The state-of-the art of ORC energy systems is mainly dominated by large scale units in the MW range of power output, in the field of heat recovery at mid-high temperature levels (around 200-500°C), where multiple commercial realizations are available. Nevertheless, the cutting-edge niche of micro-ORC energy systems offers good solutions for low-temperature heat recovery. Many prototypes are currently under investigations, but a leading technology is not yet established. This work reports an experimental activity carried out for performance characterization of a prototypal micro-ORC energy system. In particular, the paper presents the test bench developed in the laboratories of the University of Bologna and the first obtained results in terms of thermodynamic performance and main components characteristics. The ORC system comprises a small reciprocating three-piston expander, run on R134a as operating fluid. Heat is provided to the ORC from an external source, via hot water at temperature below 100 °C, in order to simulate a low-enthalpy heat recovery process. The system rejects unused heat via a water cooled condenser. Thus, the investigated ORC is a plug and play system, requiring only to be connected to the hot and cold heat sources. The ORC system has been tested for prolonged operation at various thermal input conditions. In particular, the behavior of the key cycle parameters and performance indexes (e.g. max. and min. pressures, superheating temperature, expander isentropic efficiency, electric power output, etc.) are investigated as function of pump rotational speed (i.e. organic fluid mass flow rate), for three different set point values of the hot source (65°C, 75°C, 85°C). The operating thermodynamic cycle has been completely characterized by means of a real-time measurement and acquisition tool, developed in LabVIEW environment. Performance variations of the system have been monitored: the electric power output ranges between 0.30 to 1.2 kW, with gross efficiency in the range 2.9-4.4 %, while the expander "electro-isentropic" efficiency results in the range of 35-42 %.

Experimental Performance of a Micro-ORC Energy System for Low Grade Heat Recovery

Bianchi, M.;Branchini, L.;De Pascale, A.;Ottaviano, S.;
2017

Abstract

The state-of-the art of ORC energy systems is mainly dominated by large scale units in the MW range of power output, in the field of heat recovery at mid-high temperature levels (around 200-500°C), where multiple commercial realizations are available. Nevertheless, the cutting-edge niche of micro-ORC energy systems offers good solutions for low-temperature heat recovery. Many prototypes are currently under investigations, but a leading technology is not yet established. This work reports an experimental activity carried out for performance characterization of a prototypal micro-ORC energy system. In particular, the paper presents the test bench developed in the laboratories of the University of Bologna and the first obtained results in terms of thermodynamic performance and main components characteristics. The ORC system comprises a small reciprocating three-piston expander, run on R134a as operating fluid. Heat is provided to the ORC from an external source, via hot water at temperature below 100 °C, in order to simulate a low-enthalpy heat recovery process. The system rejects unused heat via a water cooled condenser. Thus, the investigated ORC is a plug and play system, requiring only to be connected to the hot and cold heat sources. The ORC system has been tested for prolonged operation at various thermal input conditions. In particular, the behavior of the key cycle parameters and performance indexes (e.g. max. and min. pressures, superheating temperature, expander isentropic efficiency, electric power output, etc.) are investigated as function of pump rotational speed (i.e. organic fluid mass flow rate), for three different set point values of the hot source (65°C, 75°C, 85°C). The operating thermodynamic cycle has been completely characterized by means of a real-time measurement and acquisition tool, developed in LabVIEW environment. Performance variations of the system have been monitored: the electric power output ranges between 0.30 to 1.2 kW, with gross efficiency in the range 2.9-4.4 %, while the expander "electro-isentropic" efficiency results in the range of 35-42 %.
Bianchi, M.; Branchini, L.; De Pascale, A.; Orlandini, V.; Ottaviano, S.; Pinelli, M.; Spina, P. R.; Suman, A.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/619876
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