Organic Rankine Cycle
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Publication Name: Modifications and Optimization of the Organic Rankine Cycle
Original File Name Searched: organic_rankine_cycle.pdf
Page Number: 001
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INDUSTRIAL TECHNOLOGIES PROGRAM
Modi cations and Optimization of the Organic Rankine Cycle
Improved Recovery of Waste Heat in Industrial Processes
Waste heat from turbines and engines used in industrial ap- plications along with waste heat from industrial processes are exceptionally abundant sources of energy. If even a fraction of this waste heat could be economically converted to useful elec- tricity, it would have a tangible and very positive impact on the economic health, energy consumption, and carbon emissions in the U.S. manufacturing sector. The current waste heat recovery technologies, including Organic Rankine Cycles (ORCs) and thermoelectrics, are technically feasible but economically unat- tractive. This limits their current use to a small number of niche applications.
ORCs operate by transferring heat from the source through
an evaporator to boil a uid and create vapor that is expanded across a turbine or other work extraction device. This creates shaft power that can be easily turned into electrical power through a generator. Current limitations in ORCs have led to inef cient systems that offer only marginal economic bene ts. These limitations stem from the use of a secondary heat transfer loop in most commercial systems to offset safety risks. This secondary loop creates additional costs for each unit, increases the opportunity for component failure, and reduces the conver- sion ef ciency of the system.
To address these problems, researchers are working to develop advanced and cost-effective ORCs. The research team will lever- age previous research in advanced ORCs to develop a new direct evaporator technological solution that will reduce the ORC cost by up to 15%, enabling the rapid adoption of ORCs for industrial engines and turbines.
Bene ts for Our Industry and Our Nation
GE has more than 1,800 simple cycle gas turbines installed in North America and Europe that cumulatively generate more than 60 GW of electrical power. If 20% of this installed base were ret- ro tted with the proposed ORC technology, 3 GW of additional electrical power could be produced, which would effectively utilize 90 trillion Btu of waste heat per year. These energy sav- ings represent CO2 emission savings of 4.8 million metric tons, and economic savings of $630 million. An anticipated additional
economic bene t of this research effort is a reduction in the costs of ORC technology, which will provide greater returns on invest- ment than previous ORC systems.
Applications in Our Nation’s Industry
This technology will be initially retro tted for waste heat re- covery in engines and turbines. ORCs can be used in waste heat recovery applications for a broad range of industries, including metals and minerals manufacturing, re neries, chemical process- ing plants, concrete plants, iron smelters and a vast array of other industrial processes.
This project will optimize the ORC for the conversion of low- temperature waste heat from gas turbine or reciprocating engine exhaust to electricity. The work entails detailed design and modeling of a direct evaporator concept that improves ef ciency by eliminating the usual secondary heat exchanger loop. Thermal decomposition and ammability analyses of the organic working uid will be performed to maximize performance and minimize risk of the system. A prototype test facility will be designed and constructed to evaluate the operation of the direct evaporator. The result of these efforts will be a safe, economically feasible direct evaporator design manufactured with the gas turbine or reciprocating engine as a single package that is easy for custom- ers to install and operate.
Concept schematic of direct evaporator for Organic Rankine Cycle
Illustration courtesy of Idaho National Laboratory.
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