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Sensitivity of transcritical cycle and turbine design to dopant fraction in CO2-based working fluids

Aqel, O., White, M. ORCID: 0000-0002-7744-1993, Khader, M. A. ORCID: 0000-0002-5771-2258 and Sayma, A. I. ORCID: 0000-0003-2315-0004 (2021). Sensitivity of transcritical cycle and turbine design to dopant fraction in CO2-based working fluids. Applied Thermal Engineering, 190, 116796. doi: 10.1016/j.applthermaleng.2021.116796


Supercritical CO2 (sCO2) power cycles have gained prominence for their expected excellent performance and compactness. Among their benefits, they may potentially reduce the cost of Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) plants. Because the critical temperature of CO2 is close to ambient temperatures in areas with good solar irradiation, dry cooling may penalise the efficiency of sCO2 power cycles in CSP plants. Recent research has investigated doping CO2 with different materials to increase its critical temperature, enhance its thermodynamic cycle performance, and adapt it to dry cooling in arid climates.

This paper investigates the use of CO2/TiCl4, CO2/NOD (an unnamed Non-Organic Dopant), and CO2/C6F6 mixtures as working fluids in a transcritical Rankine cycle implemented in a 100 MWe power plant. Specific focus is given to the effect of dopant type and fraction on optimal cycle operating conditions and on key parameters that influence the expansion process. Thermodynamic modelling of a simple recuperated cycle is employed to identify the optimal turbine pressure ratio and recuperator effectiveness that achieve the highest cycle efficiency for each assumed dopant molar fraction. A turbine design model is then used to define the turbine geometry based on optimal cycle conditions.

It was found that doping CO2 with any of the three dopants (TiCl4, NOD, or C6F6) increases the cycle’s thermal efficiency. The greatest increase in efficiency is achieved with TiCl4 (up to 49.5%). The specific work, on the other hand, decreases with TiCl4 and C6F6, but increases with NOD. Moreover, unlike the other two dopants, NOD does not alleviate recuperator irreversibility. In terms of turbine design sensitivity, the addition of any of the three dopants increases the pressure, temperature, and expansion ratios across the turbine. The fluid’s density at turbine inlet increases with all dopants as well. Conversely, the speed of sound at turbine inlet decreases with all dopants, yet higher Mach numbers are expected in CO2/C6F6 turbines.

Publication Type: Article
Publisher Keywords: Transcritical Rankine cycle, Axial turbine, Sensitivity analysis, CSPCO2-based mixtures, Dry-cooling
Subjects: T Technology > TJ Mechanical engineering and machinery
T Technology > TL Motor vehicles. Aeronautics. Astronautics
Departments: School of Mathematics, Computer Science & Engineering > Engineering > Mechanical Engineering & Aeronautics
Date available in CRO: 03 Mar 2021 07:40
Date deposited: 3 March 2021
Date of acceptance: 23 February 2021
Date of first online publication: 21 March 2021
Text - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons: Attribution International Public License 4.0.

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