You are on page 1of 10

Proceedings of the ASME 2015 Power Conference

POWER2015
June 28-July 2, 2015, San Diego, California

POWER2015-49691

A Computer Program for Working Fluid Selection of


Low Temperature Organic Rankine Cycle

Tariq Saeed Khan


Mechanical Engineering Department,
The Petroleum Institute, Abu Dhabi UAE
Email: tkhan@pi.ac.ae

Muhammad Ansab Ali


Mechanical Engineering Department,
The Petroleum Institute, Abu Dhabi UAE
Email: muali@pi.ac.ae
Ebrahim Al Hajri
Mechanical Engineering Department,
The Petroleum Institute, Abu Dhabi UAE
Email: ealhajri@pi.ac.ae

Zahid H. Ayub
Isotherm Inc. 7401 Commercial Blvd. East
Arlington, Texas 76001 USA,
Email: zahid@iso-therm.com

overall thermal performance of the Rankine cycle. This program


can assist in preliminary design of ORC with respect to best
performing refrigerant fluid selection for the given low
temperature heat source.

ABSTRACT
Fossil fuels are continuously depleting while the global energy
demand is growing at a fast rate. Additionally, fossil fuels based
power plants contribute to environmental pollution. Search for
alternate energy resources and use of industrial waste heat for
power production are attractive topics of interest these days. One
way of enhancing power production and decreasing the
environmental impact is by recuperating and utilizing low grade
thermal energy. In recent years, research on use of organic
Rankine cycle (ORC) has gained popularity as a promising
technology for conversion of heat into useful work or electricity.
Due to simple structure of ORC system, it can be easily
integrated with any energy source like geothermal energy, solar
energy and waste heat. A computer program has been developed
in engineering equation solver (EES) environment that analyzes
and selects appropriate working fluid for organic Rankine cycle
design based on available heat sources. For a given heat source,
the program compares energy and exergy performance of various
working fluids. The program also includes recuperator
performance analysis and compares its effectiveness on the

INTRODUCTION
The current global energy demand is increasing on a
tremendous rate due to increasing population and technological
growth. Fossil fuels make the largest percentage of the Worlds
total energy production. Due to this rise in energy demand,
interest in renewable energy sources and waste heat utilization
in power production has gained popularity in recent years.
Organic Rankine cycle (ORC) is one of the attractive choices to
convert waste heat into useful work. It requires low to medium
temperature heat sources for its operation [1]. Adoption of such
a thermal cycle also contributes to environmental protection.
In this paper an overview of the types of fluids, fluid
characteristics, working of a computer code for analysis and
working fluid selection are presented. Two case studies are
discussed and results presented.

Copyright 2015 by ASME

Working fluids and Characteristics

THERMODYNAMIC CYCLE

Thermodynamics characteristics like cycle efficiency and power


output are strongly coupled with the working fluid used in
organic Rankine cycle. Based on the slope of saturation vapor
curve (dT/ds), working fluids are defined as dry, wet and
isentropic fluids having positive, negative and infinite slope
respectively as displayed in the Figure 1.

Using unconventional fluids in Rankine cycle enables us to


utilize heat at low temperature. In case of dry and isentropic
fluids, the fluid state after the expansion machine is usually
superheated and this available heat can be captured by using
recuperator to preheat the fluid leaving the pump. A schematic
of recuperated organic Rankine cycle is given in Figure 2
which consists of five main components; evaporator, expansion
machine, recuperator, condenser and pump.

Figure 1 Types of working fluids (a- dry, b- wet, c- isentropic) based on


saturation vapor curve [2]

Dry and isentropic fluids are preferred for ORC applications as


vapor formation in the expansion machine is avoided. Moreover,
the efficiency can be enhanced by using recuperator.
Critical pressure and temperature of the working fluids are
important characteristics in defining the pressure ranges of the
cycle. Drescher et al. [3] proposed to set the maximum pressure
to be 100kPa less than the critical pressure. Torres et al. [4]
chose the maximum temperature to be 15K less than the critical
temperature of the fluid. In the present work we have considered
the maximum pressure of the cycle to be less than 0.9 times the
critical pressure so that the vapor formation in the expansion may
be avoided.

Figure 2 Schematic of Organic Rankine Cycle with Recuperator

Temperature entropy diagram of an ORC with recuperator is


shown in the Figure 3.

