Design and optimization of turbo-expanders for organic rankine cycles

Gabrielli, Paolo (2014) Design and optimization of turbo-expanders for organic rankine cycles. [Laurea magistrale], Università di Bologna, Corso di Studio in Ingegneria energetica [LM-DM270]
Documenti full-text disponibili:
Documento PDF
Download (7MB) | Anteprima


In a world focused on the need to produce energy for a growing population, while reducing atmospheric emissions of carbon dioxide, organic Rankine cycles represent a solution to fulfil this goal. This study focuses on the design and optimization of axial-flow turbines for organic Rankine cycles. From the turbine designer point of view, most of this fluids exhibit some peculiar characteristics, such as small enthalpy drop, low speed of sound, large expansion ratio. A computational model for the prediction of axial-flow turbine performance is developed and validated against experimental data. The model allows to calculate turbine performance within a range of accuracy of ±3%. The design procedure is coupled with an optimization process, performed using a genetic algorithm where the turbine total-to-static efficiency represents the objective function. The computational model is integrated in a wider analysis of thermodynamic cycle units, by providing the turbine optimal design. First, the calculation routine is applied in the context of the Draugen offshore platform, where three heat recovery systems are compared. The turbine performance is investigated for three competing bottoming cycles: organic Rankine cycle (operating cyclopentane), steam Rankine cycle and air bottoming cycle. Findings indicate the air turbine as the most efficient solution (total-to-static efficiency = 0.89), while the cyclopentane turbine results as the most flexible and compact technology (2.45 ton/MW and 0.63 m3/MW). Furthermore, the study shows that, for organic and steam Rankine cycles, the optimal design configurations for the expanders do not coincide with those of the thermodynamic cycles. This suggests the possibility to obtain a more accurate analysis by including the computational model in the simulations of the thermodynamic cycles. Afterwards, the performance analysis is carried out by comparing three organic fluids: cyclopentane, MDM and R245fa. Results suggest MDM as the most effective fluid from the turbine performance viewpoint (total-to-total efficiency = 0.89). On the other hand, cyclopentane guarantees a greater net power output of the organic Rankine cycle (P = 5.35 MW), while R245fa represents the most compact solution (1.63 ton/MW and 0.20 m3/MW). Finally, the influence of the composition of an isopentane/isobutane mixture on both the thermodynamic cycle performance and the expander isentropic efficiency is investigated. Findings show how the mixture composition affects the turbine efficiency and so the cycle performance. Moreover, the analysis demonstrates that the use of binary mixtures leads to an enhancement of the thermodynamic cycle performance.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di laurea (Laurea magistrale)
Autore della tesi
Gabrielli, Paolo
Relatore della tesi
Corso di studio
Ordinamento Cds
Parole chiave
Turbine, expanders, organic, Rankine, cycles, ORC, Energy, systems, computational, model
Data di discussione della Tesi
18 Marzo 2014

Altri metadati

Statistica sui download

Gestione del documento: Visualizza il documento