INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF THERMODYNAMICS, vol.25, no.1, pp.109-121, 2022 (ESCI)
This paper presents the design, evaluation, and optimization of an electricity generation system based on the two-stage organic Rankine cycle (TS-ORC), which utilizes the waste heat of an existing fluidized bed sewage sludge incineration (FBSSI) facility. The facility incinerates an average of 300 tons per day of sewage sludge with a dry matter content of 22%. After the drying process, the sewage sludge is burned in a fluidized bed combustor, and exhaust gas at a temperature of about 850-900 degrees C is released due to the combustion. The system provides the energy required to dry the sludge from this exhaust gas. In this study, a TS-ORC is designed to be coupled to the exhaust gas flowlines discharged to the atmosphere at two different points in the FBSSI plant. The exergy efficiency of the FBSSI facility is found to be 70.5%. Three different working fluids are selected to examine the variations of thermodynamic and thermoeconomic performance parameters of the designed TS-ORC system. The highest power generation in the TSORC system (183.40 kW) is achieved using R1234yf as working fluid. R1234yf is also the most expensive fluid for electricity generation among the other working fluids (10.57 $/h). The least electricity generation in the TS-ORC (142.70 kW) occurs at the thermoeconomically most affordable cost with R245fa (9.35 $/h).