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Energy 26 (2001) 239–251 www.elsevier.


From the numerical simulation. Japan 464-8603 c Toyo Technica Co. Tomohiko Furuhata b. Nagoya University. The working fluid used in this study is an organic substance which has a low boiling point and a low latent heat for using low-grade heat sources.. Norio Arai b. ozone layer destruction and atmospheric pollution. This system combines a circulated thermosyphon with a turbine system. Background In recent years.* Takahisa Yamamoto . the turbine made for trial use in this study gives good performance. Ltd. Sakae. New energy conversion technologies are required to utilize energy resources suitable for power generation without causing environmental pollution. All rights reserved. Solar heat. 1. Nagoya. Low-grade heat sources are considered as candidates for the new energy sources. Little attention has been given to these sys- tems because of the low thermal efficiency of the Rankine cycles which are operated at low . accelerated consumption of fossil fuels has caused many serious environmental problems such as global warming. and operating conditions where saturated vapor at the turbine inlet would give the best performance. / Energy 26 (2001) 239–251 240 Design and testing of the Organic Rankine Cycle a. waste heat and geothermal energy are typical examples for low-grade heat sources with their available temperatures ranging between 60 and 200C. Nagoya. Chikusa-ku. In addition. An experimental apparatus is also made in this study. From the experimental results. A numerical simulation model of the ORC is made in order to estimate its optimum operating conditions. 2001 Elsevier Science Ltd. HCFC-123 improves the cycle performance drastically. Koichi Mori c a Department of Chemical Engineering. Japan 460-0008 Received 16 March 2000 Abstract We propose a new type of environmentally friendly system called the “Organic Rankine Cycle” (ORC) in which low-grade heat sources are utilized. Naka-ku. Yamamoto et al. Japan 464-8603 b Research Center for Advanced Energy Conversion. Nagoya. The use of such low-grade heat sources as an alternative energy source generating electricity has long been investigated using power turbine cycles [1–6]. Nagoya University.240 T. Chikusa-ku. it is suggested that HCFC-123 gives higher turbine power than water which is a conventional working fluid.

241 T. This system uses an organic substance as a working fluid in order to utilize low-grade heat sources and consists of an evaporator (heating area). the resultant mechanical energy is converted into electricity via the generator which is connected to the turbine shaft. have a simple structure at low cost. the pressure ratio in the turbine and the mass flow rate in the turbine inlet are among the most important factors in the turbine system. this is not the case when low-grade . Such systems. In the conventional turbine systems. NOX and other atmospheric pollutants. CO2. TIT is increased to improve the turbine output. Pin/Pout [—] heff Effective efficiency of turbine [%] hpump Pump efficiency [%] ht Turbine efficiency [%] g Specific heat ratio of working fluid at each state [—] r Density at each stage [kg/m3] temperatures. We propose a new type of an environmentally friendly system called an Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) to utilize low-grade heat sources [7]. How- ever. the most important feature is utilization of various kinds of heat sources when low-grade heat sources are used for power generation. a turbine and a condenser (cooling area). However. the thermal energy of the high pressure vapor is converted into mechanical energy. Subsequently. The vapor is changed into a low pressure vapor via the turbine. however. At the same time. and existing techno- logies are applicable. the turbine inlet temperature (TIT). Yamamoto et al. no emissions of exhaust gases such as CO. / Energy 26 (2001) 239–251 241 Nomenclature Cp Isobaric specific heat capacity at each stage [kJ/kg·K] h Specific enthalpy at each stage [kJ/kg] m Mass flow rate [kg/s] n Rotation speed of turbine shaft [rpm] Pin Turbine inlet pressure [MPa] Pout Turbine outlet pressure [MPa] Qin Evaporator input [kW] Qout Condenser output [kW] T Torque [Nm] Tin Turbine inlet temperature [K] Tout Turbine outlet temperature [K] T1 Temperature at stage 1 [K] T2 Temperature at stage 2 [K] Wp Pump work [kW] Wt Turbine output (numerical simulation) [kW] Wt(exp) Turbine output (experiment) [W] p Pressure ratio. The vapor emerging from the turbine outlet is fed to the condenser and then returns to the liquid phase. Generally. The working fluid is heated at the evaporator and is converted into a high-pressure vapor. The features of this system are its small size.

