Results of experimental and numerical investigations of wood chips drying are described in the paper. Experiments are carried out on two test facilities: a small laboratory rig and a larger pre-prototype dryer. Both facilities are thorough-circulation convective air dryers. The first one is a batch dryer, whereas the second one is a continuous dryer with wood chips flowing down by gravity from a charging hopper to a gutter with the aid of screw-conveyor. The latter is considered a half scale model (preprototype) for professional drying installations. A low feeding rate of wood chips into the pre-prototype dryer makes the process quasi-stationary and the difference between it and a batch drying is negligible. So, most experiments at this facility were carried out as batch dryers with non-agitated packed beds. The investigations exhibit the same linear correlation between the mass of evaporated water from the packed bed and the drying air velocity for both facilities. Numerical analysis of the drying process is conducted using the Ansys Fluent software enriched in drying capabilities by means of self-written procedures – user defined functions. Simulations confirmed a phenomenon of a drying front observed in the small laboratory rig. A thin layer of wood chips comprises the whole heat exchange and moisture evaporation phenomenon. The drying front travels downstream in the course of the process separating the already dried layer and still wet layer.
Turbine stages can be divided into two types: impulse stages and reaction stages. The advantages of one type over the second one are generally known based on the basic physics of turbine stage. In this paper these differences between mentioned two types of turbines were indicated on the example of single stage turbines dedicated to work in organic Rankine cycle (ORC) power systems. The turbines for two ORC cases were analysed: the plant generating up to 30 kW and up to 300 kW of net electric power, respectively. Mentioned ORC systems operate with different working fluids: DMC (dimethyl carbonate) for the 30 kW power plant and MM (hexamethyldisiloxane) for the 300 kW power plant. The turbines were compared according to three major issues: thermodynamic and aerodynamic performance, mechanical and manufacturing aspects. The analysis was performed by means of the 0D turbomachinery theory and 3D computational aerodynamic calculations. As a result of this analysis, the paper indicates conclusions which type of turbine is a recommended choice to use in ORC systems taking into account the features of these systems.
The paper illustrates a case study of fluid selection for an internal combustion engine heat recovery organic Rankine cycle (ORC) system having the net power of about 30 kW. Various criteria of fluid selection are discussed. Particular attention is paid to thermodynamic performance of the system and human safety. The selection of working fluid for the ORC system has a large impact on the next steps of the design process, i.e., the working substance affects the turbine design and the size and type of heat exchangers. The final choice is usually a compromise between thermodynamic performance, safety and impact on natural environment. The most important parameters in thermodynamic analysis include calculations of net generated power and ORC cycle efficiency. Some level of toxicity and flammability can be accepted only if the leakages are very low. The fluid thermal stability level has to be taken into account too. The economy is a key aspect from the commercial point of view and that includes not only the fluid cost but also other costs which are the consequence of particular fluid selection. The paper discusses various configurations of the ORC system – with and without a regenerator and with direct or indirect evaporation. The selected working fluids for the considered particular power plant include toluene, DMC (dimethyl carbonate) and MM (hexamethyldisiloxane). Their advantages and disadvantages are outlined.