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Open AccessArticle

Assessment of Methods for Performance Comparison of Pure and Zeotropic Working Fluids for Organic Rankine Cycle Power Systems

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Technical University of Denmark, Nils Koppels Allé Building 403, DK-2800 Kgs. Lyngby, Denmark
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Energies 2019, 12(9), 1783; https://doi.org/10.3390/en12091783
Received: 29 March 2019 / Revised: 30 April 2019 / Accepted: 6 May 2019 / Published: 10 May 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Organic Rankine Cycle for Energy Recovery System)
In this paper, we present an assessment of methods for estimating and comparing the thermodynamic performance of working fluids for organic Rankine cycle power systems. The analysis focused on how the estimated net power outputs of zeotropic mixtures compared to pure fluids are affected by the method used for specifying the performance of the heat exchangers. Four different methods were included in the assessment, which assumed that the organic Rankine cycle systems were characterized by the same values of: (1) the minimum pinch point temperature difference of the heat exchangers; (2) the mean temperature difference of the heat exchangers; (3) the heat exchanger thermal capacity ( U ¯ A ); or (4) the heat exchanger surface area for all the considered working fluids. The second and third methods took into account the temperature difference throughout the heat transfer process, and provided the insight that the advantages of mixtures are more pronounced when large heat exchangers are economically feasible to use. The first method was incapable of this, and deemed to result in optimistic estimations of the benefits of using zeotropic mixtures, while the second and third method were deemed to result in conservative estimations. The fourth method provided the additional benefit of accounting for the degradation of heat transfer performance of zeotropic mixtures. In a net power output based performance ranking of 30 working fluids, the first method estimates that the increase in the net power output of zeotropic mixtures compared to their best pure fluid components is up to 13.6%. On the other hand, the third method estimates that the increase in net power output is only up to 2.56% for zeotropic mixtures compared to their best pure fluid components. View Full-Text
Keywords: organic Rankine cycle system; zeotropic mixture; heat exchanger; low grade heat; thermodynamic optimization; method comparison organic Rankine cycle system; zeotropic mixture; heat exchanger; low grade heat; thermodynamic optimization; method comparison
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Andreasen, J.G.; Kærn, M.R.; Haglind, F. Assessment of Methods for Performance Comparison of Pure and Zeotropic Working Fluids for Organic Rankine Cycle Power Systems. Energies 2019, 12, 1783.

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