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Research Papers

A Thermodynamic Similarity Framework for Assessment of Working Fluids for Solar Rankine Power Generation

[+] Author and Article Information
Deborah A. Sunter, Van P. Carey

Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of California, Berkeley, 6123 Etcheverry Hall, Mailstop 1740, Berkeley, CA 94720-1740

J. Sol. Energy Eng 132(4), 041005 (Sep 01, 2010) (8 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4002136 History: Received October 01, 2009; Revised June 23, 2010; Published September 01, 2010; Online September 01, 2010

Numerous studies have compared the merits of different working fluids for use in Rankine power systems. Most often, however, these have considered a limited number of specific fluids for which the thermodynamic properties are known. In the investigation summarized here, the Redlich–Kwong fluid model was used to develop a thermodynamic similarity framework that can be used as a comparative model for evaluating the performance of Rankine cycle working fluids. This can be viewed as a reduced order model that, based on thermodynamic similarity, quantifies the characteristics of the working fluids in terms of a single dimensional coordinate space defined by the choice of critical temperature. The advantage of this framework is that it allows exploration of the performance advantages of working fluids for which full thermodynamic properties are not yet available. Predictions of the model for common fluids were examined and conclusions regarding optimal fluids for solar Rankine systems are discussed.

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Copyright © 2010 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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References

Figures

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Figure 1

Comparison of saturation vapor pressure found using the Redlich–Kwong fluid model with that found using recommended values from the ASHRAE Fundamentals Handbook

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Figure 2

Process diagram of Rankine cycle

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Figure 10

System efficiency as a spectrum for maximum operating temperatures and fluids

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Figure 9

High-level technology: maximum operating temperature of 700°C

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Figure 8

Midlevel technology: maximum operating temperature of 300°C

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Figure 7

Low-level technology: maximum operating temperature of 65°C

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Figure 6

Variation of lower temperature bound for water. Percent error in cycle efficiency between tabulated thermodynamic data and reduced Redlich-Kwong model. All subcritical cycles.

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Figure 5

Variation of lower temperature bound for R12. Percent error in cycle efficiency between tabulated thermodynamic data and reduced Redlich-Kwong model. All subcritical cycles.

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Figure 4

Variation of lower temperature bound for ammonia. Percent error in cycle efficiency between tabulated thermodynamic data and reduced Redlich-Kwong model. All subcritical cycles.

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Figure 3

Cycle efficiency of water for subcritical and supercritical cycles

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