Imperial College London


Faculty of EngineeringDepartment of Chemical Engineering

Research Associate







ACE ExtensionSouth Kensington Campus






BibTex format

author = {Unamba, C and Li, X and Song, J and Wang, K and Shu, G and Tian, H and Sapin, P and Markides, CN},
publisher = {ECOS},
title = {Off-design performance of a 1-kWe organic Rankine cycle (ORC) system},
url = {},
year = {2019}

RIS format (EndNote, RefMan)

AB - Several heat-to-power conversion technologies are being proposed as suitable for waste heat recovery (WHR) applications, including thermoelectric generators, hot-air (e.g., Ericsson or Stirling) engines, and vapour-cycle engines such as steam or organic Rankine cycle (ORC) power systems. The latter has demonstrated the highest efficiencies at low and intermediate scales and heat-source temperatures. However, ORC systems suffer a deterioration in performance at part-load or off-design conditions, and the high global warming potential (GWP) or flammability of common working fluids is an increasing concern. This paper presents the experimental investigation of a 1-kWe ORC test facility under time-varying heat-source conditions. It aims to compare the part-load performance of various architectures with different working fluids, namely: (i) R245fa, which is widely used in ORC systems, and (ii) low-GWP HFOs. The experimental apparatus is composed of a rotary-vane pump, brazed-plate evaporators and condensers, and a scroll expander with an adjustable load. An electric heater is used to provide a hot oil stream at three different temperatures: 80, 100 and 120 °C. The optimal operating conditions, i.e., pump speed and expander load, are determined for each architecture at various heat-source conditions. A maximum thermal efficiency of 2.8% is reported for a heat-source temperature of 100 °C, while a maximum net power output of 430 W is obtained for a heat source at 120 °C. An exergy analysis allows us to quantify the contribution of each component to the overall exergy destruction. The share of the evaporator, condenser and expander units remain major for all three heat-source conditions, while the exergy destroyed in the pump is negligible in comparison (below 4%).
AU - Unamba,C
AU - Li,X
AU - Song,J
AU - Wang,K
AU - Shu,G
AU - Tian,H
AU - Sapin,P
AU - Markides,CN
PY - 2019///
TI - Off-design performance of a 1-kWe organic Rankine cycle (ORC) system
UR -
ER -