The potential of supercritical CO2 implementation is vast across power generation applications spanning nuclear, geothermal and even fossil fuel. The cycle envisioned is a non-condensing closed loop Brayton cycle with heat addition and rejection inside the expander to indirectly heat up the carbon dioxide working fluid.
Supercritical means that the working fluid (carbon dioxide) should be kept running above its critical points (critical pressure and temperature) or 31 degree Celsius and 73 atmosphere, where it would inherit both liquid and gas characteristics, flowing like a liquid but filling containers like a gas. During the supercritical condition, SCO2 is dense, thus resulting in increasingly simple and small turbine designs. This fact leads to the probability of reduced cost in the long term.
The benefits of using carbon dioxide as a working fluid aren’t limited to what was previously mentioned in the paragraph above. Carbon dioxide is also predicted to generate more electricity per thermal input (higher efficiency) due to its lower value of compression work, reduction of greenhouse gases, and lowered water consumption, making it environmentally friendly. The cycle shows huge potential to recover low grade waste heat and no pinch limitation in the heat recovery vapor generator.