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Techno-Economic Model for a Quick Preliminary Feasibility Evaluation of Organic Rankine Cycle Applications

Original scientific paper

Journal of Sustainable Development of Energy, Water and Environment Systems
Volume 9, Issue 1, March 2021, 1080336
DOI: https://doi.org/10.13044/j.sdewes.d8.0336
Aleš Hribernik1 , Tanja Markovič Hribernik2
1 Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, University of Maribor, Smetanova 17, Maribor, Slovenia
2 Faculty of Economics and Business, University of Maribor, Razlagova 14, Maribor, Slovenia


The investment decision support tool was developed, which can be applied to check the technical feasibility and economic viability of an Organic Rankine Cycle system, and to select the appropriate working fluid, based only on basic information on the waste heat source, i.e. source temperature and mass (heat) flow rate. Two profitability criteria, Net Present Value and Payback Period, were introduced for economic evaluation, while an Organic Rankine Cycle design correlations-based model was developed, and applied for prediction of technical parameters and components’ design estimation. Validation performed with the previously published data confirmed model accuracy in spite of its simplicity. The model gave quick answers, and was incorporated successfully into a decision algorithm, which was supported by a set of system component design and cost functions, and could serve as an effective tool for preliminary feasibility evaluation of any proposed Organic Rankine Cycle based waste heat recovery system. An example of model application over the broad range of waste heat source temperatures is presented and the results discussed in order to show its basic capabilities.

Keywords: Waste heat utilization, Organic Rankine Cycle, Thermodynamic model, Economic evaluation, Investment decision support tool.

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