ElectraTherm, a leader in distributed, waste heat to power generation, partnered with the Office of Naval Research (ONR), Creare, and the US Naval Academy (USNA) to demonstrate gas turbine waste heat recovery as part of a Small Business Innovation Research project. The demonstration was commissioned at the USNA in Annapolis, Maryland to prove the potential for waste heat recovery onboard ships.
ElectraTherm’s Power+ Generator captures low temperature waste heat to generate fuel-free, emission-free power. At the USNA, the Power+ captures the waste heat from an existing helicopter gas turbine used to train the USNA Midshipmen, using a custom designed exhaust gas heat exchanger provided by Creare. The 390 HP helicopter turbine’s exhaust heat is converted to hot water – the fuel for the Power+ Generator, and converts that exhaust heat into power.
ElectraTherm utilizes Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) and proprietary technologies to generate power from low temperature heat ranging from 170-252°F / 77-122°C. Hot water is the only fuel consumed by the Power+. The waste heat is used to produce a high pressure vapor that expands through ElectraTherm’s twin screw power block, spinning an electric generator to produce fuel-free, emission-free power. After spinning the expander, the vapor is condensed back into liquid using cold water from a liquid loop radiator. The Power+ produces power from an unutilized resource while increasing prime mover efficiency and can provide significant fuel savings.
The power sizing and flexibility of the Power+ ORC to accommodate a wide range of temperatures for heat input were well suited to the existing gas turbine and the objectives for the demonstration platform. This made it an ideal choice for the USNA test cell environment, and the Power+ performed exactly as modeled. The commissioning demonstrates fuel savings opportunities for gas turbine or reciprocating engine waste heat streams aboard ships, a waste heat recovery source readily available and underutilized.
“I am very glad that we chose ElectraTherm for the ORC component of the most recent project,” said Roger Hill, the Lead Project Engineer at Creare. [ElectraTherm has] been extremely easy to work with and extremely helpful at every turn.”
ElectraTherm’s Power+ Generator utilizes waste heat on applications such as internal combustion engines, biomass boilers, flare gas (at oil & gas wells, wastewater treatment plants and landfills), geothermal/co-produced fluids, and more. ElectraTherm’s fleet of 70 Power+ Generators has accrued more than 930,000 hours of runtime to date. A list of reference sites is available on the website.
Funding for this project is provided by the Office of Naval Research and the Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Operational Energy under Contract No. N00014-16-C-2059. Their generous support is greatly appreciated. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the Office of Naval Research or the Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Operational Energy.
About ElectraTherm, Inc.
ElectraTherm, Inc. by BITZER group, focuses on waste heat to power and is headquartered in the USA. ElectraTherm generates fuel-free, emission-free power from low temperature waste heat using the Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) and patented technology. For more information on ElectraTherm and its clean energy products, please visit www.electratherm.com. To learn more about BITZER and its advanced refrigeration and compression technologies, visit www.bitzer.de/us.