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Title: Final Report: Modifications and Optimization of the Organic Rankine Cycle to Improve the Recovery of Waste Heat

This research and development (R&D) project exemplifies a shared public private commitment to advance the development of energy efficient industrial technologies that will reduce the U.S. dependence upon foreign oil, provide energy savings and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The purpose of this project was to develop and demonstrate a Direct Evaporator for the Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) for the conversion of waste heat from gas turbine exhaust to electricity. In conventional ORCs, the heat from the exhaust stream is transferred indirectly to a hydrocarbon based working fluid by means of an intermediate thermal oil loop. The Direct Evaporator accomplishes preheating, evaporation and superheating of the working fluid by a heat exchanger placed within the exhaust gas stream. Direct Evaporation is simpler and up to 15% less expensive than conventional ORCs, since the secondary oil loop and associated equipment can be eliminated. However, in the past, Direct Evaporation has been avoided due to technical challenges imposed by decomposition and flammability of the working fluid. The purpose of this project was to retire key risks and overcome the technical barriers to implementing an ORC with Direct Evaporation. R&D was conducted through a partnership between the Idaho National Laboratory (INL) and General Electricmore » (GE) Global Research Center (GRC). The project consisted of four research tasks: (1) Detailed Design & Modeling of the ORC Direct Evaporator, (2) Design and Construction of Partial Prototype Direct Evaporator Test Facility, (3) Working Fluid Decomposition Chemical Analyses, and (4) Prototype Evaluation. Issues pertinent to the selection of an ORC working fluid, along with thermodynamic and design considerations of the direct evaporator, were identified. The FMEA (Failure modes and effects analysis) and HAZOP (Hazards and operability analysis) safety studies performed to mitigate risks are described, followed by a discussion of the flammability analysis of the direct evaporator. A testbed was constructed and the prototype demonstrated at the GE GRC Niskayuna facility.« less
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  1. Idaho National Lab. (INL), Idaho Falls, ID (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Idaho National Lab. (INL), Idaho Falls, ID (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE)
Country of Publication:
United States
42 ENGINEERING; 37 INORGANIC, ORGANIC, PHYSICAL, AND ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY Direct Evaporator; Organic Rankine Cycle; waste heat recovery