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Publication Title | Thermodynamic Vapor Cycles for Converting Low- to Medium-grade Heat to Power: A State-of-the- art Review and Future Research Pathways

Organic Rankine Cycle

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MACROJOURNALS

Bahram Saadatfar, Reza Fakhrai and Torsten Fransson, JMES Vol 2 Issue 1 2014

The Journal of MacroTrends in Energy and Sustainability

Thermodynamic Vapor Cycles for Converting Low- to Medium-grade Heat to Power: A State-of-the- art Review and Future Research Pathways

Bahram Saadatfar, Reza Fakhrai, Torsten Fransson

Department of Energy Technology, Royal Institute of Technology KTH, Stockholm, Sweden

Abstract

The moderate temperature of renewable energy sources and vast amounts of industrial waste heat demands implementing other thermodynamic heat to power cycles than the conventional power cycle. Various thermodynamic cycles for converting low-grade heat into power have been developed, in which the major ones are: zeotropic vapor cycle, organic Rankine cycle, Trilateral Flash cycle, supercritical Rankine cycle. This study serves the state-of-the-art review of thermodynamic vapor cycles for converting the low-grade heat into electrical power and present recommendations for future research and development to advance the conversion of low- to medium-grade heat to power.

Keywords: Thermodynamic vapor cycle, Low-grade heat, Heat to power

1. Introduction

As more importance is focused on sourcing sustainable energy and increasing energy efficiency by industries, the amount of usage of low-grade heat will increase. Generating electricity from renewable energy sources is becoming an inevitable necessity [1]. Thermoelectric devices and heat engines are two methods for converting thermal energy to electricity [2]. Thermoelectric devices are small with low environmental impact; however, they have lower efficiency and also more costly in comparison with heat engines [3]. Thermoelectrics are more limited to very special applications such as vehicle heat recovery.

Mechanical heat engines have been used for conversion of thermal energy to power since many decades. A heat engine is a device which converts the thermal energy into mechanical work. The

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