Small (10–100 kW) and micro (0.5–10 kW) Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) power systems are nowadays considered for local and domestic power generation. Especially interesting are micropower applications for heat recovery from dispersed low potential (85–150 °C) waste and renewable heat sources. Designing and implementing an ORC system dedicated to energy recovery from such a source is difficult. A proper working fluid must be selected together with a suitable expander. Volumetric machines can be adopted as a turbine alternative in small-capacity applications under development, like, e.g., domestic cogeneration. Scroll and screw expanders are a common choice. However, scroll and screw expanders are complicated and expensive. Vane expanders are mechanically simple, commercially available and cheap. This paper documents a study providing the preliminary analysis of the possibility of employing vane-expanders in mini-ORC systems. The main objective of this research was therefore a comprehensive analysis of the use of a vane expander for continuous operation with a low-boiling working fluid. A test-stand was designed and set up starting from system models based on thermodynamic analysis. Then, a series of experiments was performed using the test-stand. Results of these experiments are presented here, together with a model of multivane expanders and a thermodynamic-based method to select the working fluid. The analysis presented in this paper indicates that multivane expanders are a cheap and mechanically simple alternative to other expansion devices proposed for small-capacity ORC systems.
The Application of Rotary Vane Expanders in Organic Rankine Cycle Systems—Thermodynamic Description and Experimental Results
Contributed by the IC Engine Division of ASME for publication in the Journal of Engineering for Gas Turbines and Power. Manuscript received February 27, 2012; final manuscript received January 28, 2013; published online May 20, 2013. Assoc. Editor: Piero Colonna.
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Gnutek, Z., and Kolasiński, P. (May 20, 2013). "The Application of Rotary Vane Expanders in Organic Rankine Cycle Systems—Thermodynamic Description and Experimental Results." ASME. J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power. June 2013; 135(6): 061901. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.4023534
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