Experimental study on Organic Rankine cycle for low grade thermal energy recovery

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A small scale Organic Rankine cycle experiment system capable of generating electric power using a low temperature heat source was built and experimental study was conducted. A single stage axial turbine expander coupled with a permanent magnet synchronous generator was used, where no lubricant oil was used. R245fa and the new environmentally friendly HFE7100 were selected as the working fluids in the experimental system. The influences of the evaporating pressure, pressure drop and mass flow rate on overall system performance were discussed. The maximum electric output generated by the turbine expander was 1979W for R245fa, while the maximum electric power output was 1027W for HFE7100. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.