Using organic matter as the working fluid in small Rankine cycle power plants is beneficial. However, high molecular weight of the fluid and the single-stage design of the turbine lead to a supersonic flow in the turbine. An Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) plant was designed and tested. Toluene was used as the working fluid and as lubricant. The turbine and the feed pump were placed on the same shaft as the high-speed generator in the designed 175 kW unit. CFD simulations were used in the design process. Toluene is behaving as a real gas in the nozzle. To ensure an accurate simulation, a real gas model of toluene was implemented in an existing Navier-Stokes flow solver. Polynomial and rational regression were used to achieve the functions for the gas properties. The pressure and temperature were measured at the nozzle inlet and outlet. In the CFD simulations the nozzle ring was modelled with and without a temperature probe in order to model the effect of the probe to the flow field and compare the simulated pressure and temperature values against the measurements. The nozzle geometry was also modelled in 2D and 3D in order to see the effect of the 3D in the flow field. There was quite a good agreement between the measured and simulated data. The agreement in the temperature was better than in the pressure. The effect of 3D on the simulation results was minor, which was expected. The simulated flow field revealed that the shock waves developing in the trailing edge of the nozzle were seen in the turbine rotor inlet.
Experimental and Numerical Study of Real-Gas Flow in a Supersonic ORC Turbine Nozzle
Turunen-Saaresti, T, Tang, J, van Buijtenen, J, & Larjola, J. "Experimental and Numerical Study of Real-Gas Flow in a Supersonic ORC Turbine Nozzle." Proceedings of the ASME Turbo Expo 2006: Power for Land, Sea, and Air. Volume 6: Turbomachinery, Parts A and B. Barcelona, Spain. May 8–11, 2006. pp. 1527-1533. ASME. https://doi.org/10.1115/GT2006-91118
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