Waste heat recovery (WHR) can represent a good solution to increase overall performance of energy systems, even more in case of small systems. The exhaust gas at the outlet of micro gas turbines (MGTs) has still a large amount of thermal energy that can be converted into mechanical energy, because of its satisfactory temperature levels, even though the typical MGT layouts perform a recuperated cycle. In recent studies, supercritical CO2 Brayton Cycle (sCO2 GT) turbines were studied as WHR systems whose thermal source was the exhausts from gas turbines. In particular, subject of this study is the 100 kW MGT Turbec T100.
In this paper, the authors analyze innovative layouts, with comparison in terms of performance variations and cogenerative indices. The study was carried out through the adoption of a commercial software, Thermoflex, for the thermodynamic analysis of the layouts. The MGT model was validated in previous papers while the characteristic parameters of the bottoming sCO2 GT were taken from the literature. The combined cycle layouts include simple and recompression sCO2 bottoming cycles and different fuel energy sources like conventional natural gas and syngases derived by biomasses gasification. A further option of bottoming cycle was also considered, namely an organic Rankine cycle (ORC) system for the final conversion of waste heat from sCO2 cycle into additional mechanical energy. Finally, the proposed plants have been compared, and the improvement in terms of flexibility and operating range have been highlighted.