the second expansion machine. while the temperature is set on the saturation curve with the possibility of later increasing it to be able to see the influence of overheating on the overall results. The expansion in the turbine is theoretically isentropic. the values of the local variables change as well. the expansion machines’ internal efficiency and the mass flow rates (obtained using the heat powers). The algorithm for the calculation procedure is presented in figure 5 [1]. The known parameters are the heat power. Low pressure – in the condenser.8199 [kJ/kgK] in this case) it returns the temperature and the enthalpy values at point 3’. The data table contains on the left the process points with the pressure.

the mass flow rates and the enthalpy values (which are obtained from the database) for each process point. Figure 8 shows the difference between the isentropic and the real transformation [1]. Figure 7 The matching procedure These are not true because of the internal efficiency of the turbine. III THE RESULTS In order to have a good interpretation of the results. one for high pressure values and one for medium pressure values. in the mid-pressure range and the low pressure area (at the condenser). (1) By knowing the internal efficiency of the expansion machines. Another plot (figure 10) is on the influence of overheating on the overall efficiency [1]. and the optimization is made in steps. These show the influence of some parameters on the overall efficiency of the process. The second and the third parts of the program use the same procedures as the first part and they focus on the second expander.5 bar increment. is the enthalpy value at the expansion machines’ inlet and is the enthalpy value at the expansion machines’ outlet. The power consumption of the pump considered for this application is 3[kW]. is the mass flow rate. the data obtained was plotted in different diagrams. is the power used by the pump and is the power input in the system. is the power output. Efficiency [%] Pressure [bar] Figure 9 Pressure variation influence on efficiency The pressure varies with a 0. the system efficiency can be obtained using (3): (3) where is the overall efficiency.Knowing the above parameters. starting from the high pressure and ending with the low pressure. . This particular study was made taking into account the use of two expansion machines. the power output can be calculated (2): (2) where is the power output. Figure 9 shows the influence of the high pressure variation on the overall efficiency [1]. Figure 8 The difference between the isentropic and the real transformation in the turbine The real entropy value can be obtained (only by knowing the internal efficiency η value) from (1). The basic functions and the approach are the same in these parts. The program is structured on these three parts.

Drescher. Institut fur Verfahrens .5 bar) and temperature (1K) chosen. This is due to the developments in the organic fluid area of research and in the development of new expansion machines (turbines. Efficiency [%] Internal efficiency Figure 11 The influence of the internal efficiencies on the overall efficiency [2] Series 1 represents the process efficiency variation for an internal efficiency of 90% for the second expander and variation of the internal efficiency of the first expander (from 60% to 90%).com/sm/genetron/common/documents/Genetron -245fa-ApplicationsGuide. Hung “Waste heat recovery of organic Rankine cycle using dry fluids”. Fischer. Pîslă. Bayreuth. Bândean ”Theoretical investigation of the ORC – installation (Organic Rankine Cycle) for heat use on different temperature levels with two expansion machines”. These can be seen in figure 10. These errors can be related to the database and the rather large increments of pressure (0. I-Shou University.un. V. Department of Mechanical Engineering. Wendland. 1999. Because this is a theoretical approach to a practical installation. by extending the existing database to better suit the required investigation and by choosing a different software package to develop the database and the calculation program.pdf.org/unts/60001_120000/21/19/00040907. Technical University of Cluj-Napoca. S. “Fluid selection for the Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) in biomass power and heat plants”. Series 2 represents the process efficiency variation at an internal efficiency of 80% for the first expander and variation of the internal efficiency of the second expander (from 60% to 90%). Smolen. D. http://www51. Koglbauer. 2008. the results can have some errors. Germany. Lehrstuhl fur Technische Thermodynamik und Transportprozesse (LTTT). REFERENCES [1] A. U. there are some exceptions. “Working fluids for low-temperature organic Rankine cycles”. Taiwan. M. 2005. Generally. Figure 11 shows the influence of the internal efficiencies of the expansion machines over the overall efficiency of the process [1]. Wien. B. Bruggemann.pdf. where common sense dictates that the efficiency [3] [4] [5] [6] . TaHsu Hsiang. as it is the decisive factor in the investment in such an energy recuperative system.C. This has to be done taking into account the many factors that influence the thermodynamic performance as well as the environmental impact of the fluid. This is due to the fact that the mass flow rate through the second expander is greater than in the first expander.Efficiency [%] should rise with overheating. Universitat Bayreuth. geothermal or solar energy) or as possible areas of efficiency improvement. Kaohsiung County. Austria. J. as the figure shows. The overall results show an increase of the process efficiency with the increase of the internal efficiencies of the expansion machines. http://untreaty. emperature C] Figure 10 The influence of overheating on efficiency The overheating is made before the first expander. The model can be improved by extending the study on different working fluids. These are just some of the interpretations made with this program. 2006. CONCLUSIONS Low grade heat sources are becoming more and more attractive as new energy sources (biomass. but. Universitat fur Bodenkultur. An important step in any development process of an ORC application is the working agent selection. the focus has been on the efficiency of the process. The developed program is to be used as a starting point for the investigation. From this last chart we can conclude that the second expander has a greater influence on the performance of the entire process. Hochschule Bremen. D. Saleh. T. engines). regulation and optimization of this type of installation. G. at a pressure of 19 bar.honeywell. different models of the installation (different layouts and components).und Energietechnik.C.

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