Thermodynamic Modeling of the Solar Organic Rankine Cycle with Selected Organic Working Fluids for Cogeneration

  • Suresh Baral Pusan National University, South Korea
  • Kyung Chun Kim School of Mechanical Engineering of Pusan National University in Korea
Keywords: Thermodynamic modeling, Solar organic Rankine cycle, Working fluids, Cogeneration, Heat source temperature, Hot water


Fifteen (15) organic fluids were thermodynamically modeled to evaluate their fitness and performance as working fluids in an Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) based cogeneration system. This article presents the exergy efficiency, thermal efficiency, solar power cycle efficiency, cogeneration efficiency, mass flow rate, heat input, required area of the solar collector and hot water production for the evaluated working fluids the low-temperature (90 and medium-temperature (125 solar organic Rankine cycles. Thermodynamic modeling was carried out using a commercial 1 kW scroll expander, two compact heat exchangers, a diaphragm pump and a solar collector. The article also describes the use of solar ORC technology for electricity generation and producing hot water as cogeneration. Commercial software, Engineering Equation Solver (EES), was used to calculate the operating parameters of the solar ORC. Of the 15 fluids investigated, R134a and R245fa were found to be the most appropriate working fluids for low-temperature and medium-temperature solar ORC cogeneration systems, respectively. RC318 and R123 offer attractive performance but require environmental precautions owing to their high ozone depletion potential (ODP) and high global warming potential (GWP). The article also estimates the hot water production from different working fluids for a period of one year in Busan, South Korea.


Download data is not yet available.

Author Biographies

Suresh Baral, Pusan National University, South Korea

Suresh Baral is a PhD student in the School of Mechanical Engineering, Pusan National University, South Korea. His advisor is Prof. KC Kim. Mr. Baral received his bachelor and master degree in Mechanical Engineering from Institute of Engineering, Pulchowk Campus and Kathmandu University, Nepal respectively. He is permanent faculty member in Pokhara University, Nepal as a Lecturer. His areas of interests are renewable energy, energy conversion technology and Finite Element Methods. He can be reached at

Kyung Chun Kim, School of Mechanical Engineering of Pusan National University in Korea

Kyung Chun Kim (corresponding author) is a Professor in the School of Mechanical Engineering of Pusan National University in Korea. He obtained the Ph.D. degree from the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), Korea, in 1987. He was selected as a member of the National Academy of Engineering of Korea in 2004. His research interests include 3D3C Micro-PIV, Bio-MEMS, turbulent flow measurements based on PIV/LIF, biomedical engineering, POCT development, wind turbines, and organic Rankine cycle system. He can be reached at


Chen H, Goswami DY, Stefanakos EK. A review of thermodynamic cycles and

working fluids for the conversion of low-grade heat. Renewable and Sustainable Energy

Reviews 2010; 14:3059-3067.

Tchanche BF, Lambrinos G, Frangoudakis A, Papadakis G. Low-grade heat conversion

into power using organic Rankine cycles -A review of various applications.

Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 2011; 15:3963-3979.

Quoilin S, Orosz M, Hemond H, Lemort V. Performance and design optimization

of a low-cost solar organic Rankine cycle for remote power generation. Solar Energy

; 85:955-966.

Saitoh T, Yamada N, Wakashima SI. Solar Rankine cycle system using scroll expander.

Journal of Environment and Engineering 2007; 2:708-719.

Jing L, Gang P, Jie J. Optimization of low temperature solar thermal electric generation

with Organic Rankine Cycle in different areas. Applied Energy 2010; 87:3355-

He YL, Mei DH, Tao WQ, Yang WW, Liu HL. Simulation of the parabolic trough

solar energy generation system with Organic Rankine Cycle. Applied Energy 2012;


Delgado-Torres AM, García-Rodríguez L. Preliminary assessment of solar organic

Rankine cycles for driving a desalination system. Desalination 2007; 216:252-275.

Pei G, Li J, Ji J. Analysis of low temperature solar thermal electric generation using

regenerative Organic Rankine Cycle. Applied Thermal Engineering; 30: 998-1004.

Wang XD, Zhao L, Wang, JL. Experimental investigation on the low-temperature

solar Rankine cycle system using R245fa. Energy Conversion and Management 2011;


Twomey B, Jacobs PA, Gurgenci H. Dynamic performance estimation of small-scale

solar cogeneration with an organic Rankine cycle using a scroll expander. Applied

Thermal Engineering 2013; 51:1307-1316.

Manolakos D, Papadakis G, Kyritsis S, Bouzianas K. Experimental evaluation of

an autonomous low-temperature solar Rankine cycle system for reverse osmosis

desalination. Desalination 2007; 203:366-374.

Mago PJ, Luck R. Energetic and exergetic analysis of waste heat recovery from a

microturbine using organic Rankine cycles. International Journal of Energy Research

; 30:926-938.

Bao J, Zhao L. A review of working fluid and expander selections for organic

Rankine cycle. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 2013;24:325-342.

RayeganR, Tao YX. A procedure to select working fluids for Solar Organic Rankine

Cycles (ORCs). Renewable Energy 2011; 36:659-670.

Gao H, Liu C, He C, Xu X, Wu S, Li. Performance Analysis and Working Fluid Selection

of a Supercritical Organic Rankine Cycle for Low Grade Waste Heat Recovery.

Energies 2012; 5:3233-3247.

Saleh B, Koglbauer G, Wendland M, Fischer J. Working fluids for low-temperature

organic Rankine cycles, Energy 2007; 32:1210-1221.

Maizza V, Maizza A. Unconventional working fluids in organic Rankine-cycles for

waste energy recovery systems. Applied Thermal Engineering 2001; 21:381-390.

Tchanche BF, Papadakis G, Lambrinos G, Frangoudakis A. Fluid selection for a

low-temperature solar organic Rankine cycle, Applied Thermal Engineering 2009;


Korea Meteorological Administration. Monthly and seasonal climate summary,

Available online: http://www. (accessed 08.13.13).

Yun E, Kim HD, Yoon SY, Kim KC. Development and characterization of smallscale

ORC system using scroll expander. Applied Mechanics and Materials 2013; 291-