Hybrid Brayton Cycle model and facility commissioning

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Churilov, Vitaliy
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There is a lack of available technology to make small-scale power from biomass cost effectively. The proposed Hybrid Brayton cycle is an indirectly heated Brayton cycle with evaporative cooling for combined heat and power generation. It converts a direct fired microturbine to an indirectly heated power system. The Hybrid Brayton cycle offers a flexible biomass power generation platform in the 30 to 250 kWe range, achieving competitive efficiencies and advantages compared to other systems of similar power level. This cycle is designed to be implemented in remote and off-grids communities, small industries and net-zero communities, where local biomass feedstock is sustainably available. This proposed platform keeps operator qualifications to a minimum. In an effort to validate this new power cycle, a 30 kWe experimental facility was developed and initial commission phases performed. This facility purpose is to validate numerical model predictions and is used for optimization. The facility is described and results of the commissioning tests are reported with various problems encountered, solutions implemented and recommendations proposed. The thermodynamic model of the Hybrid Brayton cycle is also implemented in the MatLAB environment, incorporating experimental findings and new properties for humidified air at high temperatures. The MatLAB model confirms that an indirect fired Brayton cycle with evaporative cooling could be a viable approach for small scale distributed power generation using biomass. Additional experimental data of humidified air at elevated temperatures would provide more certainty in property predictions. The MatLAB model provides a modeling tool to allow resolving the issues identified during the commissioning of the test facility and offers alternatives to optimize various design configurations, implementing the most up to date property correlations for humidified air at elevated temperatures.
Hybrid, Brayton, Cycle