Performance analysis and working fluid selection for geothermal energy-powered organic Rankine-vapor compression air conditioning

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Abstract

Background: To utilize geothermal energy from hot springs, an organic Rankine cycle/vapor compression cycle (ORC/VCC) system was employed for air conditioning and a thermodynamic model was developed. Methods: Six working fluids, R123, R134a, R245fa, R600a, R600 and R290, were selected and compared in order to identify suitable working fluids which may yield high system efficiencies. Results: The calculated results show that because of high system pressure for R290 and R134a, R600a is the more suitable working fluid for ORC in terms of expander size parameter, system efficiency and system pressure. In addition, R600a is also the most appropriate working fluid for VCC in terms of pressure ratio and coefficient of performance. R600 and R600a are more suitable working fluids for ORC/VCC in terms of overall coefficient of performance, refrigerating capacity per unit mass flow rate and chilled water yield from per ton hot water. Conclusions: In sum, R600a is the most suitable working fluid for ORC/VCC through comprehensive comparison of ORC efficiency, expander size parameter, pressure ratio, coefficient of performance, system pressure and chilled water yield from per ton hot water for six different working fluids. However, the flammability of R600a should attract enough attention.

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Bu, X., Wang, L., & Li, H. (2013). Performance analysis and working fluid selection for geothermal energy-powered organic Rankine-vapor compression air conditioning. Geothermal Energy, 1(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/2195-9706-1-2

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