The Organic Rankine cycle (ORC) is named for its use of an organic, high molecular mass fluid with a liquid-vapor phase change, or boiling point, occurring at a lower temperature than the water-steam phase change. The fluid allows Rankine cycle heat recovery from lower temperature sources such as biomass combustion, industrial waste heat, geothermal heat, solar ponds etc. The low-temperature heat is converted into useful work, that can itself be converted into electricity. A prototype was first developed and exhibited in 1961 by solar engineers Harry Zvi Tabor and Lucien Bronicki.
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... The organic Rankine cycle (ORC) uses an organic fluid such as n-pentane or toluene in place of water and steam ... The efficiency of the cycle is much lower as a result of the lower temperature range, but this can be worthwhile because of the lower cost involved in gathering heat at this lower temperature ... The Rankine cycle does not restrict the working fluid in its definition, so the inclusion of an “organic” cycle is simply a marketing concept that should not be regarded ...
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