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Comparison of Rankine Cycles for Micro-CHP Generation Based on Inward Flow Radial Turbine or Scroll Expander

[+] Author Affiliations
Luca Casarsa, Claudio Mucignat

University of Udine, Udine, Italy

Mauro Reini

University of Trieste, Polo di Pordenone, Italy

Paper No. IMECE2009-10444, pp. 377-391; 15 pages
  • ASME 2009 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Volume 6: Emerging Technologies: Alternative Energy Systems; Energy Systems: Analysis, Thermodynamics and Sustainability
  • Lake Buena Vista, Florida, USA, November 13–19, 2009
  • Conference Sponsors: ASME
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4379-6 | eISBN: 978-0-7918-3863-1
  • Copyright © 2009 by ASME


This contribution aims to analyze micro-CHP units based on Rankine cycles. Two types of expander are considered: a small scale inward flow radial turbine and a volumetric scroll type expander. This latter, should allow to overcome the limitation imposed by a standard steam-turbine that arise when the required shaft-power is very low. Moreover, the scroll expander will also allow to easily treat wet steams, which must be avoided when considering a turbo-expander. The final aim is to deduce which one of the two types of expander is more suitable, with a specified target performance and the availability of a certain hot source. In order to define the thermodynamic expansion process, the analysis uses a one-dimensional model of the radial turbine, previously developed by the authors, and of an estimation of the scroll expander efficiency. Also, the analysis is carried out for different working fluids, such as water, and two organic fluids, cyclohexane and toluene. Through the discussion of the results, for a specified set of constraints (e.g. expander inlet temperature, temperature of condensation, expander geometrical parameters) it is possible to deduce important indications on the most suitable expander for a given cycle layout.

Copyright © 2009 by ASME



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