Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Mago, Pedro J.

Committee Member

Luck, Rogelio

Committee Member

Cho, Heejin

Committee Member

Knizley, Alta

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access


Mechanical Engineering

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D)


James Worth Bagley College of Engineering


Department of Mechanical Engineering


In this dissertation, different configurations of solar powered organic Rankine cycles (ORC) are investigated. The configurations include: a basic ORC, a regenerative ORC (R-ORC), and a basic ORC with electric energy storage (EES) (ORC-EES). The basic ORC and the R-ORC are evaluated using different dry organic fluids based on the first and second laws of thermodynamics and electricity production. The performance of both ORC systems is based on the potential for primary energy consumption (PEC) and carbon dioxide emission (CDE) savings, the electricity production, and the available capital cost (ACC) for the system. The R-ORC and basic ORC are both evaluated in Jackson, MS and Tucson, AZ to determine the effect of hourly solar irradiation and ambient temperature on both systems. For the basic ORC a parametric analysis is performed to determine the effects of cycle pressure, temperature, solar collector area, and turbine efficiency on the system performance. Similarly, for the R-ORC, a parametric analysis investigating the effect of open feed organic fluid heater intermediate pressure and turbine efficiency on the R-ORC is performed. Finally an ORC connected to an EES device located in Tucson, AZ is studied. The ORC-EES supplies electricity to three different commercial buildings. The ORC-EES is modeled to be charging when irradiation is available and discharging when there is not enough irradiation to generate electricity from the ORC. The performance of the system is based on the amount of electricity supplied, the potential for PEC, CDE, and cost savings, and the ACC. The effect of solar collector area on the percentage of supplied electricity, EES device size, and cost savings is also studied. It was determined that all the evaluated ORC configurations have the potential to produce PEC, CDE, and cost savings, but their performance is affected by the organic working fluid, solar collector area, and the location where the system is installed.