[en] New heat conversion technologies need to be developed and improved to take advantage of the necessary increase in the supply of renewable energy. The Organic Rankine Cycle is well suited for these applications, mainly because of its ability to recover low-grade heat and the possibility to be implemented in decentralized lower-capacity power plants.
In This paper, an overview of the different ORC applications is presented. A market review is proposed including cost figures for several commercial ORC modules and manufacturers. An in-depth analysis of the technical challenges related to the technology, such as working fluid selection and expansion machine issues is then reported. Technological constraints and optimization methods are extensively described and discussed. Finally, the current trends in research and development for the next generation of Organic Rankine Cycles are presented.