A high vapor density is preferred as this leads to the less volume


flow rate in the exchangers and consequently small pressure
drops and small size of the expansion machine.
Low viscosity and high thermal conductivity is desired as this
will lead to higher heat transfer coefficient and less pressure
drop.
The melting point of the working fluid should be lower than the
minimum cycle temperature in order to avoid freezing the cycle.
The condensing pressure should be such that impurities
infiltration from the surroundings is avoided.
Environmental characteristics like ozone depletion potential,
global warming potential should also be considered while
selecting refrigerants. ASHRAE Standard 34 provides valuable
guidelines for the safety and environmental impacts of the
refrigerants.

Figure 3 Temperature entropy diagram of Organic Rankine Cycle with


Recuperator

Copyright 2015 by ASME

Flow chart of Computer Program

The first and second law energy analysis of the cycle


results in following equations:

Evaporator

Expander
Recuperator

= (

Qrec =

(1)

Q rec = (

Qrec =

Condenser

= (

Pump

(4)
(5)

(6)
(7)

(8)

Exergetic
Efficiency of
Evaporator

Thermal
Efficiency

(3)

Net Power
Output

(2)

(9)

(11)
=

In the computer program, cycle is analysed for steady state,


steady flow conditions while zero pressure drop across the
exchangers and associated piping systems is assumed.
Adiabatic conditions exists in pump and expansion
machine. A sensible heat source like air, water or steam
(noncondensing) is assumed while developing the
program.

(10)

Flow Exergy

The baseline of the program is that a particular working


fluid is considered for analysis at a pre-set condenser
temperature. For the given working fluid, setting an
evaporator pressure at a low starting value, the system
thermal and evaporator exergetic efficiencies are
determined and values stored. Then the evaporator pressure
is increased by a small increment as displayed in Figure 4
and new efficiency values are stored. This procedure
continues till the evaporator pressure reaches 0.90 times
the critical pressure of that working fluid. This limit has
been set as the maximum allowable pressure in the
evaporator. However, the minimum pinch point at the
evaporator is set to a specific value. Then the next working
fluid is analyzed in a similar fashion and respective
parameters are determined. The working fluid that gives
the most optimum values of evaporator exergetic
efficiency and overall cycle thermal efficiency is presented
to the user for final selection. The flow chart of the
program is given in the Figure 5.

Exergy Destruction

( )

)
(12)
Figure 4 Pressure Increment in cycle analysis

= (

=
=

exin

(13)
(14)

evapin

+ (
+

(15)
(16)

Copyright 2015 by ASME

Results and Discussion

To demonstrate the working of computer program two


cases are considered and the inputs used in the analysis
are given in Table 1.
In the first phase of screening, fluids having critical
temperature greater than 30C and positive condensing
gauge pressure at the condenser saturation temperature
of 30C are considered. The reason being that the
condenser pressure is set to be the saturation pressure at
30C so all the working fluid should having critical
temperature greater than this. Properties of working
fluids after this screening criteria is given in Table 2.
The program is developed in engineering equation solver
(EES) version 9.698 [5] and the properties of the fluids
are determined from the equation of state modelled in
EES. The analysis is limited to hydrocarbons and
refrigerants available in EES fluid library.
Table 1 Inputs to Computer Program

Inputs to Organic Rankine Cycle


Parameter

Symbol

Value

Effectiveness of Recuperator

0.80

Isentropic Efficiency of expansion


machine

0.80

Isentropic Efficiency of pump

0.85

Mass flow rate of Working Fluid

1 kg/s

Degree of Sub cool

5C

Degree of superheating

5C

Ambient Temperature

25C

Heating Fluid (water)


Mass flow rate of Heating Fluid

1 kg/s

Pressure of Heating Fluid

700 kPa

Temperature of Heating Fluid

Case-1
170C
Case-2 90C

Cooling Fluid (water)


Mass flow rate of Cooling Fluid
Pressure of Cooling Fluid
Temperature of Cooling Fluid

10 kg/s
110 kPa
20C

Figure 5 Flow Chart of Computer Program

Copyright 2015 by ASME

Effect of Pressure Ratio:

Table 2 Selected working Fluids after first Screening

The results for a single working fluid (R245fa) are


presented to show the effect of pressure ratio. Thermal
efficiency and net power produced is significantly
enhanced by the pressure ratio across the expansion
machine as indicated in Figure 6 and Figure 7. Higher
pressure ratio allows the more heat to be added to and
rejected from the cycle thus resulting in higher efficiency
and consequently the net power also increases.

