Thermodynamic analysis of a small scale combined cycle for energy generation from carbon neutral biomass
Riccardo Amirante, Pietro De Palma, Elia Distaso, Antonio Pantaleo, Paolo Tamburrano
Session: Poster session & Welcome drinks
Session starts: Wednesday 13 September, 17:30
Riccardo Amirante (Department of Mechanics, Mathematics and Management, Polytechnic University of Bari)
Pietro De Palma (Department of Mechanics, Mathematics and Management, Polytechnic University of Bari)
Elia Distaso (Department of Mechanics, Mathematics and Management, Polytechnic University of Bari)
Antonio Pantaleo (DISAAT Department, University of Bari)
Paolo Tamburrano (Department of Mechanics, Mathematics and Management, Polytechnic University of Bari)
The aim of this paper is to investigate the thermodynamic performances of a small-scale power plant employing a combined cycle for the generation of useful energy from carbon-neutral biomass, such as pruning residues. The combined cycle has the particularity of being composed of a cost-effective topping plant based on a Joule Brayton cycle, which is achieved by using a cheap turbocharger from the automotive industry instead of a more expensive commercial micro-turbine. The turbocharger can be either directly connected to the electric generator (after a few modifications) or coupled (without modifications) with a power turbine moving the generator. The use of solid biomass as fuel is allowed by coupling the turbocharger with an external combustor and a gas to gas heat exchanger. The warm flue gases exhausted by the topping cycle are then used in the bottoming cycle to produce steam, which can power a steam expander.
This paper thermodynamically assesses this combined cycle in the case of using the turbocharger plus the power turbine; a very small scale configuration (50 kWe) with a fully electrical energy generation arrangement is considered in the analysis. Furthermore, the main aim is to compare the bottoming Rankine cycle with a bottoming ORC in terms of overall efficiency and sustainability.