Applied Engineering

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Comparative Analysis of ORC and Condensing Heat Engines for Low Grade Waste Heat Recovery

Received: 2 April 2021    Accepted: 16 April 2021    Published: 26 April 2021
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Abstract

The re-use of low-grade waste heat has the potential to contribute significantly to a better energy efficiency of our economies. There is a resource of around 100 TWhr per year in this area in Europe alone. The technology development in this area is still ongoing. Organic Rankine Cycle systems are considered the most promising technology. However, a nearly forgotten technology, the condensing engine (CE), was recently re-discovered. CEs use water as working fluid, with an operating temperature of 100°C at atmospheric pressure. The water is evaporated, and then condensed in the engine, where the arising vacuum is employed to generate power. Condensing engines were built until the late 19th Century, and then disappeared. Results from tests conducted in 1885 with a 0.735 kW commercial engine showed a mechanical efficiency of 3.7%, with a second law efficiency of 24.7%. For comparison, four typical experimental studies of Organic Rankine Cycle systems with power ratings between 0.5 and 1.4 kW were reviewed. Their thermal efficiencies ranged from 4.2 to 6.8%. The ORC systems’ second law efficiencies ranged from 20 to 35%, with an average of 27.5%. The comparative analysis showed that the CE’s performance is comparable to modern systems. Theoretical work suggests that it has significant further development potential. The CE’s simplicity combined with good efficiency, the use of a very simple working fluid, reduced safety requirements and the development potential makes this a technology which can become important again.

DOI 10.11648/j.ae.20210501.15
Published in Applied Engineering (Volume 5, Issue 1, June 2021)
Page(s) 7-13
Creative Commons

This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, provided the original work is properly cited.

Copyright

Copyright © The Author(s), 2024. Published by Science Publishing Group

Keywords

Condensing Engine, Thermal Efficiency, Second Law Efficiency, Waste Steam

References
[1] BCS (2008). Waste Heat Recovery – Technology and Opportunities in the U.S. Industry. U.S. Department of Energy.
[2] Papapetrou, M., Kosmadakis, G., Cipollina, A., Commare, U. L., Micale, G. (2018). Industrial waste heat: Estimation of the technically available resource in the EU per industrial sector, temperature level and country. Applied Thermal Engineering, 138, 207-216.
[3] Armitage C. (2017). How waste steam is helping firms to go green. Recycling and Waste World Sept. Issue. https://www.recyclingwasteworld.co.uk/in-depth-article/how-waste-steam-is-helping-firms-to-go-green/160999/ (accessed 31.01.2021).
[4] Farey, J. (1827). A Treatise on the Steam Engine Historical, Practical, and Descriptive. By John Farey. Illustrated by Numerous Engravings and Diagrams. Longman, Rees, Orme, Brown, and Green.
[5] Josse H. (Ed.) (1885). Moteur Domestique – Système Hathorn, Davey and Cie. Revue Industrielle. Paris. No 10 (3), 93-94. https://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/bpt6k97674548/f105.image.
[6] Dingler, G. (Ed.) (1886), Ueber Neuerungen an Klein-dampfmaschinen. Polytechnisches Journal. Band 259 (S. 1–9). http://dingler.culture.hu-berlin.de/article/pj259/ar259001.
[7] Müller, G., Chan, C. H., Gibby, A., Nazir, M. Z., Paterson, J., Seetanah, J., Yusof, F. (2018). The condensing engine: A heat engine for operating temperatures of 100°C and below. Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part A: Journal of Power and Energy, 232 (4), 437-448.
[8] Landelle, A. Tauveron, N., Haberscill, P., Revellin, R. & Colasson, S. (2017). Organic Rankine cycle design and performance comparison based on experimental database. Applied Energy, 204, 1172-1187.
[9] Muhammad, U., Imran, M., Lee, D. H., & Park, B. S. (2015). Design and experimental investigation of a 1 kW organic Rankine cycle system using R245fa as working fluid for low-grade waste heat recovery from steam. Energy Conversion and Management, 103, 1089-1100.
[10] Pei, G., Li, J., Li, Y., Wang, D., & Ji, J. (2011). Construction and dynamic test of a small-scale organic rankine cycle. Energy, 36 (5), 3215-3223.
[11] Wang, X. D., Zhao, L., Wang, J. L., Zhang, W. Z., Zhao, X. Z., & Wu, W. (2010). Performance evaluation of a low-temperature solar Rankine cycle system utilizing R245fa. Solar Energy, 84 (3), 353-364.
[12] Cipollone, R., Bianchi, G., Battista, D. D., Contaldi, G., & Murgia, S. (2014). Mechanical energy recovery from low grade thermal energy sources. Energy Procedia, 45, 121-130.
[13] Science Museum (2021). Science Museum Group. Model of a Hawthorn Davey Safety Domestic Engine a. 1998-756 Science Museum Group Collection Online. Accessed January 13, 2021. https://collection.sciencemuseumgroup.org.uk/objects/co468557/model-of-a-hawthorn-davey-safety-domestic-engine-a-model-safety-domestic-steam-engine.
[14] Pressure Equipment Directive (PED) (2014): European Directive 2014/68/EU, https://ec.europa.eu/growth/sectors/pressure-gas/pressure-equipment/directive_en (accessed 30.01.2021)2440-2454.
[15] Li, G., (2019) Organic Rankine cycle environmental impact investigation under various working fluids and heat domains concerning refrigerant leakage rates. Int. J. Environ. Sci. Technol. 16, 431–450. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13762-018-1686-y.
[16] Wang, S., Liu, C., Li, Q., Liu, L., Huo, E., & Zhang, C. (2020). Selection principle of working fluid for organic Rankine cycle based on environmental benefits and economic performance. Applied Thermal Engineering, 178, 115598.
Cite This Article
  • APA Style

