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Publication Title | Micro Heat and Power Plants Working in Organic Rankine Cycle

Organic Rankine Cycle

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Polish J. of Environ. Stud. Vol. 19, No. 3 (2010), 499-505

Micro Heat and Power Plants Working in Organic Rankine Cycle

Jarosław Mikielewicz*

Institute of Fluid Flow Machinery PAN in Gdańsk, Fiszera 14, 80-231 Gdańsk, Poland

Received: 10 July 2009 Accepted: 23 November 2009


Renewable heat sources are rarely suited to the temperature requirements of modern thermal power plants. Thus, our unique opportunity is to deliver to the market power plants optimized for these unused and overlooked thermal resources utilizing Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC). The ORC is similar to the cycle of a con- ventional steam turbine, except for the fluid that drives the turbine – a high molecular mass organic fluid, usu- ally Freon or another low-boiling fluid. This paper analyzes micro combined heat and power plants (micro CHP) operating on ORC, which aims to replace conventional boilers in homes. The heat power of micro CHP is in the range of from ten to a hundred kilowatts, and electric power in the range of from a few to tens of kilo- watts. Analysis concerns selection of a cycle, calculation of thermodynamic parameters, and determination of basic dimensions of heat exchangers: condenser and evaporator.

Keywords: thermodynamic cycle, organic Rankine cycle, micro CHP


In recent years we have observed the tendencies arround the world and in the European Union of the growth of meaning of the energy dispersed generation sector based on local resources and technologies using both convention- al fuels and renewable energy. Existing development of the conventional power sector is based on building more and larger power stations. The larger the power of a unit pro- ducing electricity, the smaller the cost of production of the unit of electricity. Large power units, however, have led to many operational problems.

The versatile processes of production of useful energy in energy dispersed generation sector has become attrac- tive. Processes include cogeneration, trigeneration, and poligeneration, especially in reference to small and aver- age-scale plants. The most popular is a cogenerative process that is a simultaneous production of heat and elec- tricity. The aim of the EU is to achieve 18% in the market


share in cogeneration realized in small and average-scale production units of electric energy up to 2010. The idea of dispersed cogeneration is particularly attractive in the case of renewable resources of energy because in this case it is easy to apply new technologies. The EU directive requires 22% of “the green electricity” share in the EU up to 2010. For Poland this requirement is set at 7.5% of total energy balance, which is still large and difficult to obtain (we had a share of RES at approximately 1.6% in 2000).

The best and most economically sound method of utiliz- ing renewable sources of energy are the so-called agro ener- getic complexes, in which one technological process uses the accessible supplies of renewable energy to make its conver- sion to useful energy.

This means that such complexes from one side will real- ize processes connected with the production and processing of biomass, including esterification or gasification of waste that will produce heat and electric current in small co-gen- erative plants - CHP. They utilize electricity generated from: wind, solar photovoltaic (PV), fuel cells, hydro, and heat generation from biomass, solar thermal collectors, and

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