Due to environmental constraints, the Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) is widely used to generate electricity from low grade heat sources. In ORC processes, the working fluid is an organic substance, which has a better thermodynamic performance than water for low grade heat recovery. The design of the turbine which is the key component in the ORC system strongly depends on the operating conditions and on the scale of the facility. This paper presents an experimental study on a prototype of an axial-flow turbine integrated into a regenerative ORC system with R123 as working fluid. The power output is 10kW scale, and the single-stage turbine is selected. The turbine is specially designed and manufactured, and a generator is connected to the turbine directly. In the experiment, the turbine is tested under different inlet pressure conditions (0.6–1.5MPa), different inlet temperature conditions (80–150°C) and different flow rate conditions. The experimental data such as the pressures, temperatures of the turbine inlet and outlet, flow rate, rotational speed, and electrical power generation are analyzed to find their inner relationships. During the test, the turbine rotational speed could reach more than 3010 r/min, while the design rotational speed is 3000 r/min. The isentropic efficiency of the turbine could reach 53%. The maximum electrical power generated by the turbine-generator is 6.57KW. From the test data the peak value of the temperature difference between the inlet and the outlet of the turbine is 53 °C, and the expansion ratio reaches about 11. The computational fluid dynamics (CFD) solvers is also used to analyze the performance of the turbine. The distributions of the pressure, Mach number, and static entropy in the turbine flow passage component are examined and the reasons are also obtained. This study reveals the relationships between the performance of the axial-flow turbine and its inlet and outlet vapor conditions. The experiment results and the CFD results lay a foundation for using this type turbine in the ORC systems which product electrical power from a few KW to MW.

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