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Low-grade heat conversion into power using organic Rankine cycles – A review of various applications

Bertrand F. Tchanche, Gr. Lambrinos, A. Frangoudakis and G. Papadakis

Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 2011, vol. 15, issue 8, 3963-3979

Abstract: An organic Rankine cycle (ORC) machine is similar to a conventional steam cycle energy conversion system, but uses an organic fluid such as refrigerants and hydrocarbons instead of water. In recent years, research was intensified on this device as it is being progressively adopted as premier technology to convert low-temperature heat resources into power. Available heat resources are: solar energy, geothermal energy, biomass products, surface seawater, and waste heat from various thermal processes. This paper presents existing applications and analyzes their maturity. Binary geothermal and binary biomass CHP are already mature. Provided the interest to recover waste heat rejected by thermal devices and industrial processes continue to grow, and favorable legislative conditions are adopted, waste heat recovery organic Rankine cycle systems in the near future will experience a rapid growth. Solar modular power plants are being intensely investigated at smaller scale for cogeneration applications in buildings but larger plants are also expected in tropical or Sahel regions with constant and low solar radiation intensity. OTEC power plants operating mainly on offshore installations at very low temperature have been advertised as total resource systems and interest on this technology is growing in large isolated islands.

Keywords: Modular solar thermal power; Biomass CHP; Geothermal; Waste heat recovery; OTEC; Organic Rankine cycles (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2011
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