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CO2 – based transcritical Rankine cycle coupled with a ground-cooled condenser

Mahmoud, M., Ramadan, M., Naher, S. ORCID: 0000-0003-2047-5807 , Pullen, K. & Olabi, A-G. (2021). CO2 – based transcritical Rankine cycle coupled with a ground-cooled condenser. Thermal Science and Engineering Progress, 25, article number 100948. doi: 10.1016/j.tsep.2021.100948


This paper presents a new system that incorporates the CO2-based transcritical Rankine cycle with a geothermal condenser. The innovation studied in the current proposed system is the use of shallow ground heat exchanger to activate a ground-cooled condenser instead of air-cooled in a power cycle. This combination is very beneficial for power generation, especially in summer because ground is more effective than the ambient air in extracting heat from the working fluid passing through the condenser due to its lower temperature. Thus, for the same amount of heat added to the cycle, more power could be produced due to the increase in pressure difference between the gas heater and condenser. Consequently, the operating cost of the system will be reduced. This parametric study covers a wide range of heat source applications with gas temperature and mass flow rate being varied between 500-1500°C and 100-350 kg/hr respectively. The objective is to generate the maximum possible power while minimizing the sizes of the heat exchangers. The results show that the best parameters to be controlled are the turbine inlet temperature and CO2 pipe diameter. The incorporation of ground-cooled condenser significantly enhanced the cycle’s performance in which the net output power could be increased by ∼30% compared to the conventional Rankine cycle. This enhancement mainly depends on the ground’s temperature since it directly changes the condensation temperature and hence affects the working fluid expansion.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2021. This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license
Publisher Keywords: Rankine cycle; transcritical Rankine cycle; geothermal condenser; geothermal energy; carbon dioxide; power generation
Subjects: T Technology > TD Environmental technology. Sanitary engineering
T Technology > TJ Mechanical engineering and machinery
Departments: School of Science & Technology > Engineering
[thumbnail of CO2 - geothermal condenser.pdf]
Text - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

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