Organic Rankine Cycle
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Thermodynamic study of an organic Rankine cycle
The traditional ORC system consists of a pump, boiler, turbine and condenser. However, in order to best describe the changes of thermodynamic states in the working fluid, the boiler has been replaced by three equivalent heat transfer zones, namely: economizer, evaporator and superheater.
Figure 3 shows a schematic diagram of waste heat recovery for power production by means of an organic Rankine cycle. Liquid from the condenser is pumped from 1 to 2 and enters the economizer, at high pressure, followed by the evaporator and the superheater. High pressure superheated vapor leaves the superheater to enter the turbine or expander, where it expands to the lower pressure of the cycle, to enter the condenser. The condensate then flows to the pump, thus closing the cycle.
Heat is transferred from the waste heat fluid to the working fluid by means of the three heat transfer zones that comprise the boiler.
It is considered that only certain data from the cycle are known in advance, and that the remainder of the waste heat fluid and working fluid thermodynamic states will depend on the operating conditions of the cycle.
The ambient temperature determines the cycle lower pressure, since the condenser will work at a pressure close to the corresponding saturation pressure relative to ambient temperature. At the turbine inlet, superheated vapor conditions are assumed and, therefore, a value of the required degree of superheating is provided as an input.
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