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Abstract

In the paper a research on cost-effective optimum design boiling temperature for Organic Rankine Cycle utilizing low-temperature heat sources is presented. The ratio of the heat exchanger area of the boiler to the power output is used as the objective function. Analytical relations for heat transfer area as well power of the cycle are formulated. Evaporation temperature and inlet temperature of the heat source medium as well its mass flow rate are varied in the optimization method. The optimization is carried out for three working fluids, i.e. R 134a, water and ethanol. The objective function (economics profitability, thermodynamic efficiency) leads to different optimal working conditions in terms of evaporating temperature. Maximum power generation in the near-critical conditions of subcritical ORC is the highest. The choice of the working fluid can greatly affect the objective function which is a measure of power plant cost. Ethanol exhibits a minimum objective function but not necessarily the maximum cycle efficiency.
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