PurposeThe purpose of this paper is to investigate the effect of four controllable parameters (fuel mixture, evaporation bubble point temperature, expander inlet temperature and condensation dew point temperature) of a solar-driven organic Rankine cycle (ORC) on the first-law efficiency, the exergetic efficiency, the exergy destruction and the volume flow ratio (expander outlet/expander inlet).Design/methodology/approachNine experiments as per Taguchi’s standard L9 orthogonal array were performed on the solar-driven ORC. Subsequently, multi-response optimization was performed using grey relational and principal component analyses.FindingsThe results revealed that the grey relational analysis along with the principal component analysis is a simple as well as effective method for solving the multi-response optimization problem and it provides the optimal combination of the solar-driven ORC parameters. Further, the analysis of variance was also employed to identify the most significant parameter based on the percentage of contribution of each cyclic parameter. Confirmation tests were performed to check the validity of the results which revealed good agreement between predicted and experimental values of the response variables at optimum combination of the input parameters. The optimal combination of process parameters is the set with A3 (the best fuel mixture in the context of optimal performance is 0.9 percent butane and 0.1 percent pentane by weight), B2 (evaporation bubble point temperature=358 K), C1 (condensation dew point temperature=300 K) and D3 (expander inlet temperature=370 K).Research limitations/implicationsIn this research, the Taguchi-based grey relational analysis coupled with the principal components analysis has been successfully carried out, whereas for any optimized solution, it is required to have a real-time scenario that may be taken into consideration by the application of different soft computing techniques like genetic algorithm, simulated annealing, etc. The results generated are purely based on theoretical modeling, and, for further research, experimental analyses are required to consolidate the generated results.Originality/valueThis piece of research work will be helpful to users of solar energy, academicians, researchers and other concerned persons, in understanding the importance, severity and benefits obtained by the application, implementation and optimization of the cyclic parameters of the solar-driven ORC.
Grey Systems: Theory and Application – Emerald Publishing
Published: Aug 7, 2017