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Solar Concentrator for Organic Rankine Cycle Electricity

How An Organic Rankine Cycle Engine Works a With Solar Concentrator

solar-organic-rankine-cycleThe Organic Rankine Cycle is a thermodynamic cycle which converts heat into work. The heat is supplied externally to a closed loop, which usually uses water as working fluid.Simply put, the working fluid (usually water) is pumped into a boiler. While the fluid is in the boiler, an external heat source (Solar Concentrator) superheats the fluid.

The hot water vapor then expands to drive a turbine. Once past the turbine, the steam is condensed back into liquid and recycled back to the pump to start the cycle all over again.

In Organic Rankine Cycle applications, the thermal temperature required to produce electricity requires temperatures up  to 305 C. The 9M solar concentrator with the High Temp Absorber (HTA) can be configured to produce the required temperatures to run the organic rankine cycle engine.

An Organic Rankine Cycle that produces 1MW of utility grade electrical power requires roughly 4 MW (4,034 kW) of solar thermal energy at 305 degrees celsius. A solar power plant will require 90  solar concentrator (solar dish) systems. The advantage of Organic Rankine Cycle engine is that it can utilize the heat from bio-mass and solar to maximize the energy production and produce electricity 24 hours / day. 

How An Organic Rankine Engine Operates?

The video below explains how an Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) engine operates with biomass thermal heat source (the same principal applies with solar concentrator technology as the heat source). 

Benefits of Using 9M Solar Concentrator With ORC:

    • Provides working fluid temperature of over 270 degrees celsius
    • Designed to provide maximum temperatures to all Organic Rankine Engine systems
    • Can be deployed on uneven terrain
    • Lower LCoE than parabolic trough
    • Can be scalable in sizes ranging from 1 MW to hundreds of MWs enabling it to make optimal use of the existing transmission facilities
    • Low land use per deployed MW, and provides customers with a lower LCoE

Why Choose ORC over PV panels?

    • Heat storage in concrete or salt storage systems provides 24 hour power generation
    • Ability to use bio-mass or geothermal energy in conjunction with concentrated solar power
    • Smaller area for electricity production (1MW in 3 hectares)