Development of efficient small scale Organic Rankine Power Plants

Lead Research Organisation: University of Glasgow
Department Name: School of Engineering


The context of the research
The UK has set a target to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by at least 80% by 2050, relative to 1990 levels. To achieve this target, a reduction in energy consumption of around 40% will be required, and therefore significant improvements in energy efficiency are necessary. Energy recovery from industrial waste heat sources is considered to offer a significant contribution to improving overall energy efficiency in the energy-intensive industrial sectors.
Brief description of the context of the research including potential impact;
Although there are several alternative technologies for waste heat recovery, the ORC system remains the most promising in practice. Large ORC systems are commercially viable for high-temperature applications (e.g. Ormat, USA) however, the application to low-temperature waste heat (<250 centigrade ) is in its infancy. Yet more than 60% of UK industrial waste heat sources are in the low temperature band (<250 centrigrade). There is clearly a mismatch between ORC technology supply and demand, so innovative research and development for develop efficient small scale ORC power plants are highly required.
Aims and objectives;
Increase the understanding of Organic Rankine Cycle power plants using zeotropic mixture of refrigerants as the working fluid.
Investigate how the system performance can be improved in response to the changing heat source and heat sink temperature.

Novelty of the research methodology;
Dynamic modelling method
The utilization of zeotropic mixture as working fluid

Alignment to EPSRC's strategies and research areas;
The research theme of Energy will be addressed through the research area of Energy Efficiency (end use energy demand) which is the largest area highlighted for growth under this theme. Energy Efficiency is also a growing research area under the research theme Engineering. This project aligns closely with EPSRC's strategy on the energy theme and will address this challenge by developing a more efficient and flexible waste heat recovery system.
Its potential applications and benefits;
The developed technology can be widely applied for industrial waste heat recovery, and distributed power generation from biomass. The wide installation of this technology can reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve energy security.
Any companies or collaborators involved;
DRD Power Ltd and Wellman Thermal Technology


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/N509668/1 30/09/2016 29/09/2021
1804941 Studentship EP/N509668/1 30/09/2016 29/04/2021 Andrew McKeown