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Preliminary Design of the ORCHID: A Facility for Studying Non-Ideal Compressible Fluid Dynamics and Testing ORC Expanders

[+] Author Affiliations
Adam Joseph Head, Carlo De Servi, Emiliano Casati, Matteo Pini, Piero Colonna

Delft University of Technology, Delft, Netherlands

Paper No. GT2016-56103, pp. V003T25A001; 14 pages
  • ASME Turbo Expo 2016: Turbomachinery Technical Conference and Exposition
  • Volume 3: Coal, Biomass and Alternative Fuels; Cycle Innovations; Electric Power; Industrial and Cogeneration; Organic Rankine Cycle Power Systems
  • Seoul, South Korea, June 13–17, 2016
  • Conference Sponsors: International Gas Turbine Institute
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4974-3
  • Copyright © 2016 by ASME


Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) power systems are receiving increased recognition for the conversion of thermal energy when the source potential and/or its temperature are comparatively low. Mini-ORC units in the power output range of 3–50 kWe are actively studied for applications involving heat recovery from automotive engines and the exploitation of solar energy. Efficient expanders are the enabling components of such systems, and all the related developments are at the early research stage. Notably, no experimental gasdynamic data are available in the open literature concerning the fluids and flow conditions of interest for mini-ORC expanders. Therefore, all the performance estimation and the fluid dynamic design methodologies adopted in the field rely on non-validated tools. In order to bridge this gap, a new experimental facility capable of continuous operation is being designed and built at Delft University of Technology, the Netherlands. The Organic Rankine Cycle Hybrid Integrated Device (ORCHID) is a research facility resembling a state-of-the-art high-temperature ORC system. It is flexible enough to treat different working fluids and operating conditions with the added benefit of two interchangeable Test Sections (TS’s). The first TS is a supersonic nozzle with optical access whose purpose is to perform gas dynamic experiments on dense organic flows in order to validate numerical codes. The second TS is a test-bench for mini-ORC expanders of any configuration up to a power output of 100 kWe. This paper presents the preliminary design of the ORCHID setup, discussing how the required operational flexibility was attained. The envisaged experiments of the two TS’s are also described.

Copyright © 2016 by ASME



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