Micro-power domestic organic Rankine cycle (ORC) systems are nowadays of great interest. These systems are considered for combined heat and power (CHP) generation in domestic and distributed applications. The main issues of ORC systems design is selection of the expander and the working fluid. Thanks to their positive features, multi-vane expanders are especially promising for application in micro-power ORC systems. These expanders are very simple in design, small in dimensions, inexpensive and feature low gas flow capacity and expansion ratio. The application of multi-vane expanders in ORC systems is innovative and currently limited to prototype applications. However, a literature review indicates the growing interest in these machines and the potential for practical implementation. For this reason, it is necessary to conduct detailed studies on the multi-vane expanders operation in ORC systems. In this paper the results of experimental and numerical investigations on the influence of the applied working fluid and the arrangement of the steering edges on multi-vane expander performance in micro ORC system are reported. The experiments were performed using the specially designed lab test-stand, i.e. the domestic ORC system. Numerical simulations were proceeded in ANSYS CFX software (ANSYS, Inc., Canonsburg, PA, USA) and were focused on determining the expander performance under various flow conditions of different working fluids. Detailed numerical analysis of the arrangement of the machine steering edges showed existence of optimal mutual position of the inlet and outlet port for which the multi-vane expander achieves maximum internal work and internal efficiency.
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