In the last years, the accelerated consumption of fossil fuels has caused many serious environmental problems such as global warming, the depletion of the ozone layer and atmospheric pollution. Similarly, low-temperature waste heat which is discharged in several industrial processes, contributes to thermal pollution and damages the environment. Furthermore, many industrial applications use low enthalpy thermal sources, where the conventional systems for the conversion of thermal energy into electrical energy, based on a Rankine water cycle, work with difficulty. Thus, the Organic Rankine Cycle can be considered a promising process for the conversion of heat at low and medium temperature whenever the conventional water cycle causes problems. Using an organic working fluid instead of water, the ORC system works like the bottom cycle of a conventional steam power plant. This kind of cycle allows a high utilization of the available thermal source. Moreover, the choice of the working fluid is critical, because it should meet several environment standards and not only certain thermophysical properties.

This paper illustrates the results for the simulations of an Organic Rankine Cycle based on a gas turbine with a diathermic oil circuit. The selected working fluid is toluene. The design is performed with a sensitivity analysis of the main process parameters, the organic Rankine cycle is optimized by varying the main pressure of the fluid at different temperatures of the oil circuit. The off-design is performed by varying the temperature of the air condenser.

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