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Publication Title | THE ORGANIC RANKINE CYCLE SYSTEM, ITS APPLICATION TO EXTRACT ENERGY FROM LOW TEMPERATURE WASTE HEAT

Organic Rankine Cycle

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THE ORGANIC RANKINE CYCLE SYSTEM, ITS APPLICATION TO EXTRACT ENERGY FROM LOW TEMPERATURE WASTE HEAT

Robert H. Sawyer

AFI Energy Systems Livingston, New Jersey

Shoji Ichikawa

AFI Energy Systems Livingston, New Jersey

ABSTRACT

The conservation of energy by its recovery from low temperature waste heat is of increasing import­

ance in today's world energy crisis. The Organic Rankine Cycle is a cost efficient and proven method of

0

converting low temperature (200-400 F) waste heat to mechanical and/or electrical energy. Applying the Organic Rankine Cycle technology to typical liquid and mixed component condensing streams is described using actual examples. Selection of the organic working fluid is explored.

The Rankine Cycle efficiency is directly dependent upon the temperature difference between its evaporating and condensing phases. The evaporating level is set by the heat source; therefore, to max­ imize efficiency, it is essential to obtain the lowest condensing temperature practical. Various condensing schemes are discussed emphasizing methods of optimizing the net output of the total system.

Several Organic Rankine Cycle commercial applications are summarized with experience and general performance given.

The economics and optimization techniques in typical applications including multiple heat sources are discussed.

INTRODUCTION

The Organic Rankine Cycle, using an organic fluid as

its working medium, is an advanced form of the clas­

sical Rankine Cycle, developed to enhance its use in

recovering energy from low temperature waste heat.

Its technology is founded upon the Steam Rankine

Cycle System which is currently the major source of

electrical and mechanical power generation in our

industrial world. As early as 1960, efforts (1) were saturated liquid completing the cycle.

ing fluid is pressurized by feed pumps. From@to() heat is added at constant pressure first raising the liquid temperature to the boiling point and then evaporating it to a saturated vapor. FromQ)toQ;j}, the pressurized vapor is expanded adiabatically in a turbine developing mechanical energy. From®to(j) the vapor is condensed at constant pressure to a

ESL-IE-80-04-115

begun to prove the commercial applicability of using organic working fluids in a Rankine Cycle to extract energy from low temperature waste heat. By 1968, a 3.8 megawatt unit using R-11 refrigerant was placed in commercial operation in Japan (2) and currently has more than 80,000 hours of operational experience. To understand the problems of applying this tech­ nology to typical low temperature applications, this paper reviews the basic considerations and notes the solutions used in several applications.

BASIC ORGANIC RANKINE CYCLE

The basic Organic Rankine Cycle may be described using the Pressure-Enthalpy Diagram of a typical working fluid (R-11). (See Figure 1). Shown is the theoretical subcritical Rankine Cycle without super­ heat. From point CDto the saturated liquid work-

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RANKINE CYCLE EFFICIENCY

The theoretical Rankine Cycle efficiency is defined as:

?ZR

Since each fluid has its own widely differing and unique pressure enthalpy characteristics, it follows that the theoretical Rankine Cycle efficiency for each fluid will also be different for any given temperature interval. Figure 2 compares the theo­ retical Rankine efficiency for several hydrocarbons, fluorocarbons and water within the evaporating

0 temperature range of interest (160 to 320 F). A

common condensing temperature of 104°F was used for comparison.

Proceedings from the Second Industrial Energy Technology Conference Houston, TX, April 13-16, 1980

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