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

Sauret, Emilie, Rowlands, Andrew, & Ventura , Carlos (2011) Candidate radial-inflow turbines and high-density working fluids for geothermal power systems. In 1st International Seminar on ORC Power Systems , 22 - 23 September, 2011, Delft, The Netherlands.

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Abstract

Optimisation of Organic Rankine Cycles (ORCs) for binary-cycle geothermal applications could play a major role in 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. Due to the temperature differences in geothermal resources a one-size-fits-all approach to surface power infrastructure is not appropriate. Furthermore, the traditional use of steam as a working fluid does not seem practical due to the low temperatures of many resources. A variety of organic fluids with low boiling points may be utilised as ORC working fluids in binary power cycle loops. Due to differences in thermodynamic properties, certain fluids are able to extract more heat from a given resource than others over certain temperature and pressure ranges. This enables the tailoring of power cycle infrastructure to best match the geothermal resource through careful selection of the working fluid and turbine design optimisation to yield the optimum overall cycle performance. This paper presents the rationale for the use of radial-inflow turbines for ORC applications and the preliminary design of several radial-inflow turbines based on a selection of promising ORC cycles using five different high-density working fluids: R134a, R143a, R236fa, R245fa and n-Pentane at sub- or trans-critical conditions. Numerous studies published compare a variety of working fluids for various ORC configurations. However, there is little information specifically pertaining to the design and implementation of ORCs using realistic radial turbine designs in terms of pressure ratios, inlet pressure, rotor size and rotational speed. Preliminary 1D analysis leads 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 (R134a) was found to produce 33% more net power from a 150°C resource flowing at 10 kg/s than the lowest performing cycle (n-Pentane).

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ID Code: 56334
Item Type: Conference Item (Poster)
Refereed: No
Additional URLs:
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Deposited On: 10 Jan 2013 05:20
Last Modified: 12 Jun 2013 15:26

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