Research Papers

Direct Method to Maximize Net Power Output of Rankine Cycle in Low-Grade Thermal Energy Conversion

[+] Author and Article Information
Faming Sun

Institute of Ocean Energy, Saga University, Saga 840-8502, Japan

Yasuyuki Ikegami

Institute of Ocean Energy, Saga University, Saga 840-8502, Japanikegami@ioes.saga-u.ac.jp

J. Thermal Sci. Eng. Appl 2(2), 021003 (Oct 21, 2010) (8 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4002564 History: Received April 29, 2010; Revised August 27, 2010; Published October 21, 2010; Online October 21, 2010

Using ammonia as working fluid, enthalpy equations corresponding to every point in Rankine cycle for low-grade thermal energy conversion (LTEC) are presented by employing curve-fitting method. Analytical equations of Rankine cycle analysis are thus set up. In terms of temperatures of the evaporator and condenser, the equation related to Rankine cycle net power output is then achieved. Furthermore, by using theoretical optimization method, the results of the maximum net power output of a Rankine cycle in LTEC are also reported. This study extends the recent flurry of publications about Rankine cycle power optimization in LTEC, which modified the ideal Rankine cycle to a Carnot cycle by using an average entropic temperature to achieve the theoretical formulas. The proposed method can better reflect the performance of Rankine cycle in LTEC since the current work is mainly based on the direct simulations of every enthalpy points in Rankine cycle. Moreover, the proposed method in this paper is equally applicable for other working mediums, such as water and R134a.

Copyright © 2010 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 1

The sketch of the Rankine cycle

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Figure 2

Rankine cycle diagrams: (a) pressure-volume diagram and (b) temperature-entropy diagram

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Figure 3

Relationship between te and f1(X)

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Figure 4

Relationship between ṁws and (tc)opt, (te)opt, and (te)opt+(tc)opt for proposed and numerical results

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Figure 5

Relationship between te and Ẇnet

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Figure 6

Relationship between ṁws and max{Ẇnet}

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Figure 7

Relationship between ṁws and (Δt)opt

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Figure 8

Relationship between ṁws and ηR for proposed and numerical results



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