News Column

New Energy Research Study Results Reported from University of Nottingham (Modelling and testing of a hybrid solar-biomass ORC-based micro-CHP system)

July 25, 2014

By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Energy Weekly News -- New research on Energy Research is the subject of a report. According to news reporting out of Nottingham, United Kingdom, by VerticalNews editors, research stated, "Expanders employed recently in organic Rankine cycle (ORC)-based systems suffer from key problems including excessive working fluid leakage, thermal losses, low isentropic efficiency and high cost. The majority of the units available in the market are for medium and large-scale applications (>100 kW) with no commercial micro-scale expanders available and applicable for ORC units for residential and building applications."

Our news journalists obtained a quote from the research from the University of Nottingham, "Moreover, the majority of the studies conducted on ORC expanders employed HFC and HCFC working fluids which have high global warming potential leading to negative environmental impacts. In this study, a micro-scale CHP system based on the ORC technology is theoretically and experimentally investigated to provide the thermal needs and part of the electrical demands for residential applications. An innovative design for a hybrid ORC-based micro-CHP system is proposed using a biomass boiler and a solar concentrator to run the CHP system providing more reliable and clean operation compared to conventional natural gas-driven units. The micro-CHP system employs a new type small-scale scroll expander with a compact design, integrating the generator and the turbine in a single unit. A numerical model was developed using the Engineering Equation Solver (EES) software to simulate the thermodynamic behaviour of the ORC unit predicting the thermal and electrical performance of the overall CHP system. In addition, an experimental setup was built to test the whole ORC-CHP system performance under different conditions, and the effect of various operational parameters on the system performance has been presented using an environmentally friendly HFE7100 working fluid. The maximum electric power generated by the expander was in the range of 500 W at a pressure differential of about 4.5 bars. The attained expander isentropic efficiency was over 80% at its peak operating conditions with no fluid leakage observed."

According to the news editors, the research concluded: "Being mass-produced with low cost in the automotive industry along with the high isentropic efficiency and the leakage-free performance, the proposed compact scroll expander represents a potential candidate to be used in the development of micro-scale ORC-CHP units for building applications."

For more information on this research see: Modelling and testing of a hybrid solar-biomass ORC-based micro-CHP system. International Journal of Energy Research, 2014;38(8):1039-1052. International Journal of Energy Research can be contacted at: Wiley-Blackwell, 111 River St, Hoboken 07030-5774, NJ, USA. (Wiley-Blackwell -; International Journal of Energy Research -

Our news journalists report that additional information may be obtained by contacting M. Jradi, University of Nottingham, Inst Sustainable Energy Technol, Dept. of Architecture & Built Environm, Nottingham NG7 2RD, United Kingdom.

Keywords for this news article include: Europe, Nottingham, United Kingdom, Energy Research

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Source: Energy Weekly News

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