Multi-objective optimization of organic Rankine ycle power plants using pure and mixed working fluids
Paper in proceeding, 2015

For zeotropic mixtures, the temperature varies during phase change, which is opposed to the isothermal phase change of pure fluids. The use of such mixtures as working fluids in organic Rankine cycle power plants enables a minimization of the mean temperature difference of the heat exchangers when the minimum pinch point temperature difference is kept fixed. A low mean temperature difference means low heat transfer irreversibilities, which is beneficial for cycle performance, but it also results in larger heat transfer surface areas. Moreover, the two-phase heat transfer coefficients for zeotropic mixtures are usually degraded compared to an ideal mixture heat transfer coefficient linearly interpolated between the pure fluid values. This entails a need for larger and more expensive heat exchangers. Previous studies primarily focus on the thermodynamic benefits of zeotropic mixtures by employing first and second law analyses. In order to assess the feasibility of using zeotropic mixtures, it is, however, important to consider the additional costs of the heat exchangers. In this study, we aim at evaluating the economic feasibility of zeotropic mixtures compared to pure fluids. We carry out a multi-objective optimization of the net power output and the component costs for organic Rankine cycle power plants using low-temperature heat at 90 ◦C to produce electrical power at around 500 kW. The primary outcomes of the study are Pareto fronts, illustrating the power/cost relations for R32, R134a and R32/R134a (0.65/0.35mole). The results indicate that R32/134a is the best of these fluids, with 3.4 % higher net power than R32 at the same total cost of 1200 k$.


J. G. Andreasen

M. R. Kærn

L. Pierobon

Ulrik Larsen

Chalmers, Shipping and Marine Technology

F. Haglind

Proceedings of ASME ORC 2015


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Sustainable development

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Energy Engineering

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