Turning Industrial Waste-Heat Into Electricity

The terms renewable power and clean technologies conjure up particular images. It may be a photovoltaic panel baking at the desert, or perhaps a wind turbine slowly rotating in the Great Plains. Or, even a major dam developing hydropower. However, there is certainly an additional essential and growing clean energy technology the average customer continually hasn’t heard of yet: waste heat recovery.

Facility managers, environmental professionals, and forward-thinking legislators are beginning to recognize waste heat recovery as a win-win clean power answer. Now it can be time to locate Congress to pay attention to this renewable energy “hidden gem” and comprehend waste heat as a renewable resource eligible for tax and environmental credits. By tapping into current then again unused power sources, American businesses can decrease power spending, lower carbon footprints, and lower dependence on non-renewable sources of energy. And which is why waste heat is around to grow to be a whole lot extra relevant.

Waste heat recovery employs a process that has been around since the 1960s, referred to as the organic Rankine cycle (ORC), which effortlessly integrates into existing manufacturing infrastructures. ORC units capture heat that’s at present getting released into the atmosphere and converts it into useable CO2 – no cost electricity.

This technology has a confirmed track record with a lot more than 150 installations in operation about the globe-which includes 25 in the US-that have produced millions of hours of emission-zero cost electricity. Given its relative simplicity, carbon neutrality and diminutive physical footprint, ORC is at the same time one of the cheapest sources of renewable power generation at present out there. The economic advantages of waste heat recovery systems are huge when compared to wind or solar energy generation. ORC’s utilization factor of additional than 95% far eclipses the 25% to 35% utilization elements observed in other renewable alternatives for instance wind and solar.

Turning Industrial Waste-Heat Into ElectricityThe marketplace for waste heat recovery is just about limitless. According to researchers at University California Berkley, the US presently consumes about 100 quadrillion BTUs of energy per year. However, in between 55 and 60 quadrillion BTUs are presently vented into the atmosphere as unused waste heat. With ORC technologies, these emissions are harnessed on-internet site to develop useable CO2-no cost electricity that is fed directly back into a manufacturing procedure. Pulp and paper, lumber, refinery, cement, and power plant operations are particularly well suited for waste heat recovery systems because they consume large amounts of electricity and keep consistent waste heat streams with temperatures between 400° F and 800° F.

The rise of independent project developers and new financing models have at the same time helped accelerate customer adoption of waste heat recovery systems. Project developers shoulder the responsibilities of designing, engineering, creating, and running the ORC systems for their industrial buyers. Additionally, project developers can deliver shoppers financing selections that enable resource-constrained companies to explore the myriad positive aspects of waste heat recovery projects. Popular financing selections include the obtain of a total turnkey energy system, leasing the method, or effortlessly purchasing energy developed from a program installed at their web-site. The latter model, constantly known as the “PPA Model” (considering that the customer enters into a Power Purchase Agreement), relieves a small business of dollars expenditures and significantly shortens the sales cycle for new ORC systems. After all, who can say “no” to an offer of clean electricity, at a decrease price than the utility can present, without any money investment?

A wave of new focus and project development activity has occurred as a result of rising power expenses, increasing environmental concern, and improvements to the ORC manufacturing process. Today’s new systems are modular, customizable, conveniently deployed, and reasonably priced towards the facilities that deploy them.

The ORC process makes use of organic, environmentally benign refrigerants that are able to develop electricity from low-temperature heat sources and in water-restricted environments. ORC technologies has a little footprint-roughly the size of a tractor-trailer flatbed. Interest in this energy developing skid is on the rise as companies look to maximize the efficiency of current investments and infrastructures.

Filed in: Waste Management

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