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Publication Title | An assessment of solar-powered organic Rankine cycle systems for combined heating and power in UK domestic applications

Organic Rankine Cycle

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An assessment of solar-powered organic Rankine cycle systems for combined heating and power in UK domestic applications

James Freeman, Klaus Hellgardt, Christos N. Markides ⇑

Department of Chemical Engineering, Imperial College London, South Kensington Campus, London SW7 2AZ, UK

highlights

A domestic-scale combined solar heat and power (CSHP) system is simulated in the UK climate. The CSHP system comprises a solar collector array, an ORC engine and a hot-water cylinder.

An exergy analysis, parametric study and annual performance assessment are performed.

An average electrical power of 89 W plus an 86% hot water coverage are demonstrated.

A total system cost as low as £2700 and a levelised cost electricity of 44 p/kW h are reported.

Applied Energy 138 (2015) 605–620

Contents lists available at ScienceDirect Applied Energy

journal homepage: www.elsevier.com/locate/apenergy

article info

Article history:

Received 14 November 2013

Received in revised form 7 October 2014 Accepted 9 October 2014

Available online 12 November 2014

Keywords:

Solar technologies

Domestic scale

Combined heat and power Organic Rankine cycle Positive-displacement expander

1. Introduction

1.1. Solar heat and power in the UK

Between a quarter and 30% of the total CO2 emissions in the United Kingdom are associated with domestic energy use [1,2]. Therefore, meeting the UK target for a reduction in CO2 emissions of 50% by 2050 is strongly dependent on a significant contribution from dwellings, and a meaningful strategy for achieving this target should suitably address this sector. Further, in 2010 the

⇑ Corresponding author.

E-mail address: c.markides@imperial.ac.uk (C.N. Markides).

URL: http://www.imperial.ac.uk/people/c.markides (C.N. Markides).

abstract

Performance calculations are presented for a small-scale combined solar heat and power (CSHP) system based on an Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC), in order to investigate the potential of this technology for the combined provision of heating and power for domestic use in the UK. The system consists of a solar collector array of total area equivalent to that available on the roof of a typical UK home, an ORC engine featuring a generalised positive-displacement expander and a water-cooled condenser, and a hot water storage cylinder. Preheated water from the condenser is sent to the domestic hot water cylinder, which can also receive an indirect heating contribution from the solar collector. Annual simulations of the system are performed. The electrical power output from concentrating parabolic-trough (PTC) and non-concentrating evacuated-tube (ETC) collectors of the same total array area are compared. A paramet- ric analysis and a life-cycle cost analysis are also performed, and the annual performance of the system is evaluated according to the total electrical power output and cost per unit generating capacity. A best-case average electrical power output of 89 W (total of 776 kW h/year) plus a hot water provision capacity equivalent to 80% of the total demand are demonstrated, for a whole system capital cost of £2700–£3900. Tracking PTCs are found to be very similar in performance to non-tracking ETCs with an average power output of 89 W (776 kW h/year) vs. 80 W (701 kW h/year).

Ó 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/).

1100 kW h/m2 This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/).

[4], equivalent to

approximately

120 W/m2 on

http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.apenergy.2014.10.035

0306-2619/Ó 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

International Energy Agency (IEA) published a roadmap [3] for emissions reduction over the next four decades, detailing the expected contributions from a range of improvements and technological developments. In this roadmap it is predicted that end-use fuel and energy efficiency will provide the largest proportion of the emissions reduction, contributing 38% of the overall target, while renewables are expected to provide a further 17%. Together, these account for more than half of the overall target and are also the areas in which the domestic sector can play a significant role.

The UK has a modest solar resource compared to countries of subtropical latitudes. The global horizontal solar irradiation received annually in London is typically between 1000 and

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