Graduation Year

2011

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Ph.D.

Degree Granting Department

Mechanical Engineering

Major Professor

Yogi D. Goswami

Keywords

Ammonia-water mixture, Combined cycle, Multi-turbine stage, Scroll expander, Thermodynamic analysis

Abstract

Development of innovative thermodynamic cycles is important for the efficient utilization of low-temperature heat sources such as solar, geothermal, and waste heat sources. Binary mixtures exhibit variable boiling temperatures during the boiling process, which leads to a good thermal match between the heating fluid and working fluid for efficient heat source utilization. This study presents a theoretical and an experimental analysis of a combined power/cooling cycle, which combines the Rankine and absorption refrigeration cycles, uses ammonia-water mixture as the working fluid and produces power and refrigeration, while power is the primary goal. This cycle, also known as the Goswami Cycle, can be used as a bottoming cycle using waste heat from a conventional power cycle or as an independent cycle using low to mid-temperature sources such as geothermal and solar energy. A thermodynamic analysis of power and cooling cogeneration was presented.

The performance of the cycle for a range of boiler pressures, ammonia concentrations, and isentropic turbine efficiencies were studied to find out the sensitivities of net work, amount of cooling and effective efficiencies. The thermodynamic analysis covered a broad range of boiler temperatures, from 85 °C to 350 °C. The first law efficiencies of 25-31% are achievable with the boiler temperatures of 250-350 °C. The cycle can operate at an effective exergy efficiency of 60-68% with the boiler temperature range of 200-350 °C. An experimental study was conducted to verify the predicted trends and to test the performance of a scroll type expander. The experimental results of vapor production were verified by the expected trends to some degree, due to heat transfer losses in the separator vessel. The scroll expander isentropic efficiency was between 30-50%, the expander performed better when the vapor was superheated. The small scale of the experimental cycle affected the testing conditions and cycle outputs. This cycle can be designed and scaled from a kilowatt to megawatt systems. Utilization of low temperature sources and heat recovery is definitely an active step in improving the overall energy conversion efficiency and decreasing the capital cost of energy per unit.

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