Recent studies on small-scale power generation with the organic Rankine cycle suggest superior performance of positive displacement type of expanders compared to turbines. Scroll expanders in particular achieve high isentropic efficiencies due to lower leakage and frictional losses. Performance of scroll machines may be enhanced by the use of non-circular involute curves in place of the circular involutes resulting non-uniform wall thickness. In this paper, a detailed moment analysis is performed for such an expander having volumetric expansion ratio of 5 using thermodynamic models proposed earlier by one of the present authors. The working fluid considered in the power cycle is R-245fa with scroll inlet temperature of 125 °C for a gross power output of ∼3.5 kW. The model developed in this paper is verified with an air scroll compressor available in the literature and then applied to an expander. Prediction of small variation of moment with scroll motion recommends use of scroll expander without a flywheel over other positive displacement type of expanders, e.g. reciprocating, where a flywheel is an essential component.

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