Comparative Study of Different Organic Rankine Cycle Models: Simulations and Thermo-Economic Analysis for a Gas Engine Waste Heat Recovery Application

Detta är en Master-uppsats från KTH/Kraft- och värmeteknologi


Increasing the efficiency of conventional power plants is a crucial aspect in the quest of reducing the energy consumption of the world and to having sustainable energy systems in the future. Thus, within the scope of this thesis the possible efficiency improvements for the Wärtsilä 18V50DF model gas engine based combine power generation options are investigated by recovering waste heat of the engine via Organic Rankine cycle (ORC).  In order to this, four different ORC models are simulated via Aspen Plus software and these models are optimized for different objective functions; power output and price per unit of electricity generation. These ORC models are: regenerative Organic Rankine cycle (RORC), cascaded Organic Rankine cycle with an economizer (CORCE), cascaded Organic Rankine cycle with two heat sources (CORC2) and cascaded Organic Rankine cycle with three heat sources (CORC3). In the cascaded cycle models there are two loops which are coupled with a common heat exchanger that works as a condenser for the high temperature (HT) loop and as a preheater for the low temperature (LT) loop. By using this common heat exchanger, the latent heat of condensation of the HT loop is utilized. The engine’s hot exhaust gases are used as main heat source in all the ORC models. The engine’s jacket water is utilized in the CORC2 models as an additional heat source to preheat the LT working fluid. In the CORC3 models engine’s lubrication oil together with the jacket water are used as additional sources for preheating the LT loop working fluid. Thus, the suitability of utilizing these two waste heat sources is examined. Moreover, thermodynamic and economic analyses are performed for each model and the results are compared to each other. The effect of different working fluids, condenser cooling water temperatures, superheating on cycles performance is also evaluated.

The results show that with the same amount of fuel the power output of the engine would be increased 2200 kW in average and this increases the efficiency of the engine by 6.3 %. The highest power outputs are obtained in CORC3 models (around 2750 kW) whereas the lowest are in the RORC models (around 1800 kW). In contrast to the power output results, energetic efficiencies of the RORC models (around 30 %) are the highest and CORC3 models (around 22 %) are the lowest. In terms of exergetic efficiency, the highest efficiencies are obtained in CORC2 (around 64.5 %) models whereas the lowest in the RORC models (around 63 %). All the models are found economically feasible since thermodynamically optimized models pay the investment costs back in average of 2 years whereas the economically optimized ones in 1.7. The selection of the working fluid slightly affects the thermodynamic performance of the system since in all the ORC configurations Octamethyltrisiloxane (MDM) working fluid cycles achieve better thermodynamic performances than Decamethyltetrasiloxane (MD2M) working fluid cycles. However, the choice of working fluid doesn’t affect the costs of the system since both working fluid cycles have similar price per unit of electricity generation. The CORC2 models obtain the shortest payback times whereas the CORC3 models obtain the longest Thus the configuration of the ORC does affect the economic performance. It is observed from the results that increasing the condenser cooling water temperature have negative impact on both thermodynamic and economic performances. Also, thermodynamic performances of the cycles are getting reduced with the increasing degree of superheating thus superheating negatively affects the cycle’s performances. The engine’s jacket water and lubrication oil are found to be sufficient waste heat sources to use in the ORC models. 

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