Multi-Objective Optimal Design of an Organic Rankine Cycle Plate Heat Exchanger with Phase Change

Document Type : Research Article


1 Mechanical Engineering, Shahrood University of Technology, Shahrood, Iran.

2 Mechanical Engineering, Shahrood University of Technology, Shahrood, Iran

3 Department of Engineering, University of Salford, UK


In this study, a multi-objective optimization method founded on genetic algorithms is implemented to obtain optimized geometrical parameters for the plate heat exchanger configuration which causes pressure drop minimization and overall heat transfer coefficient maximization. This heat exchanger is basically designed as an evaporator of Organic Rankine Cycles by considering R123 as the working fluid. It is supposed that water vapor with entrance temperature of is deployed as hot fluid. A multi-objective optimization method founded on genetic algorithms is implemented to optimize geometrical parameters for the heat exchanger configuration which leads to pressure drop minimization and overall heat transfer coefficient maximization. Two objective functions are conflicting with each other that both single and two-phase flow scenarios are also addressed. In the present optimization method, a Pareto solution is used which permits the derivation of a mathematical relation between the two objective functions simultaneously and yields the optimal geometrical parameters for heat exchangers subjected to constraints associated with the Pareto optimal set. A detailed sensitivity analysis has been conducted for each geometrical parameter and the effects of each parameter on key design characteristics have been evaluated. Both objective functions of the overall heat transfer coefficient and the total drop are reduced, by increasing the ports’ diameter and, due to increasing the thickness of each plate inside the plate heat exchanger, the two-sheet spacing will naturally reduce.


