The task of reducing global carbon dioxide emissions leads to a need to reduce the average CO2-emission in power generation. A more energy efficient mix of power generation on national, or regional level, will require the re-use of waste heat and use of primary, low temperature heat for power generation purposes. Low Temperature Power Cycles, such as Organic Rankine Cycles, Trilateral Flash Cycles, Kalina Cycles offer a large degree of freedom in finding technical solutions for such power generation.
Theoretical understanding of LTPC’s advance rapidly though practical achievements in the field show very humble improvements at a first glance. Cost of applying the new knowledge in real applications seems to be an important reason for the discrepancy. One central reason for the high cost level is the diversity of process fluids required and consequently the lack of standardization and industrialization of equipment. Uses of supercritical power cycle technology tend to cause the same dilemma. Furthermore upcoming regulations prohibiting the use of several process fluids tend to lead to remedies increasing plant cost.
By using 2-phase, variable vapour fraction, expansion inlet conditions the need to use many different process fluids is reduced, allowing simpler and more cost efficient LTPC’s by easier matching with heat source temperature characteristics. This article explores some of the associated effects on cycle output and cost efficiency. A waste heat recovery application is investigated simulating cost efficiency, thermodynamic efficiencies and power generation while using fundamentally different working fluids, lumped component efficiencies, variable utilization of the waste heat and optimisation on expansion inlet vapour fraction.
The conclusion made is that the sensitivity to choice of working fluid is lower than intuitively anticipated, in contrast to common consensus in science. Furthermore it is shown that exceptional component efficiencies are not required in order to achieve a performance comparable to current practise and that a good business case is possible under the assumed economic conditions.
KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2014. , 26 p.