Conference Year



Roots, expander, ORC


The performance of internal combustion engines can be improved by valorising the waste heat by means of organic Rankine Cycle power systems (ORC). This paper focuses on an expander of a truck-embedded ORC system. The considered expander is a roots machine. The roots machine is a volumetric machine characterized by a theoretical internal volume ratio of 1. It is typically used as compressor under low pressure ratios (for instance, engine supercharging or air “blowers”). First, a test rig has been built to perform several tests on the volumetric machine. It is an ORC power system with a typical architecture using R245fa as working fluid (and 5% in mass oil fraction), heated oil as heat source and tap water as heat sink. Maps presenting produced powers, filling factors and isentropic efficiencies versus on one side the pressure ratio (from 1.2 to 4.5) and on the other side the shaft rotational speed (from 1000 to 11000 RPM) are investigated. The maximal delivered power is slightly above 3 kW. Concerning the filling factor the range is between 0.85 and 2.75 and the isentropic efficiency reaches a maximum about 50%. Wet expansions are envisaged leading to a deterioration of the performance. From the experimental data, a semi-empirical model is calibrated. This model is able to extrapolate the performance outside the experimental operating conditions and identify the different loss sources. Moreover, effects of overheat level and lubricating oil are also envisaged. The actual tested machine does not have an internal volumetric ratio strictly equal to 1 but is slightly larger. Such volumetric ratio implies that best efficiencies are achieved under small pressure ratios. However, these limited pressure ratios do not lead to large produced powers. To tackle this issue, simulations based on the calibrated model are driven for two expanders in series. This allows to increase the global internal volumetric ratio and shift the best performance towards higher pressure ratios. To enhance either the efficiency or the output power, the intermediate pressure (i.e. the pressure between the two expanders in series) is numerically optimized.