In this study, experimental research was conducted to investigate the performance of a small-scale Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) system utilising low grade heat sources to generate electric power at different operating conditions. The experiment setup consisted of typical ORC system components, such as a turboexpander with high speed generator, finned-tube condenser, ORC pump and plate evaporator. R245fa was selected as a working fluid in the experimental system, considering its appropriate thermosphysical properties for the ORC system and low ozone depletion potential (ODP). At constant heat sink (ambient) parameters, extensive experiments were carried out to examine the effects of various important parameters including heat source temperature and working fluid pump speed etc. on system performance. Results showed that at a fixed working fluid speed, the thermal efficiency of the tested ORC system could be improved with an increased heat source temperature. On the other hand, at a constant heat source temperature, the working fluid pump speed could be optimised to maximise system thermal efficiency. Both the heat source temperature and ORC pump speed were found to be important parameters in determining system thermal efficiency and the component operations. The experimental outcomes can instruct future optimal system design and controls.
Li, L., Ge, Y. T., Luo, X., & Tassou, S. A. (2017). Experimental investigations into power generation with low grade waste heat and R245fa Organic Rankine Cycles (ORCs). Applied Thermal Engineering, 115, 815–824. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.applthermaleng.2017.01.024