In small scale and low temperature waste heat recovery systems, Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) technology can be identified as a promising solution in converting low-grade heat into electricity. The principle of ORC is based on a conventional Rankine process but an organic working fluid is adopted instead of steam. The use of high molecular complexity working fluids enables the design of high efficiency ORCs and are characterized by dry expansion and high pressure ratios over the turbine, as well as low speed of sound, which typically leads to highly supersonic flows in the ORC turbine stator.
In order to design supersonic ORC turbines, the geometry of the turbine stator has to be based on design methods that accurately take into account the real gas effects of the working fluid during the expansion. In this study, a highly supersonic small scale ORC turbine stator using siloxane MDM as working fluid, is studied. The accurate real gas model was implemented in a CFD-flow solver in order to predict the flow field in the stator in design and in off-design conditions. The results of this study gives valuable information on realising small capacity ORC turbomachinery, characterized by highly supersonic stators, and on the off-design performance of supersonic radial turbine stator that has not been documented or discussed in the previous studies.