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Performance Evaluation of the Integration Between a Thermo-Photo-Voltaic Generator and an Organic Rankine Cycle

[+] Author Affiliations
Claudio Ferrari, Francesco Melino

Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Parma, Italy

Enrico Barbieri, Mirko Morini, Michele Pinelli

University of Ferrara, Ferrara, Italy

Andrea De Pascale, Antonio Peretto

Università di Bologna, Bologna, Italy

Paper No. GT2012-68894, pp. 939-948; 10 pages
  • ASME Turbo Expo 2012: Turbine Technical Conference and Exposition
  • Volume 3: Cycle Innovations; Education; Electric Power; Fans and Blowers; Industrial and Cogeneration
  • Copenhagen, Denmark, June 11–15, 2012
  • Conference Sponsors: International Gas Turbine Institute
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4469-4
  • Copyright © 2012 by ASME


The present study deals with the integration between a Thermo-Photo-Voltaic generator (TPV) and an Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) named here TORCIS (Thermo-photo-voltaic Organic Rankine Cycle Integrated System). The investigated TORCIS system is suitable for CHP applications, such as residential and tertiary sector users. The aim of the research project on this innovative system is the complete definition of the components design and the pre-prototyping characterization of the system, covering all the unresolved issues. This paper shows the results of a preliminary thermodynamic analysis of the system. More in details, TPV is a system to convert into electric energy the radiation emitted from an artificial heat source (i.e., combustion of fuel) by the use of photovoltaic cells; in this system, the produced electric power is strictly connected to the thermal one, as their ratio is almost constant and cannot be changed without severe loss in performance; the coupling between TPV and ORC allows to overcome this limitation and to realize a cogenerative system which can be regulated with a large degree of freedom changing the electric-to-thermal power ratio. The paper presents and discusses the TORCIS achievable performance, highlighting its potential in the field of distributed generation and cogenerative systems.

Copyright © 2012 by ASME



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