33 HCFC-123 (CHCl2– 152.0 2257.85 1462.41 1. the thermal efficiency is low for Rankine cycles operating at low temperatures. Table 1 lists the thermal properties of these working fluids. we have carried out a thermodynamic analysis of the ORC using a process simulator HYSYS (Hyprotech Co. 2. This simulator is useful for thermodynamic analysis. / Energy 26 (2001) 239–251 242 Table 1 Thermal properties of working fluids Working fluid Molecular Boiling point Liquid density Latent heat Specific heat weight [K] [kg/m3] [kJ/kg] ratio Water (H2O) 18.. HCFC-123 and water are chosen as working fluids. it has been determined that HCFC-123 gives the best characteristics over other candidates such as water and methanol [7–9]. we have selec- ted the organic substance which is suitable for this system. Heretofore. Canada). Yamamoto et al. especially steady state condition. Consequently.1. Numerical simulation model In order to determine the optimum operating conditions. The simulation flow dia- gram is shown in Fig.9 300. .00 1. In this study. Fig.242 T. An experimental appar- atus has also been made and tested. 1. Such properties are preferable to increase the turbine inlet mass flow rate. In addition. the organic substance selected for the working fluid must have low latent heat and high density. an attempt to find the optimum conditions needed for the working fluid to yield higher turbine output of ORC is discussed from a theoretical stand point.15 997. Simulation flow diagram.2 168.0 373. This simulation requires such conditions as the evaporator input. Numerical simulations 2.11 CF3) heat sources are used. Qin. 1. Therefore. These are serious and difficult problems to overcome.

The evaporator outlet condition of the working fluid is given by the following equation: hin5h21(Qin/m˙ ) (3) where Qin. The circulating mass flow rate (m) was determined by the above conditions. Evaporator phase (stages 2–3) The evaporator heats the working fluid at the pump outlet to the turbine inlet condition. Effects of the evaporator input on turbine output for (a) HCFC-123 and (b) water. The specific enthalpy of the working fluid at the circulation pump outlet. Fig. 2. The cycle efficiency is kept constant under the condition of each pressure ratio (pPin/Pout). The circulation pump Wp is calculated by the following equation: (P2P1pump )·m˙ Wp5 r·h (1) where r and hpump denote the density of working fluid (saturated condition) and the adiabatic efficiency of the circulation pump. Pump phase (stages 1–2) The circulation pump is the driving mechanism of the proposed system. Then the working fluid is at superheated or saturated vapor state. The working fluid is pumped back into the evaporator.1.1. the specific enthalpy at the evaporator inlet and at the outlet. each phase of the working fluid is expressed by the equations given below [10]. The turbine inlet vapor is set to be a superheated or a saturated phase. 2. is h25h11Wp/m˙ (2) where. respectively.243 T.1.2. . respectively. The working fluid passing through the condenser is assumed to be a saturated liquid (T1. Yamamoto et al. h1 is the specific enthalpy of the working fluid at the circulation pump inlet. / Energy 26 (2001) 239–251 243 the turbine inlet pressure Pin (P2) and the turbine outlet pressure Pout. P1). The working fluid (saturated liquid) leaving the condenser at low pressure P1 regains high pressure here to P2. hin and h2 are the evaporator input. h2. In this simulation. 2.

it is depressurized by the turbine blades. the turbine output is given by: 1g Wt5m˙ ·Cp·ht·Tin[12p g ]5m˙ ·ht·(hin2hout) (4) where Cp and Tin denote the isobaric specific heat capacity and the turbine inlet temperature.3. 4. The vapor comes out of the turbine at lower pressure Pout and at low temperature Tout. After the vapor expands.1. 3. Fig. 2. Effects of TIT on the mass flow rate at the turbine inlet and output for (a) HCFC-123 and (b) water. respectively. Fig. Then. Effects of the pressure ratio on cycle efficiency. Turbine phase (stages 3–4) The superheated or saturated vapor of the working fluid passes through the turbine to generate mechanical power. .

