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3D CFD Simulations of a Candidate R143A Radial-Inflow Turbine for Geothermal Power Applications

[+] Author Affiliations
Emilie Sauret, Yuantong Gu

Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, QLD, Australia

Paper No. POWER2014-32158, pp. V002T09A013; 8 pages
  • ASME 2014 Power Conference
  • Volume 2: Simple and Combined Cycles; Advanced Energy Systems and Renewables (Wind, Solar and Geothermal); Energy Water Nexus; Thermal Hydraulics and CFD; Nuclear Plant Design, Licensing and Construction; Performance Testing and Performance Test Codes; Student Paper Competition
  • Baltimore, Maryland, USA, July 28–31, 2014
  • Conference Sponsors: Power Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4609-4
  • Copyright © 2014 by ASME


Optimisation of Organic Rankine Cycles (ORCs) for binary cycle applications could play a major role in determining the competitiveness of low to moderate renewable sources. An important aspect of the optimisation is to maximise the turbine output power for a given resource. This requires careful attention to the turbine design notably through numerical simulations. Challenges in the numerical modelling of radial-inflow turbines using high-density working fluids still need to be addressed in order to improve the turbine design and better optimise ORCs. This paper presents preliminary 3D numerical simulations of a radial-inflow turbine working with high-density fluids in realistic geothermal ORCs. Following extensive investigation of the operating conditions and thermodynamic cycle analysis, the refrigerant R143a is chosen as the high-density working fluid. The 1D design of the candidate radial-inflow turbine is presented in details. Furthermore, commercially-available software Ansys-CFX is used to perform preliminary steady-state 3D CFD simulations of the candidate R143a radial-inflow turbine at the nominal operating condition. The real-gas properties are obtained using the Peng-Robinson equations of state. The thermodynamic ORC cycle is presented. The preliminary design created using dedicated radial-inflow turbine software Concepts-Rital is discussed and the 3D CFD results are presented and compared against the meanline analysis.

Copyright © 2014 by ASME



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