High-efficiency expander for Organic Rankine Cycle system

29 November, 2016

“The Clean Energy Processes (CEP) Laboratory at Imperial has a significant and targeted research activity in reciprocating-expander technology, specifically for ORC engines and other thermodynamic systems.”

The Problem

We are developing a system for generating electric power which uses an Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) in order to make use of low-temperature waste heat. The development of high-efficiency expanders is a key component towards achieving high thermodynamic performance (i.e. efficiency, power density) in low-temperature waste-heat recovery systems such as ORCs.
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We are aware that many organisations, including universities, are working on high-efficiency expanders. We are particularly keen to hear from researchers who may have lab-level technology, for which the performance verification is completed but further development and testing is needed to achieve commercialisation.
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We can provide further details of our system requirements upon receipt of expressions of interest from suitable researchers/groups.

 

Solver response

The Clean Energy Processes (CEP) Laboratory at Imperial College London has been focusing on the research and development of technologies for thermal energy recovery and conversion to power, in particular, of low-grade/temperature heat from renewable energy sources (e.g., solar) as well as waste heat from a range of industrial processes. The group has a significant and targeted research activity in reciprocating-expander technology, specifically for ORC engines and other thermodynamic systems.
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Our activities to date have covered all aspects of modeling, CFD and experimentation on an innovative apparatus, involving notably a unique non-intrusive and fast ultrasonic temperature measurement. Based on this background and earlier work, we have developed a range of design solutions that minimise losses and the necessary ingredients for a reciprocating-piston expander technology for ORC systems and we would like to express an interest in participating in the proposed project that aims to develop such an ORC expander.

Dr Paul SapinPostdoctoral Researcher, Department of Chemical Engineering