Journal of Central South University

, Volume 25, Issue 6, pp 1464–1474 | Cite as

Energy and exergy recovery from exhaust hot water using organic Rankine cycle and a retrofitted configuration

  • Wen-qiang Sun (孙文强)Email author
  • Xiao-yu Yue (岳晓宇)
  • Yan-hui Wang (王彦辉)
  • Jiu-ju Cai (蔡九菊)


Exhaust hot water (EHW) is widely used for various industrial processes. However, the excess heat carried by EHW is typically ignored and discharged into the environment, resulting in heat loss and heat pollution. An organic Rankine cycle (ORC) is an attractive technology to recycle heat from low-temperature energy carriers. Herein, ORC was used to recycle the heat carried by EHW. To investigate the energy and exergy recovery effects of EHW, a mathematical model was developed and a parametric study was conducted. The energy efficiency and exergy efficiency of the EHW-driven ORC system were modeled with R245fa, R113 and R123 as the working fluids. The results demonstrate that the EHW and evaporation temperatures have significant effects on the energy and exergy efficiencies of the EHW-driven ORC system. Under given EHW conditions, an optimum evaporation temperature exists corresponding to the highest exergy efficiency. To further use the low-temperature EHW, a configuration retrofitted to the ORC by combining with flash evaporation (FE) was conducted. For an EHW at 120 °C and 0.2 MPa, the maximum exergy efficiency of the FE-ORC system is 45.91% at a flash pressure of 0.088 MPa. The FE-ORC performs better in exergy efficiency than the basic FE and basic EHW-driven ORC.

Key words

exhaust hot water (EHW) organic Rankine cycle (ORC) energy efficiency exergy efficiency flash evaporation (FE) 


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Copyright information

© Central South University Press and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Thermal Engineering, School of MetallurgyNortheastern UniversityShenyangChina
  2. 2.State Environmental Protection Key Laboratory of Eco-IndustryNortheastern UniversityShenyangChina
  3. 3.State Key Laboratory of Multiphase Flow in Power EngineeringXi’an Jiaotong UniversityXi’anChina

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