In this paper, a full experimental characterization of a micro-scale ORC system is presented. The facility under investigation is driven by a piston expander prototype, made of three cylinders arranged radially around the drive shaft. The system is rated for a thermal input around 30 kW, being suitable for residential, tertiary sector or small industry applications. It is conceived for exploiting low temperature heat sources, such as solar collectors, biomass boilers, geothermal energy or waste heat streams. The facility was provided with an electric boiler as heat source, which warms water up to 90 °C, and cold water at ambient temperature as heat sink. A test campaign was performed varying the hot source temperature and the organic fluid feed pump velocity, in order to characterize the system behavior at different off-design working conditions. The electric consumption of the ORC feed pump was measured, in order to quantify the actual impact of the auxiliaries on the overall efficiency. Moreover, the number of electric loads connected to the generator was varied, changing the equivalent phase impedance value, for evaluating the effect on the expander rotating speed and power output. The experimental analysis demonstrated that small reciprocating expander is suitable for exploiting low enthalpy heat sources, with quite good performances compared to other architectures like scroll and screw expanders, more applied within low temperature sources. The results show that the gross electric power output varied between 250W and 1150 W, depending on the expander speed and on the number of electric loads activated. The expander total efficiency showed a barely constant trend around 40%. The pump total efficiency varied between 10% and 20%, increasing with the pump rotational speed. The maximum ORC gross and net efficiency were 4.5% and 2.2% respectively, confirming that the auxiliaries impact cannot be considered negligible in such type of systems.

Experimental analysis of a micro-ORC driven by piston expander for low-grade heat recovery

Bianchi M.;Branchini L.;De Pascale A.;Melino F.;Ottaviano S.;
2019

Abstract

In this paper, a full experimental characterization of a micro-scale ORC system is presented. The facility under investigation is driven by a piston expander prototype, made of three cylinders arranged radially around the drive shaft. The system is rated for a thermal input around 30 kW, being suitable for residential, tertiary sector or small industry applications. It is conceived for exploiting low temperature heat sources, such as solar collectors, biomass boilers, geothermal energy or waste heat streams. The facility was provided with an electric boiler as heat source, which warms water up to 90 °C, and cold water at ambient temperature as heat sink. A test campaign was performed varying the hot source temperature and the organic fluid feed pump velocity, in order to characterize the system behavior at different off-design working conditions. The electric consumption of the ORC feed pump was measured, in order to quantify the actual impact of the auxiliaries on the overall efficiency. Moreover, the number of electric loads connected to the generator was varied, changing the equivalent phase impedance value, for evaluating the effect on the expander rotating speed and power output. The experimental analysis demonstrated that small reciprocating expander is suitable for exploiting low enthalpy heat sources, with quite good performances compared to other architectures like scroll and screw expanders, more applied within low temperature sources. The results show that the gross electric power output varied between 250W and 1150 W, depending on the expander speed and on the number of electric loads activated. The expander total efficiency showed a barely constant trend around 40%. The pump total efficiency varied between 10% and 20%, increasing with the pump rotational speed. The maximum ORC gross and net efficiency were 4.5% and 2.2% respectively, confirming that the auxiliaries impact cannot be considered negligible in such type of systems.
APPLIED THERMAL ENGINEERING
Bianchi M.; Branchini L.; Casari N.; De Pascale A.; Melino F.; 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: http://hdl.handle.net/11585/706119
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