Molar Mass
kg/kmol)
56.11

4005

146.1

Isobutane

58.12

3640

134.7

Isobutene

56.11

4010

144.9

Isopentane

72.15

3370

187.2

n-Butane

58.12

3796

152

Propane

44.1

4247

96.68

Propylene

42.08

4665

92.42

R11

137.4

4408

198

R12

120.9

4114

112

R22

86.47

4989

96.13

R32

52.02

5784

78.11

R41

34.03

5897

44.13

R114

170.9

3289

145.7

R123

152.9

3668

183.7

R124

136.5

3624

122.3

R125

120

3618

66.02

R134a

102

4059

101

R142b

100.5

4055

137.1

R143a

84.04

3761

72.7

R143m

100

3635

104.8

R152a

66.05

4520

113.3

R161

48.06

5010

102.1

R218

188

2640

71.87

R227ea

170

2999

102.8

R236ea

152

3429

139.3

R236fa

152

3200

124.9

R245fa

134

3651

154

R290

44.1

4247

96.68

R600

58.12

3796

152

R600a

58.12

3640

134.7

RC318

200

2778

115.2

Effect of Condenser Temperature:

R1234yf

114

3382

94.7

R1234ze

114

3632

109.4

By increasing the condenser temperature, the maximum


achievable efficiency by a given refrigerant is reduced as
illustrated in Figure 8. As we increase the condenser
temperature then the pressure ratio decreases as the
maximum cycle pressure is limited so net power output

Butene

(kPa)

(C)

EFFICIENCY OF RECUPERATED ORC USING R-245FA


18
16
14

EFFICIENCY

Working Fluid

12
10
8
6
4
2
0
0

10

12

14

16

18

20

PRESSURE RATIO ACROSS THE EXPANSION MACHINE

Figure 6 Efficiency of Recuperated ORC using r-245fa (case-1)


NET POWER OF RECUPERATED ORC CYCLE USING R-245FA
45

NET POWER (KW)

40
35
30
25
20
15
10
5
0
0

10

12

14

16

18

20

PRESSURE RATIO ACROSS THE EXPANSION MACHINE

Figure 7 Net Power Output of Recuperated ORC using R-245fa (case-1)

The maximum cycle characteristics of cycle based on


case-1 are presented in Table 3.

Copyright 2015 by ASME

reduces. The same trend was observed for almost all the working fluids.
Table 3 Maximum cycle performance characteristics for case-1

