pp 1–7 | Cite as

Investigation of Performance Enhancements for Air Brayton/ORC Combined Cycles for Small (~ 2 MWe) Power Systems and a Moderate Heat Source Temperature

  • Joseph Litrel
  • Donna Post GuillenEmail author
  • Michael McKellar
Computational Approaches for Energy Materials and Processes


Attractive power generation cycles from economic and sustainability considerations are highly efficient and require minimal cooling water. Air Brayton cycles (ABCs) require no cooling water; however, air Brayton combined cycles (ABCCs), which require a minimal water, are more efficient. Several ABCs and ABCCs designed to operate at 5 MWth (~ 2 MWe) were evaluated in temperate environments with a constant temperature heat source at 650°C. An Organic Rankine cycle (ORC) operating with r143a was selected for the bottoming cycle based on previous analyses. Efficiency can increase from 22.0% in the standard ABC to 39.8% in the ABCC. Various performance enhancements were explored, including air inlet cooling, ORC regeneration, and ORC reheat. For the recuperated ABCC with evaporative cooling, the capital cost is < US$17M and the payback period is < 13 years. The major exergy losses are 56.4% spent as work at the ABC turbine and 23.5% lost at the heat source.



This manuscript was authored by Battelle Energy Alliance, LLC, under Contract No. DE-AC07-05-ID14517 with the U.S. Department of Energy. Support for Joseph Litrel was provided by the U.S. DOE Office of Science, Office of Workforce Development for Teachers and Scientists under the SULI program. Funding for Michael McKellar was provided by the Center for Advanced Energy Studies Visiting Summer Faculty Program. Donna Guillen wishes to thank Gabriel Ilevbare of Idaho National Laboratory for providing support for this work.

Supplementary material

11837_2018_3257_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (373 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 373 kb)


  1. 1.
    C. Andreades, Ph.D. Thesis, University of California, Berkeley (2015)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    L.J. Nayak and M. Dhaneshwar, International Conference on Recent Innovations in Engineering & Technology, Bhubaneswar (2014)
  3. 3.
    X. Zhang, L. Wu, X. Wang, and G. Ju, Appl Thermal Eng. 106, 1427 (2016).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    N. Tauveron, S. Colasson and J.A. Gruss, ASME 2014 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition. IMECE2014-37984 (2014)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    U. Kumar, M. Karimi, and M. Asjad, Int. J. Sustain. Energy 35, 774 (2016).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    J. Bao and L. Zhao, Renew. Sustain Energy Rev. 24, 325 (2013).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    U. Drescher and D. Bruggermann, Appl. Therm. Eng. 2, 223 (2007).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    D. Ginosar, L. Petkovic, and D.P. Guillen, Energy Fuels 25, 4138 (2011).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    D.P. Guillen, J. Mater. 64, 985 (2012).Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    R.E. Niggeman, W.J. Greenlee and P. Lacey, ASME Paper 78-WA/Ener-6. Presented at the Winter Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA, USA, Dec. 10–15, 1978Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    P. Mago, L. Chamra, K. Srinivasan, and C. Somayaji, Appl. Therm. Eng. 28, 998 (2008).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    V. Maizza and A. Maizza, Appl. Therm. Eng. 21, 381 (2001).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    B. Saleh, G. Koglbauer, M. Wendland, and J. Fisher, Energy 32, 1210 (2007).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    J. Litrel, D.P. Guillen and M. McKellar, 2018 International Topical Meeting on Advances in Thermal Hydraulics (ATH18), Orlando, Florida, Nov 11-15 (2018)Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    B. Zohuri, P.J. McDaniel, and C.R.R. De Oliveira, Nucl. Technol. 192, 48 (2015).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    B. Zohuri, Innovative Open Air Brayton Combined Cycle Systems for the Next Generation Nuclear Power Plants, Nuclear Engineering ETDs University of New Mexico Digital Repository (2014)Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    I. H. Njoku, C.O.C. Oko and J.C. Ofodu, Performance evaluation of a combined cycle power plant integrated with organic rankine cycle and absorption refrigeration system, Cogent Engineering (2018)
  18. 18.
    M.M. El-Wakil, Powerplant Technology, Chapters 2–5 and 2–6 (Singapore: McGraw-Hill, 1984), pp. 38–44.Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    G.J. Van Wylen and R.E. Sonntag, Fundamentals of Classical Thermodynamics, 2nd ed. (New York, NY: Wiley, 1972), pp. 309–314.Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    M.J. Moran, H.N. Shapiro, D.D. Boettner, and M.B. Bailey, Fundamentals of Engineering Thermodynamics, 8th ed. (New York, NY: Wiley, 2014), p. 388.Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    “Gas Turbine Prices by kW” (2018 Nye Thermodynamics Corp), Accessed 24 Oct 2018
  22. 22.
    R.H. Perry and C.H. Chilton, Chemical Engineers’ Handbook (New York, NY: McGraw-Hill, 1973), pp. 16–25.Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    M. McKellar, Power cycles for the generation of electricity from a next generation nuclear plant, Idaho National Laboratory Report, TEV-674 (2010)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© This is a U.S. government work and its text is not subject to copyright protection in the United States; however, its text may be subject to foreign copyright protection 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joseph Litrel
    • 1
  • Donna Post Guillen
    • 2
    Email author
  • Michael McKellar
    • 3
  1. 1.Georgia Institute of TechnologyAtlantaUSA
  2. 2.Idaho National LaboratoryIdaho FallsUSA
  3. 3.University of Idaho - Idaho FallsIdaho FallsUSA

Personalised recommendations