Organic Rankine Cycles are often used in the exploitation of low-temperature heat sources. The relatively small temperature differential available to these projects makes them particularly vulnerable to changing ambient conditions, especially if an air-cooled condenser is used. The authors have recently demonstrated that an a dynamic ORC with a variable working fluid composition, tuned to match the condensing temperature with the heat sink, can be used to achieve a considerable increase in year-round power generation under such conditions . However, this assumed the expander was a turbine capable of operating at multiple pressure ratios for large scale applications. This paper will investigate if small scale ORC systems that use positive-displacement expanders with fixed expansion ratios could also benefit from this new concept. In this paper, a numerical model was firstly developed. A comprehensive analysis was then conducted for a case study. The results showed that the dynamic Organic Rankine Cycle concept can be applied to lower-power applications that use that use positive-displacement expanders with fixed expansion ratios and still result in improvements in year-round energy generation.
Papers presented to the 12th International Conference on Heat Transfer, Fluid Mechanics and Thermodynamics, Costa de Sol, Spain on 11-13 July 2016.