Working
Fluid

Tsat.
Condenser

Pressure
Ratio

Pinch Point at
Evaporator

Qrec

kW

kW

VER

Butene

143.5

30.1

10.21

15.5

67.38

26.53

27.67

67.05

14.35

Isobutane

133.4

30.09

8.079

14.86

59.35

36.55

45.33

64.32

11.42

Isobutene

144.3

30.1

10.24

16.62

73.02

25.67

39.5

67.87

14.01

Isopentane

164.9

30.26

20

19.83

89.61

5.042

104

83.43

25.89

n-Butane

150.6

30.11

11.99

16.88

75.97

19.38

56.48

71.95

17.1

Propane

95.82

30.03

3.539

9.654

35.83

74.16

4.6

44.5

4.378

Propylene

91.54

30.02

3.21

9.13

32.02

78.44

3.843

42.63

3.787

R11

165.3

30.22

19.79

18.68

42.17

4.642

10.09

81.6

20.72

R114

145.3

30.13

11.8

15.33

24.33

24.65

26.19

73.56

17.31

R12

110.9

30.05

4.968

10.23

15.7

59.13

0.1155

56.19

6.123

R123

165.1

30.25

22.58

19.23

42.28

4.89

27.05

80.38

27.81

R1234yf

94.41

30.05

3.88

10.39

17

75.58

10.96

45.43

5.157

R1234ze

108.9

30.06

5.629

11.54

22.12

61.05

11.25

51.39

7.562

R124

121.6

30.08

7.296

13.11

22.56

48.36

11.76

57.38

9.948

R125

66.21

30.01

2.075

5.591

6.458

103.8

4.474

28.42

2.462

R134a

100.8

30.04

4.734

10.26

20.14

69.18

2.681

46.44

6.004

R142b

136.6

30.09

9.314

14.64

35.13

33.39

9.953

63.11

12.25

R143a

72.67

30.03

2.357

6.578

10.83

97.31

3.524

32.34

2.778

R143m

104.4

30.05

4.926

10.89

21.89

65.62

7.614

48.74

6.532

R152a

112.7

30.05

5.881

11.86

35.28

57.28

3.21

52.67

7.157

R161

101.5

30.05

4.266

10.61

36.68

68.5

3.567

48.02

4.921

R218

72.49

30.04

2.382

6.682

5.635

97.49

13.36

33.27

3.209

R22

95.57

30.02

3.764

9.83

17.85

74.41

1.787

45.2

4.226

R227ea

102.7

30.06

5.117

10.92

14.18

67.29

17.85

49.53

7.563

R236ea

138.7

30.12

12.54

15.43

29.61

31.31

28.08

66.55

18.3

R236fa

124.7

30.1

8.961

13.73

23.94

45.27

21.43

59.83

12.93

r245fa

153.5

30.16

18.44

16.96

40.29

16.52

28.55

71.93

26.01

R290

95.82

30.03

3.539

9.654

35.83

74.16

4.6

44.5

4.378

R32

78.1

30.03

2.699

7.655

18.77

91.88

3.215

36.65

2.849

R41

44.52

30.01

1.236

2.009

4.48

125.5

10.53

13.99

1.198

R600

150.6

30.11

11.99

16.88

75.97

19.38

56.48

71.95

17.1

R600a

133.4

30.09

8.079

14.86

59.35

36.55

45.33

64.32

11.42

RC318

114.9

30.09

6.821

12.76

16.15

55.12

27.28

57.04

10.18

Copyright 2015 by ASME

of 20.41% while among the refrigerants R123 provides


19.39%.

EFFICIENY OF RECUPERATED ORC USING R245FA


18

In the preliminary design of organic Rankine cycle system


for waste heat recovery applications, exergetic efficiency
of the evaporator is an important factor which indicates the
maximum work output that could be extracted from a
given heat source. Figure 10 shows a comparison of
exergetic efficiency of the evaporator of recuperated ORC
and non-recuperated ORC for different working fluids.

16
14

Efficiency

12
10
Tcd=30C
8

Tcd=35C

Tcd=40C

Exergetic efficiency is linked with the pinch point on the


evaporator (Figure 16). The overall temperature difference
between the heat source and working fluid temperature
profile indicates the amount of entropy production and
hence the irreversibilities while recovering heat. The
higher this temperature difference, the lower the exergetic
efficiency of the evaporator. In the current analysis, among
the hydrocarbons, Isopentane provides the highest
exergetic efficiency of 84.60% while among the
refrigerants R123 provides 80.83%.

4
2
0
0

10

12

14

16

18

20

Pressure Ratio across the Expansion Machine

Figure 8 Effect of Condenser Temperature on Efficiency of Recuperated


ORC (case-1)

Effect of Recuperator:

Recuperator aids in utilizing the heat that could have been


wasted in the condenser by preheating the fluid leaving the
pump. By recuperation, the efficiency of the cycle is
enhanced as the total heat input to the cycle is increased
while the heat rejected to sink remains the same. Figure 9
shows a comparison of efficiency of recuperated ORC and
non-recuperated ORC for different working fluids.

In case of recuperation, the inlet temperature of the


working fluid is higher compared to non-recuperated cycle
due to additional heat captured by the fluid leaving the
expansion machine through recuperator. So, the exergy
destruction is smaller which results in higher exergetic
efficiency of evaporator.
Exergetic Efficiency of Evaporator at Heat Soucre Temp 170C

Efficiency of working Fluids at Heat Soucre Temp 170C


21

90
80
70
60
50
40
30
20
10
0

16
11

Butene
Isobutane
Isobutene
Isopentane
n-Butane
Propane
Propylene
R11
R114
R12
r123
R1234yf
r1234ze
R124
R125
R134a
R142b
R143a
R143m
R152a
R161
R218
R22
R227ea
R236ea
R236fa
r245fa
R290
R32
R41
R600
R600a
RC318

