This paper presents an innovative hybrid and compact organic Rankine cycle (ORC) system for micro combined heat and power utilizing solar thermal energy and natural gas. The ORC investigated in this work consists of heat sources, an evaporator, a scroll expander, a condenser, a fluid pump, a recuperator, a control unit and solar heater simulator. The experimental ORC unit has an electric power capacity of 1100 We. Its advantages include short start-up time, clean and automatic operation, low maintenance and very low noise level. It is well suited for hybrid solar and natural gas energy systems. A mathematical model was established to assess the thermodynamic performance of the ORC system under various conditions. Power output and thermal efficiency were calculated using the established model.
Keywords ORC; solar energy; natural gas; power; model