and the temperature is equal to the saturation temperature of the press- ure. The adiabatic efficiencies of the turbine and the pump are both assumed to be 85%. the turbine output increases as the mass flow rate decreases. Fig. Conversely. Condenser phase (stages 4–1) The vapor of the working fluid goes through a constant pressure phase change process in the condenser into a state of saturated liquid.2. The reason for the decreased turbine output in the case of HCFC-123 is as follows.2.1. This means that the temperature at the evaporator outlet is equal to that at the turbine inlet. the pressure rise occurs in the circulation pump only. The turbine output is calculated by Eq. Therefore this analysis assumed steady state. the pressure drops occur in the turbine and condenser processes. Qout. can be calculated from the following equation. Thus. P1. even though the ORC uses low-grade heat sources. 2.1. various parameters are used to evaluate system performance. such as thermal efficiency and the coefficient of performance (COP). it only slightly decreases in the case of HCFC-123. Accordingly the relationship between the turbine output and the evaporator input is expressed as a straight line. pressure ratio p. TIT and the turbine inlet mass flow . which is the rate of latent heat rejection from condensing working fluid. and only the mass flow rate increases proportionally as the evaporator input increases. rejecting the latent heat into the environment or the condenser coolant. The condenser load. 3 shows the effects of TIT on the turbine inlet mass flow rate and the turbine output. These results can be understood as fol- lows. 2 shows the dependence of the turbine output on the evaporator input under the saturated vapor conditions at the turbine inlet. while the evaporator input is fixed at 12 kW. Numerical simulation results Fig.4.5. the turbine output increases proportionally with the increase in the evaporator input. In the case of each working fluid. no heat loss and pressure drop in the entire system. and the pressure rises occur in the evaporator process. W tW p h5 3100 (6) Qin In fact. and the pressure drop occurs in the turbine only in order to be clear of the thermodynamic analysis and the characteristics of the working fluids. specific heat ratio g and isobaric specific heat capacity Cp are constant. Cycle efficiency Generally. The pressure of the working fluid within the condenser is equal to the Rankine cycle lower pressure. As for this equation. as explained above. turbine inlet temperature Tin. In this study the thermal efficiency was adopted for system evaluation. Qout5m˙ ·(hout2h1) (5) 2. These simulation results tell us that HCFC-123 gives the best performance. P1. However. (4). The cycle efficiency is calculated using the following equation. The latent heat of HCFC-123 is about one-tenth of that of water. As for the case of water.

and HCFC-123 has a higher efficiency com- pared with water. because this analysis is only an ideal calculation. Schematic drawing of the experimental apparatus. a turbine and a condenser.1. Fig. In this simulation. Electric heaters (10 kW2) are installed instead of the low-grade heat sources in the . these results tell us the characteristics of each working fluid and the effect of the pressure ratio. these values of the cycle efficiencies are not strict. Fig. rate should be increased to raise the turbine output. If a working fluid with a low latent heat is used. however. Design and test of the experimental apparatus 3. 4 presents the dependency of the pressure ratio on the cycle efficiency for both water and HCFC-123. a circulation pump. or the mass flow rate increases as TIT decreases. Fig. the saturated vapor at the turbine inlet would give the best operating conditions. From the point of view of the actual system. It is therefore understood that the turbine output decreases when the mass flow rate in the turbine inlet decreases rapidly. Experimental apparatus and experimental conditions We have made an experimental apparatus and tested it. TIT increases as the mass flow rate decreases. Therefore raising the pressure ratio and HCFC-123 give us much higher sys- tem performance. 3. 5. However. The cycle efficiency of each working fluid increases as pressure ratio rises. an evaporator. 5 shows the schematic diagram of the apparatus which consists of a tank.

The peak point of the diagram efficiency shifts to a higher rotation speed as . and controls the electric heaters and the circulation pump as the water level of the evaporator is always constant from its base. until now. 7 shows the efficiency of this turbine which is a typical and useful parameter to evaluate turbine performance in the design stage [11]. A shell and tube type heat exchanger is used as a condenser. This parameter is calculated by means of the turbine blade. using a large density working fluid.5 mm thick. 6. Water level sensors are installed in both the evaporator and the tank. 6 shows the schematic diagrams of the micro- turbines and the nozzle. Fig. A micro-turbine and a nozzle are made in order to discuss the optimum design of the turbine blade shape. 30 mm in diameter and 4. The turbine made from aluminum is radial type with 18 blades. Thermocouples and pressure sensors are set up at the inlet and outlet of each unit. Fig. The turbine has not been developed at the low temperature mentioned above. The nozzle is 46 mm in external diameter and 31 mm in inside diameter. Schematic drawing of (a) the micro-turbine and (b) the nozzle. evaporator which heats the working fluid to saturated conditions. A computer sums up data from these sensors. Fig.