-4

Butene
Isobutane
Isobutene
Isopentane
n-Butane
Propane
Propylene
R11
R114
R12
r123
R1234yf
r1234ze
R124
R125
R134a
R142b
R143a
R143m
R152a
R161
R218
R22
R227ea
R236ea
R236fa
r245fa
R290
R32
R41
R600
R600a
RC318

Working Fluids

Working Fluids

Recuperated ORC

Non-Recuperated ORC

Recuperated ORC

Non-Recuperated ORC

Figure 10 Exergetic Efficiency of evaporator for Recuperated and Non


Recuperated ORC of different working fluids by utilizing the heat source
at 170C

Figure 9 Thermal Efficiency of Recuperated and Non Recuperated ORC


of different working fluids by utilizing the heat source at 170C

Net power output of the cycle is not affected by installing


recuperator as there is no contribution to the pressure ratio.

The maximum efficiency of the cycle for a given working


fluid is limited by its critical temperature and the pinch
point at the evaporator. It is worth noting that among the
hydrocarbons, Isopentane provides the highest efficiency

Vapor expansion ratio (VER) across the expansion


machine significantly affects the size of expansion
machine hence the cost of overall system. It is desirable

Copyright 2015 by ASME

that the vapor expansion ratio should be low. Figure 11


illustrates the vapor expansion ratio for caes-1.

point of 5C puts an additional constrain. Only those fluids


are selected which pass the criteria of minimum pinch
point and subcritical operation of cycle. For example
Isopentane does not pass the above stated criteria. As the
heat source temperature in case-2 (90C instead of 170C)
is smaller so the pinch point at the evaporator based on the
given temperature of heat source imposes an additional
constraint on the maximum allowable pressure for each
working fluid.

Vapor Expansion Ratio


30
25
20
15
10
5
Butene
Isobutane
Isobutene
Isopentane
n-Butane
Propane
Propylene
R11
R114
R12
r123
R1234yf
r1234ze
R124
R125
R134a
R142b
R143a
R143m
R152a
R161
R218
R22
R227ea
R236ea
R236fa
r245fa
R290
R32
R41
R600
R600a
RC318

Efficiency of working Fluids


20

Working Fluids

15

Heat Source at 170C

10
5

Figure 11 Vapor expansion ratio (VER) for different working fluids for
case-1

RC318

R236fa

R236ea

R22

R227ea

R218

R143a

R143m

R125

R134a

R124

r1234ze

r123

Working Fluids
Heat Source at 170C

Heat Source at 90C

Figure 13 Efficiency of ORC for case-1 and case-2

Now the hydrocarbons exhibit small efficiencies compared


to the refrigerants (Figure 13). The maximum efficiency
for case-2 is 6.98% and 6.82% is provided by RC318 and
R227ea.

1%

The same trend is observed for exergetic efficiency and net


power output as illustrated in figures 14 and 15
respectively.

14%
Condenser

27%

R1234yf

Percentage of exergy destruction in each component is


given Figure 12. Most of the exergy is destroyed in the
evaporator while recovering the heat which is due to
overall temperature difference in the heat source and
working fluid. It should be noted that the exergy
destruction presented here accounts for entropy production
due the temperature only as pressure may also contribute to
it which is not considered at this stage.

R12

R114

Evaporator

Exergetic Efficiency of Evaporator

Expansion Machine

RC318

R236fa

R236ea

R227ea

R22

R218

R143m

R143a

R134a

R125

R124

r1234ze

R1234yf

r123

Figure 12 Percentage of Exergy Destruction in the components (case-1


for R245fa)

R12

R114

58%

90
80
70
60
50
40
30
20
10
0

Pump

Working Fluids

Comparison of Cases:

Heat Source at 170C

In this section a comparison of the recuperated ORC for


two heat source temperatures (case-1 and case-2) is
presented. Some of the fluids are eliminated due to heat
source temperature (90C for case-2) which limits the
maximum cycle temperature. Moreover minimum pinch

Heat Source at 90C

Figure 14 Exergetic Efficiency of Evaporator for case-1 and case-2

Copyright 2015 by ASME

Net Power of Cycle

Power (kW)

50
40

30
20
10

RC318

R236fa

R236ea

R227ea

R22

R218

R143m

R143a

R134a

R125

R124

r1234ze

r123

R1234yf

R12

R114

Working Fluids

Heat Source at 170C

By using recuperator, thermal efficiency and exergetic


efficiency of evaporator is improved while the net
work done of the cycle is not affected.
Based on heat source (steam) at 170C, Isopentane and
R123 provide the highest exergetic and thermal
efficiency of organic Rankine cycle.
Based on heat source (water) at 90C, RC318 and
R227ea provide the highest exergetic and thermal
efficiency of organic Rankine cycle.

