The Elektra turbine concept, a velocity-compounded radial four-fold re-entry turbine, represents an innovative approach to small-scale distributed power generation via Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) systems. This design uniquely combines velocity compounding with the re-entry concept, optimizing the turbine’s ability to handle variable temperature and pressure ratios effectively. The Elektra turbine offers advantages over volumetric expanders, including reduced wear due to the absence of rubbing seals, elimination of lubrication contamination in the working fluid, and the capability to efficiently utilize low-grade heat sources. This technology is poised to enhance ORC systems’ performance, offering a promising solution for efficiently converting waste heat into electricity.
The successful integration of the Elektra turbine into an Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) system stands as a significant milestone in the field of sustainable energy. Distinguished by its low-speed operation, the Elektra turbine addresses common limitations associated with traditional volumetric expanders, such as mechanical durability and efficiency at varying thermal conditions. The turbine’s design optimizes the conversion of low-grade heat into electrical power, showcasing an improved performance profile that leverages advanced fluid dynamics and thermodynamic principles. Throughout the commissioning phase, the team encountered challenges related to the turbine’s mechanical integrity and rotordynamics. These were meticulously addressed through a series of design refinements and experimental validations, enhancing the turbine’s operational stability and efficiency. The process underscored the importance of adaptive design strategies in overcoming the complex dynamics of ORC systems. Looking ahead, further testing and optimization efforts are planned to refine the turbine’s performance across a broader range of operating conditions. This ongoing work aims to solidify the Elektra turbine’s role in enhancing the viability and efficiency of renewable energy systems, underscoring its potential to transform how low-grade heat sources are utilized in power generation.