7. and three conditions of the evaporator input (9. pressure and volume flow rate at the turbine inlet and outlet gradually increase.2. 17. Fig. 13. 8 shows HCFC-123 and water temperatures. in the case of HCFC-123. namely.25% in the case of using HCFC-123. Diagram efficiency of the micro-turbine. Fig. respectively. Then maximum cycle efficiency was 1. and it also shows a high performance compared with water. the pressure ratio rises.2. then measurements of temperature. HCFC-123 and water. For both HCFC-123 and water.0 kW) for HCFC-123. 11.3. 19. However. This experimental apparatus has been tested for more than 6 h a day. for about 1 week. pressure. without any mechanical problems. the temperature.7. volume flow rate and temperature at the turbine inlet and outlet with each evaporator input condition. The turbine outlet volume flow rate is larger than the turbine inlet for both working fluids. 2pn Wt(exp)5 ·T (7) 60 where n denotes the rotation speed of the turbine shaft which is measured by the tachometer. pressures and volume flow rates at the turbine inlet and outlet.5. Experimental results We have carried out the experiments using two kinds of working fluids. This study carried out experiments with four conditions of the evaporator input (16. A turbine shaft is directly connected to both a tachometer and a torque- meter.9 kW) for water. When the rotation speed of the turbine shaft is stable. and T denotes the turbine torque which is measured by the torque-meter. Then the turbine output is calculated as follows.4. pressure. torque. HCFC-123 is able to run this system under low evaporator input con- ditions. 18. only turbine inlet pressure. We have evaluated the performance of this apparatus using experimental data such as measured turbine output. 3. rotation speed and volume flow rate at each point are started. The main reason is an expansion . increases rapidly because the latent heat of HCFC-123 (see Table 1) is one-tenth that of water.

For both cases. respectively. respectively. (b) volume flow rate. respectively. 9 and 10 show the characteristics of turbine output when the working fluids are water and HCFC-123. 11 shows the characteristics of effective efficiency.0 kW. respectively. there are optimum operating conditions in the relationship between the turbine output and the rotation speed. Fig. (a) Temperature. However. when the evaporator input is 13. and (c) pressure of the experimental data at the turbine inlet and outlet. In order to evaluate the turbine. when it passes through the turbine.000 rpm and 150 W. Figs. As for HCFC-123. the effective efficiency gradually decreases as evaporator input rises. the maximum mass flow rates of HCFC-123 and water are estimated to be 100 kg/h and 18 kg/h. These optimum operating con- ditions shift to a higher rotation speed as the evaporator input rises. The turbine performance is discussed by means of the experimental results and process simu- lator. 8. (4). In the case of water with an evaporator input of 19.000 rpm and 150 W. In the case of using water.Fig. this study focuses effective efficiency heff which is calcu- lated as the following equation: heff5Wt(exp)/Wt (8) where Wt denotes theoretical turbine output which is calculated using both experimental data and Eq. the maximum rotation speed and the turbine output are 35. the maximum rotation speed and the turbine output are 45. of the working fluid. it increases in the .9 kW. In spite of the volume flow rate of HCFC-123 being smaller than water.

case of HCFC-123. Thus. Characteristics of the micro-turbine in the case of water [evaporator input: (a) 16.3 kW. From the above results.9 kW]. HCFC-123 improves the cycle performance drastically.Fig. .2 kW. in the case of using water. (c) 18. (d) 19. 9. (b) 17.5 kW. The turbine made for trial use has good performance under the conditions using HCFC-123. This is the reason why the volume flow rate of water is three times as large as that of HCFC-123. friction loss may be dominant when the working fluid goes through the turbine.

Characteristics of the micro-turbine in the case of HCFC-123 [evaporator input: (a) 9. it is apparent that for optimum operating conditions of water. 4.4 kW. From the . (c) 13. From the numerical simulations.7 kW. the best operating conditions for HCFC-123 exist when the turbine inlet temperature is as low as possible above the boiling point of the working fluid. Conclusions The performance and characteristics of the closed type Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) using working fluids such as HCFC-123 and water have been investigated theoretically and experimen- tally in this study. increasing the turbine inlet temperature gives high turbine power. If a working fluid with a low latent heat is used. Conversely. the saturated vapor at the turbine inlet would give the best operating condition. 10.Fig. (b) 11.0 kW].

(b) water]. The turbine made for trial use in this study gives good performance under the conditions for HCFC-123. It may be concluded from the above. experiments. it is demonstrated that HCFC-123 improves the cycle performance drastically. 11. . that the ORC can be applied to low-grade heat sources and HCFC-123 is able to improve the ORC performance significantly. Effective efficiency of the micro-turbine [(a) HCFC-123. Fig. there are optimum operating conditions between the rotation speed and the turbine output. In addition.