It should be noted that the final selection of working fluids is


dependent on the user decision which may include environmental
impacts, cost and economics of organic Rankine cycle system.
The program can be further improved by incorporating the
pressure drop analysis in the exchangers which is not considered
at this stage.

Heat Source at 90C

Figure 15 Net Power Output of ORC for case-1 and case-2

Pinch Point at Evaporator of working Fluids

NOMENCLATURE

120
100
80

C
D
e
E
h

s
T
VER

60
40
20
RC318

R236fa

R236ea

R227ea

R22

R218

R143m

R143a

R134a

R125

R124

r1234ze

R1234yf

r123

R12

R114

Working Fluids

Heat Source at 170C

Heat Source at 90C

Figure 16 Pinch Point of ORC for case-1 and case-2

Conclusion

A computer program has been developed in engineering


equation solver (EES) environment that analyzes and selects
appropriate working fluid for organic Rankine cycle (subcritical
operation) design based on available heat sources. For a given
heat source, the program compares energy and exergy
performance of various working fluids. The program also
includes recuperator performance analysis and compares its
effectiveness on the overall thermal performance of the Rankine
cycle.

heat capacity rates (

Increment in loop
Flow exergy (J/kg)
Exergy (J/kg)
Specific enthalpy (J/kg)
Mass flow rate (kg/s)
Time rate of heat transfer (W)
Specific entropy (J/kg.K)
Temperature (C)
Vapor expansion ratio
Time rate of work done (W)
Increment in pressure
Exergetic Efficiency
effectiveness
Thermal Efficiency
Isentropic Efficiency
Entropy Production

Subscript
amb
c
cd
cdin
cdout
cin
cout
cr
des
evap
evapin
evapout

In this paper fluid characteristics, working of a computer


program with two cases of heat source temperatures are studied
and results presented. Based on the analysis the following points
are concluded:
Efficiency of recuperated ORC is significantly
improved by increasing pressure ratios across the
expansion machine.
The critical temperature of fluid and pinch point based
on heat source conditions limits maximum achievable
efficiency and net power by a given refrigerant.

ambient
Cold fluid
condenser
Condenser inlet
Condenser outlet
Cold fluid inlet
Cold fluid outlet
Critical
Destruction
Evaporator
Evaporator inlet
Evaporator outlet

Copyright 2015 by ASME

exin
exout
exp
f
h
hin
hout
in
min
out
P
pin
pout
pump
rec
recin
Recout

Expansion machine inlet


Expansion machine outlet
Expansion machine
Working fluid
Hot fluid
Hot fluid inlet
Hot fluid outlet
Input
Minimum
output
Pressure
Pump inlet
Pump Outlet
Pump
Recuperator
Recuperator inlet
Recuperator outlet

REFERENCES

[1]

S. Quoilin and V. Lemort, Technological and


Economical Survey of Organic Rankine Cycle Systems.

[2]

O. Badr, S. D. Probert, and P. W. OCallaghan,


Selecting a working fluid for a Rankine-cycle engine,
Appl. Energy, vol. 21, no. 1, pp. 142, Jan. 1985.

[3]

U. Drescher and D. Brggemann, Fluid selection for the


Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) in biomass power and
heat plants, Appl. Therm. Eng., vol. 27, no. 1, pp. 223
228, Jan. 2007.

[4]

A. M. Delgado-Torres and L. Garca-Rodrguez,


Preliminary assessment of solar organic Rankine cycles
for driving a desalination system, Desalination, vol.
216, no. 13, pp. 252275, Oct. 2007.

[5]

Klein SA, Alvarado FL. Engineering equation solver


(V9.698), F-Chart Software; 2014.

10

Copyright 2015 by ASME