Method for Determining the Applicability of Idealized Aerodynamic/Hydrodynamic Design Tools for High Pressure CO2 Power Systems

by Jeff Noall & Bill Batton
Barber-Nichols Inc.

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Current interest in CO2 based power cycles is based on the potential for higher cycle efficiencies due to the fact that the critical temperature of CO2 is at a relatively low temperature. Heat rejection temperatures available to potential power generation facilities are often in the range of CO2’s critical temperature. Depending on the particular heat rejection temperatures available, the compression leg of the thermodynamic cycle can occur in either the subcritical or supercritical regions of the fluid. In these regions, fluid properties vary significantly, and are generally not well modeled as either a perfect liquid or gas. Limited to existing tool sets, the turbomachinery designer is often faced with a decision between using pump or compressor analysis packages. To aid the designer, a simple methodology was developed to unambiguously quantify whether the use of pump or compressor tool sets are the most appropriate choice. The methodology is presented by theory and by applied example.