Candidate radial-inflow turbines and high-density working fluids for geothermal power systems

Sauret, Emilie & Rowlands, Andrew (2011) Candidate radial-inflow turbines and high-density working fluids for geothermal power systems. Energy, 36(7), pp. 4460-4467.

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Optimisation of Organic Rankine Cycle (ORCs) for binary-cycle geothermal applications could play a major role in determining the competitiveness of low to moderate temperature geothermal resources. Part of this optimisation process is matching cycles to a given resource such that power output can be maximised. Two major and largely interrelated components of the cycle are the working fluid and the turbine. Both components need careful consideration: the selection of working fluid and appropriate operating conditions as well as optimisation of the turbine design for those conditions will determine the amount of power that can be extracted from a resource. In this paper, we present the rationale for the use of radial-inflow turbines for ORC applications and the preliminary design of several radial-inflow machines based on a number of promising ORC systems that use five different working fluids: R134a, R143a, R236fa, R245fa and n-Pentane. Preliminary meanline analysis lead to the generation of turbine designs for the various cycles with similar efficiencies (77%) but large differences in dimensions (139–289 mm rotor diameter). The highest performing cycle, based on R134a, was found to produce 33% more net power from a 150 °C resource flowing at 10 kg/s than the lowest performing cycle, based on n-Pentane.

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ID Code: 56328
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
DOI: 10.1016/
ISSN: 0360-5442
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2011 Pergamon
Deposited On: 10 Jan 2013 04:09
Last Modified: 14 Jan 2013 04:57

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