Main Subjects

[1] W. Colella, Design options for achieving a rapidly variable heat-to-power ratio in a combined heat and power (CHP) fuel cell system (FCS), Journal of Power Sources, 106(1-2) (2002) 388-396.
[2] G.L. Basso, B. Nastasi, F. Salata, I. Golasi, Energy retrofitting of residential buildings—How to couple Combined Heat and Power (CHP) and Heat Pump (HP) for thermal management and off-design operation, Energy and Buildings, 151 (2017) 293-305.
[3] J. Keirstead, N. Samsatli, N. Shah, C. Weber, The impact of CHP (combined heat and power) planning restrictions on the efficiency of urban energy systems, Energy, 41(1) (2012) 93-103.
[4] K.K. Shah, A.S. Mundada, J.M. Pearce, Performance of US hybrid distributed energy systems: Solar photovoltaic, battery and combined heat and power, Energy Conversion and Management, 105 (2015) 71-80.
[5] F. Vélez, J.J. Segovia, M.C. Martín, G. Antolín, F. Chejne, A. Quijano, A technical, economical and market review of organic Rankine cycles for the conversion of low-grade heat for power generation, Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 16(6) (2012) 4175-4189.
[6] J. Wang, L. Zhao, X. Wang, An experimental study on the recuperative low temperature solar Rankine cycle using R245fa, Applied Energy, 94 (2012) 34-40.
[7] N.B. Desai, S. Bandyopadhyay, Process integration of organic Rankine cycle, Energy, 34(10) (2009) 1674-1686.
[8] J. Xu, X. Luo, Y. Chen, S. Mo, Multi-criteria design optimization and screening of heat exchangers for a subcritical ORC, Energy Procedia, 75 (2015) 1639-1645.
[9] M.-H. Yang, R.-H. Yeh, Economic performances optimization of the transcritical Rankine cycle systems in geothermal application, Energy Conversion and Management, 95 (2015) 20-31.
[10] M.-H. Yang, R.-H. Yeh, Economic performances optimization of an organic Rankine cycle system with lower global warming potential working fluids in geothermal application, Renewable Energy, 85 (2016) 1201-1213.
[11] A.I. Papadopoulos, M. Stijepovic, P. Linke, On the systematic design and selection of optimal working fluids for Organic Rankine Cycles, Applied thermal engineering, 30(6-7) (2010) 760-769.
[12] Y. Dai, J. Wang, L. Gao, Parametric optimization and comparative study of organic Rankine cycle (ORC) for low grade waste heat recovery, Energy Conversion and Management, 50(3) (2009) 576-582.
[13] J. Sarkar, S. Bhattacharyya, Potential of organic Rankine cycle technology in India: working fluid selection and feasibility study, Energy, 90 (2015) 1618-1625.
[14] T. Deethayat, T. Kiatsiriroat, C. Thawonngamyingsakul, Performance analysis of an organic Rankine cycle with internal heat exchanger having zeotropic working fluid, Case Studies in Thermal Engineering, 6 (2015) 155-161.
[15] S. Aghahosseini, I. Dincer, Comparative performance analysis of low-temperature Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) using pure and zeotropic working fluids, Applied Thermal Engineering, 54(1) (2013) 35-42.
[16] T. Hung, S. Wang, C. Kuo, B. Pei, K. Tsai, A study of organic working fluids on system efficiency of an ORC using low-grade energy sources, Energy, 35(3) (2010) 1403-1411.
[17] M. Ibarra, A. Rovira, D.-C. Alarcón-Padilla, J. Blanco, Performance of a 5 kWe Organic Rankine Cycle at part-load operation, Applied energy, 120 (2014) 147-158.
[18] J. Roy, A. Misra, Parametric optimization and performance analysis of a regenerative Organic Rankine Cycle using R-123 for waste heat recovery, Energy, 39(1) (2012) 227-235.
[19] Z. Wang, N. Zhou, J. Guo, X. Wang, Fluid selection and parametric optimization of organic Rankine cycle using low temperature waste heat, Energy, 40(1) (2012) 107-115.
[20] P.J. Mago, L.M. Chamra, K. Srinivasan, C. Somayaji, An examination of regenerative organic Rankine cycles using dry fluids, Applied thermal engineering, 28(8-9) (2008) 998-1007.
[21] M. Yari, Performance analysis of the different organic Rankine cycles (ORCs) using dry fluids, International Journal of Exergy, 6(3) (2009) 323-342.
[22] H. Chen, D.Y. Goswami, E.K. Stefanakos, A review of thermodynamic cycles and working fluids for the conversion of low-grade heat, Renewable and sustainable energy reviews, 14(9) (2010) 3059-3067.
[23] J. Roy, M. Mishra, A. Misra, Performance analysis of an Organic Rankine Cycle with superheating under different heat source temperature conditions, Applied Energy, 88(9) (2011) 2995-3004.
[24] L. Wang, B. Sunden, Optimal design of plate heat exchangers with and without pressure drop specifications, Applied Thermal Engineering, 23(3) (2003) 295-311.
[25] S. Karellas, A. Schuster, A.-D. Leontaritis, Influence of supercritical ORC parameters on plate heat exchanger design, Applied Thermal Engineering, 33 (2012) 70-76.
[26] Y.-Y. Yan, T.-F. Lin, Evaporation heat transfer and pressure drop of refrigerant R-134a in a plate heat exchanger,  (1999).
[27] S.A. Vaziri, M. Ghannad, O.A. Bég, Exact thermoelastic analysis of a thick cylindrical functionally graded material shell under unsteady heating using first order shear deformation theory, Heat Transfer—Asian Research, 48(5) (2019) 1737-1760.
[28] D. Walraven, B. Laenen, W. D’haeseleer, Comparison of shell-and-tube with plate heat exchangers for the use in low-temperature organic Rankine cycles, Energy conversion and management, 87 (2014) 227-237.
[29] J.H. Holland, Adaptation in natural and artificial systems: an introductory analysis with applications to biology, control, and artificial intelligence, MIT press, 1992.
[30] K. Deb, Optimization for engineering design: Algorithms and examples, PHI Learning Pvt. Ltd., 2012.
[31] H. Najafi, B. Najafi, P. Hoseinpoori, Energy and cost optimization of a plate and fin heat exchanger using genetic algorithm, Applied Thermal Engineering, 31(10) (2011) 1839-1847.
[32] J.G. Andreasen, U. Larsen, T. Knudsen, L. Pierobon, F. Haglind, Selection and optimization of pure and mixed working fluids for low grade heat utilization using organic Rankine cycles, Energy, 73 (2014) 204-213.
[33] H. Xi, M.-J. Li, C. Xu, Y.-L. He, Parametric optimization of regenerative organic Rankine cycle (ORC) for low grade waste heat recovery using genetic algorithm, Energy, 58 (2013) 473-482.
[34] J. Wang, M. Wang, M. Li, J. Xia, Y. Dai, Multi-objective optimization design of condenser in an organic Rankine cycle for low grade waste heat recovery using evolutionary algorithm, International communications in heat and mass transfer, 45 (2013) 47-54.
[35] R. Hilbert, G. Janiga, R. Baron, D. Thévenin, Multi-objective shape optimization of a heat exchanger using parallel genetic algorithms, International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer, 49(15-16) (2006) 2567-2577.
[36] H. Najafi, B. Najafi, Multi-objective optimization of a plate and frame heat exchanger via genetic algorithm, Heat and mass transfer, 46(6) (2010) 639-647.
[37] M. Rashidi, O.A. Bég, A.B. Parsa, F. Nazari, Analysis and optimization of a transcritical power cycle with regenerator using artificial neural networks and genetic algorithms, Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part A: Journal of Power and Energy, 225(6) (2011) 701-717.
[38] O. Anwar Beg, M. Rashidi, N. Mehr, Comparative thermodynamic study of air standard cycles with heat transfer and variable specific heats of the working fluid, Int. J. Appl. Math. and Mech, 10(2) (2014) 41-60.
[39] H. Martin, Heat exchangers, CRC Press, 1992.
[40] H. Martin, A theoretical approach to predict the performance of chevron-type plate heat exchangers, Chemical Engineering and Processing: Process Intensification, 35(4) (1996) 301-310.
[41] D.-H. Han, K.-J. Lee, Y.-H. Kim, Experiments on the characteristics of evaporation of R410A in brazed plate heat exchangers with different geometric configurations, Applied thermal engineering, 23(10) (2003) 1209-1225.
[42] M. Mitchell, An introduction to genetic algorithms, MIT press, 1998.
[43] S. Kakac, H. Liu, A. Pramuanjaroenkij, Heat exchangers: selection, rating, and thermal design, CRC press, 2020.