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Technical Briefs

Two Algorithms for the Reliable Estimation of Organic Rankine Cycle Performance

[+] Author and Article Information
Guillaume Becquin

 GE Global Research, Freisinger Landstr. 50, Garching b. München, 85748 Germanyguillaume.becquin@ge.com

Matthew Lehar

 GE Global Research, Freisinger Landstr. 50, Garching b. München, 85748 Germanymatthew.lehar@research.ge.com

J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power 134(4), 044504 (Feb 06, 2012) (5 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4004839 History: Received June 08, 2011; Accepted August 02, 2011; Published February 06, 2012; Online February 06, 2012

As the demand grows for low-temperature waste heat recovery systems, organic Rankine cycles (ORCs), and other alternatives to traditional steam, Rankine cycles are becoming more common in industry. Although analytical tools exist that can predict the performance of a steam cycle in a given waste-heat application, the development of a similar tool for ORCs has been hampered by the large choice of possible working fluids. In this paper, two methods are presented with the aim of providing an estimate of the best performance possible for any ORC in a given industrial application. The first is a purely analytical approach assuming an idealized fluid, and the second compares real fluids through cycle simulations to select the most appropriate parameters for the application. The analytical approach provides a rough baseline for performance, while the simulation method refines the estimate to give predictions that are more consistent with the documented performance of ORC plants currently in operation. Together, the two approaches represent a robust means of quickly estimating the capability of an ORC plant and to allow quick comparisons with other technologies.

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Copyright © 2012 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figures

Grahic Jump Location
Figure 1

Calculation of the theoretical ORC entitlement. (a) A single scale for ratios of distances in the Δs-dimension may be used across fluids (between working fluid and heat source) only within the region at top-right, where the condition Tb 2  = Tin .Tout prevails. (b) ORC entitlement, plotted in relation to both actual plant performance and the optimum performances predicted with the simulation tool.

Grahic Jump Location
Figure 2

Reference cases. (a) List of the reference cases investigated with details on the heat source temperature and ORC unit power. (b) Accuracy of the method described in Sec. 3 to estimate the power output potential of the heat source of these reference cases.

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