    Gerald Muller, Curtis Howell. (2021). Comparative Analysis of ORC and Condensing Heat Engines for Low Grade Waste Heat Recovery. Applied Engineering, 5(1), 7-13. https://doi.org/10.11648/j.ae.20210501.15

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    ACS Style

    Gerald Muller; Curtis Howell. Comparative Analysis of ORC and Condensing Heat Engines for Low Grade Waste Heat Recovery. Appl. Eng. 2021, 5(1), 7-13. doi: 10.11648/j.ae.20210501.15

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    AMA Style

    Gerald Muller, Curtis Howell. Comparative Analysis of ORC and Condensing Heat Engines for Low Grade Waste Heat Recovery. Appl Eng. 2021;5(1):7-13. doi: 10.11648/j.ae.20210501.15

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  • @article{10.11648/j.ae.20210501.15,
      author = {Gerald Muller and Curtis Howell},
      title = {Comparative Analysis of ORC and Condensing Heat Engines for Low Grade Waste Heat Recovery},
      journal = {Applied Engineering},
      volume = {5},
      number = {1},
      pages = {7-13},
      doi = {10.11648/j.ae.20210501.15},
      url = {https://doi.org/10.11648/j.ae.20210501.15},
      eprint = {https://article.sciencepublishinggroup.com/pdf/10.11648.j.ae.20210501.15},
      abstract = {The re-use of low-grade waste heat has the potential to contribute significantly to a better energy efficiency of our economies. There is a resource of around 100 TWhr per year in this area in Europe alone. The technology development in this area is still ongoing. Organic Rankine Cycle systems are considered the most promising technology. However, a nearly forgotten technology, the condensing engine (CE), was recently re-discovered. CEs use water as working fluid, with an operating temperature of 100°C at atmospheric pressure. The water is evaporated, and then condensed in the engine, where the arising vacuum is employed to generate power. Condensing engines were built until the late 19th Century, and then disappeared. Results from tests conducted in 1885 with a 0.735 kW commercial engine showed a mechanical efficiency of 3.7%, with a second law efficiency of 24.7%. For comparison, four typical experimental studies of Organic Rankine Cycle systems with power ratings between 0.5 and 1.4 kW were reviewed. Their thermal efficiencies ranged from 4.2 to 6.8%. The ORC systems’ second law efficiencies ranged from 20 to 35%, with an average of 27.5%. The comparative analysis showed that the CE’s performance is comparable to modern systems. Theoretical work suggests that it has significant further development potential. The CE’s simplicity combined with good efficiency, the use of a very simple working fluid, reduced safety requirements and the development potential makes this a technology which can become important again.},
     year = {2021}
    }
    

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  • TY  - JOUR
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    AU  - Gerald Muller
    AU  - Curtis Howell
    Y1  - 2021/04/26
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    N1  - https://doi.org/10.11648/j.ae.20210501.15
    DO  - 10.11648/j.ae.20210501.15
    T2  - Applied Engineering
    JF  - Applied Engineering
    JO  - Applied Engineering
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    EP  - 13
    PB  - Science Publishing Group
    SN  - 2994-7456
    UR  - https://doi.org/10.11648/j.ae.20210501.15
    AB  - The re-use of low-grade waste heat has the potential to contribute significantly to a better energy efficiency of our economies. There is a resource of around 100 TWhr per year in this area in Europe alone. The technology development in this area is still ongoing. Organic Rankine Cycle systems are considered the most promising technology. However, a nearly forgotten technology, the condensing engine (CE), was recently re-discovered. CEs use water as working fluid, with an operating temperature of 100°C at atmospheric pressure. The water is evaporated, and then condensed in the engine, where the arising vacuum is employed to generate power. Condensing engines were built until the late 19th Century, and then disappeared. Results from tests conducted in 1885 with a 0.735 kW commercial engine showed a mechanical efficiency of 3.7%, with a second law efficiency of 24.7%. For comparison, four typical experimental studies of Organic Rankine Cycle systems with power ratings between 0.5 and 1.4 kW were reviewed. Their thermal efficiencies ranged from 4.2 to 6.8%. The ORC systems’ second law efficiencies ranged from 20 to 35%, with an average of 27.5%. The comparative analysis showed that the CE’s performance is comparable to modern systems. Theoretical work suggests that it has significant further development potential. The CE’s simplicity combined with good efficiency, the use of a very simple working fluid, reduced safety requirements and the development potential makes this a technology which can become important again.
    VL  - 5
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Author Information
  • University of Southampton, Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences, Southampton, UK; Soton Hydrodynamics Ltd., Southampton, UK

  • University of Southampton, Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences, Southampton, UK

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