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Energies 2016, 9(8), 606; doi:10.3390/en9080606

Experimental and Numerical Analyses on the Rotary Vane Expander Operating Conditions in a Micro Organic Rankine Cycle System

Department of Thermodynamics, Theory of Machines and Thermal Systems, Faculty of Mechanical and Power Engineering, Wrocław University of Science and Technology, Wybrzeże Wyspiańskiego 27, Wrocław 50-370, Poland
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Academic Editor: Andrew J. Haslam
Received: 10 June 2016 / Revised: 15 July 2016 / Accepted: 28 July 2016 / Published: 1 August 2016
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Abstract

Micro (0.5–10 kW) organic Rankine cycle (ORC) power systems are nowadays considered for domestic power generation. Selection of a suitable expander is one of the most important problems connected with the domestic ORC system design. Volumetric machines or micro-turbines can be adopted as an expander in domestic ORC systems. Scroll and screw expanders are a common choice and were successfully applied in different small- and micro-power applications. However, micro-turbines as well as scroll and screw expanders are mechanically complicated and expensive. An alternative are rotary-vane machines, which are simple and cheap compared to micro-turbines. This paper documents a study providing the experimental and numerical analyses on the rotary vane expander operating conditions in a micro-ORC system. A test-stand was designed and set up and a series of experiments was performed using the test-stand. Results of these experiments were further used as an input to numerical simulations of an expander operation. In order to simulate the expander operating conditions, a three-dimensional numerical model has been prepared. The analysis presented in this paper indicates that a properly designed multi-vane expander is a cheap and mechanically simple alternative to other expansion devices proposed for domestic ORC systems. View Full-Text
Keywords: organic Rankine cycle (ORC); rotary vane expander; numerical modelling; domestic energy conversion system organic Rankine cycle (ORC); rotary vane expander; numerical modelling; domestic energy conversion system
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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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MDPI and ACS Style

Kolasiński, P.; Błasiak, P.; Rak, J. Experimental and Numerical Analyses on the Rotary Vane Expander Operating Conditions in a Micro Organic Rankine Cycle System. Energies 2016, 9, 606.

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