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Energies 2016, 9(7), 479; doi:10.3390/en9070479

Comparison of a Novel Organic-Fluid Thermofluidic Heat Converter and an Organic Rankine Cycle Heat Engine

Clean Energy Processes (CEP) Laboratory, Department of Chemical Engineering, Imperial College London, South Kensington Campus, London SW7 2AZ, UK
This paper is an extended version of our paper published in Proceedings of the 3rd International Seminar on ORC Power Systems, Brussels, Belgium, 12–14 October 2015.
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Academic Editor: Sylvain Quoilin
Received: 15 March 2016 / Revised: 10 May 2016 / Accepted: 26 May 2016 / Published: 23 June 2016
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Abstract

The Up-THERM heat converter is an unsteady, two-phase thermofluidic oscillator that employs an organic working fluid, which is currently being considered as a prime-mover in small- to medium-scale combined heat and power (CHP) applications. In this paper, the Up-THERM heat converter is compared to a basic (sub-critical, non-regenerative) organic Rankine cycle (ORC) heat engine with respect to their power outputs, thermal efficiencies and exergy efficiencies, as well as their capital and specific costs. The study focuses on a pre-specified Up-THERM design in a selected application, a heat-source temperature range from 210 °C to 500 °C and five different working fluids (three n-alkanes and two refrigerants). A modeling methodology is developed that allows the above thermo-economic performance indicators to be estimated for the two power-generation systems. For the chosen applications, the power output of the ORC engine is generally higher than that of the Up-THERM heat converter. However, the capital costs of the Up-THERM heat converter are lower than those of the ORC engine. Although the specific costs (£/kW) of the ORC engine are lower than those of the Up-THERM converter at low heat-source temperatures, the two systems become progressively comparable at higher temperatures, with the Up-THERM heat converter attaining a considerably lower specific cost at the highest heat-source temperatures considered. View Full-Text
Keywords: thermofluidic oscillator; two-phase; unsteady; non-linear; organic Rankine cycle (ORC); combined heat and power (CHP); performance analysis; economic comparison; low-grade heat; off-grid power generation thermofluidic oscillator; two-phase; unsteady; non-linear; organic Rankine cycle (ORC); combined heat and power (CHP); performance analysis; economic comparison; low-grade heat; off-grid power generation
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Kirmse, C.J.; Oyewunmi, O.A.; Haslam, A.J.; Markides, C.N. Comparison of a Novel Organic-Fluid Thermofluidic Heat Converter and an Organic Rankine Cycle Heat Engine. Energies 2016, 9, 479.

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