Model, simulation and experiments for a Buoyancy Organic Rankine Cycle
Center for Engineering, Modelling and Applied Social Sciences − Federal University of ABC, Santo André, SP, CEP 09210-580, Brazil
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Received in final form: 7 September 2020
Accepted: 9 September 2020
Published online: 19 October 2020
Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) systems are increasingly gaining relevance in the renewable and sustainable energy scenario. Recently our research group published a manuscript identifying a new type of thermodynamic cycle entitled Buoyancy Organic Rankine Cycle (BORC) [J. Schoenmaker, J.F.Q. Rey, K.R. Pirota, Renew. Energy 36, 999 (2011)]. In this work we present two main contributions. First, we propose a refined thermodynamic model for BORC systems accounting for the specific heat of the working fluid. Considering the refined model, the efficiencies for Pentane and Dichloromethane at temperatures up to 100 °C were estimated to be 17.2%. Second, we show a proof of concept BORC system using a 3 m tall, 0.062 m diameter polycarbonate tube as a column-fluid reservoir. We used water as a column fluid. The thermal stability and uniformity throughout the tube has been carefully simulated and verified experimentally. After the thermal parameters of the water column have been fully characterized, we developed a test body to allow an adequate assessment of the BORC-system's efficiency. We obtained 0.84% efficiency for 43.8 °C working temperature. This corresponds to 35% of the Carnot efficiency calculated for the same temperature difference. Limitations of the model and the apparatus are put into perspective, pointing directions for further developments of BORC systems.
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