Comparison of CO2 and steam in transcritical Rankine cycles for concentrated solar power

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High temperature, high pressure transcritical condensing CO2 cycle (TC-CO2) is compared with transcritical steam (TC-steam) cycle. Performance indicators such as thermal efficiency, volumetric flow rates and entropy generation are used to analyze the power cycle wherein, irreversibilities in turbo-machinery and heat exchangers are taken into account. Although, both cycles yield comparable thermal efficiencies under identical operating conditions, TC-CO2 plant is significantly compact compared to a TC-steam plant. Large specific volume of steam is responsible for a bulky system. It is also found that the performance of a TC-CO2 cycle is less sensitive to source temperature variations, which is an important requirement of a solar thermal system. In addition, issues like wet expansion in turbine and vacuum in condenser are absent in case of a TC-CO2 cycle. External heat addition to working fluid is assumed to take place through a heat transfer fluid (HTF) which receives heat from a solar receiver. A TC-CO2 system receives heat though a single HTF loop, whereas, for TC-steam cycle two HTF loops in series are proposed to avoid high temperature differential between the steam and HTF. © 2013 P. Garg.




Garg, P., Srinivasan, K., Dutta, P., & Kumar, P. (2014). Comparison of CO2 and steam in transcritical Rankine cycles for concentrated solar power. In Energy Procedia (Vol. 49, pp. 1138–1146). Elsevier Ltd.

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