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See detailDESIGN OF A SMALL-SCALE ORGANIC RANKINE CYCLE ENGINE USED IN A SOLAR POWER PLANT
Declaye, Sébastien ULg; Georges, Emeline ULg; Bauduin, Maxime ULg et al

in Proceedings of Heat Powered Cycles Conference 2012 (2012, September)

Under the economical and political pressure due to the depletion of fossil fuel and global warming potential, it is necessary to develop more sustainable techniques to provide electrical power. In this ... [more ▼]

Under the economical and political pressure due to the depletion of fossil fuel and global warming potential, it is necessary to develop more sustainable techniques to provide electrical power. In this context, medium and large scale Organic Rankine Cycle solar power plants appear to be a promising solution because of their good efficiency, robustness and acceptable economical probability. However, only a few ORC solar power plants are in operation today, but technical literature indicate that several demonstration projects are under development. The spreading out of that technology requires, among others, a good knowledge of control strategies of the entire plant comprising the field of parabolic trough collectors, the ORC engine and thermal storage systems. The present project aims at designing, building and testing a small scale ORC solar power plant (a few kWe) in order to define and optimize control strategies that could be applied to larger systems. The paper presents the design step of the solar power plant, and more specifically the ORC engine. This design is defined based on simulation models of the ORC engine and on the experience gained in the Thermodynamics laboratory in the field of testing small-scale ORC systems. The design accounts for technical limitations such as allowed operating ranges and technical maturity of components. The paper first presents the architecture of the envisioned solar plant. The choice of the different technologies of components is justified. Simulation models of components (scroll expander, plate and fin-and-tubes heat exchangers, etc.) and of the whole system are then presented. Based on those models, parametric studies are conducted in order to optimize the sizing and the operating conditions of the system and to select the most appropriate working fluid. Also, the relevance of using two expanders in series is discussed and the control of the ORC engine is investigated. Simulations indicate that ORC engine efficiency close to 12% can be reached for evaporating and condensing temperatures of 140°C and 35°C. [less ▲]

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