In an energetic scenario where both distributed energy systems and smart energy grids gain increasing relevance, the research focus is also on the detection of new solutions to increase overall performance of small-scale energy systems. Waste heat recovery (WHR) can represent a good solution to achieve this goal, due to the possibility of converting residual thermal power in thermal engine exhausts into electrical power. The authors, in a recent study, described the opportunities related to the integration of a micro gas turbine (MGT) with a supercritical CO2 Brayton Cycle (sCO2 GT) turbine. The adoption of Supercritical Carbon Dioxide (sCO2) as working fluid in closed Brayton cycles is an old idea, already studied in the 1960s. Only in recent years this topic returned to be of interest for electric power generation (i.e. solar, nuclear, geothermal energy or coupled with traditional thermoelectric power plants as WHR). In this technical paper the authors analyzed the performance variations of different systems layout based on the integration of a topping MGT with a sCO2 GT as bottoming cycle; the performance maps for both topping and bottoming turbomachinery have been included in the thermodynamic model with the aim of investigating the part load working conditions. The MGT considered is a Turbec T100P and its behavior at part load conditions is also described. The potential and critical aspects related to the integration of the sCO2 GT as bottoming cycle are studied also through a comparison between different layouts, in order to establish the optimal compromise between overall efficiencies and complexity of the energy system. The off-design analysis of the integrated system is addressed to evaluate its response to variable electrical and thermal demands.

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