Recovery Act - Organic Rankine Cycle Waste Heat Recovery System Utilizing an Environmentally-Sustainable Working Fluid

Period of Performance: 01/01/2010 - 12/31/2010


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Mainstream Engineering Corporation
200 Yellow Place Array
Rockledge, FL 32955
Firm POC
Principal Investigator


Over the last decade a new breed of power generation equipment, targeted at smaller commercial-size energy users, has emerged. These systems which include microturbines, PEM fuel cells, and phosphoric acid fuel cells along with traditional internal combustion engine-driven generators produce waste heat at temperatures too low to be utilized by conventional combined cycle, thermally activated generators. New systems must be developed to make use of low-temperature waste heat, thereby reducing fuel consumption and pollutant emissions. Mainstream proposes to use cheminformatics to develop an environmentally-sustainable replacement working fluid for organic Rankine cycle (ORC) waste heat recovery systems and to demonstrate the use of this novel working fluid in a superior performing system. In Phase I, Mainstream will use cheminformatics to identify and develop a new non-flammable hydrocarbon-like working fluid for ORC waste heat recovery systems. A detailed design of the waste heat recovery system will be completed and numerical analysis will be used to validate system feasibility for microturbine and other low-grade waste heat recovery applications. In Phase II, Mainstream will fabricate and demonstrate the ORC waste heat recovery system, which uses the new working fluid. Extensive testing will be performed to demonstrate that the new working fluid