Engine Waste Heat Recovery in Alaska

Application: Engine Waste Heat Recovery
Power Output: 90 kWe (3 units)

ElectraTherm, in collaboration with Electric Power Systems, Inc. and Engineered Solutions Group, Inc., commissioned a $2.35 million dollar upgrade to the City of Unalaska’s (AK) power plant. The project objective was to increase the efficiency of Dutch Harbor’s aging power plant in the remote Aleutian islands of Alaska. Here, in the remote Aleutian islands of Alaska where costs of power are some of the highest in North America, improving fuel efficiency and adopting clean energy technologies are crucial for maintaining a reliable supply of power.

The upgrade consisted of the installation of three Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) units, Power+ Generators, designed for low temperature engine waste heat recovery. ElectraTherm’s waste heat recovery system uses the available thermal energy supplied from the jacket water of a single CAT C280-16 and two Wartsila W12V32 engines to generate approximately 90 kWe for the site.

Based on the data collected over a one-year period following project completion, the city realized an average daily payback of 2,100 kWh. This equates to an estimated 45,000 to 50,000 gallons of fuel saved yearly – amounting to annual savings of $250,000.

During the first 15,000 hours, ElectraTherm’s engine waste heat recovery system realized 98% operational availability – an indicator of ElectraTherm’s commitment to reliable ORC systems. Data logs indicate that the ORC system increased overall energy efficiency up to 8%.

Additionally, by utilizing the thermal energy (waste heat) in the engines’ jacket water with an ORC, the cooling load substantially reduced – further improving return on investment and energy efficiency.

This installation is one of ElectraTherm’s first ORC engine waste heat recovery applications on prime power diesel gensets. ElectraTherm more recently commissioned an engine waste heat recovery system with integration partner, B:Power, at Nanpohnmal Power Plant, Pohnpei Micronesia.

At the site, hot water enters the ORC system where it heats a working fluid into pressurized vapor. As the vapor expands, it drives ElectraTherm’s patented twin screw power block, which spins an electric generator and produces power. All three ORC generators utilize one cooling loop, sea water with an inlet temperature of 45°F.

“I left ElectraTherm [training] with a 100% satisfaction in the product that we have received and the support that comes along with the purchase. ElectraTherm is taking a business approach that tends to have been forgotten today: quality and service first. ElectraTherm’s upfront approach, product quality, customer service and attention to detail far exceed any industry standard.”
-Matthew Scott, Electrical Engineering Technician for City of Unalaska


To learn more and to see if ElectraTherm’s products are right for you, visit our products page or contact us.

To stay up to date with ElectraTherm and the latest waste heat news, subscribe to our newsletter here.

About ElectraTherm

ElectraTherm by BITZER Group provides world-class waste heat recovery solutions by utilizing the Organic Rankine Cycle along with proprietary technologies to convert low-temperature heat into clean power. ElectraTherm’s simple and effective solutions generate clean electricity, boost efficiency, reduce energy costs, and decrease emissions – with no additional fuel consumption. Having shipped over 100 ORC units to over 13 countries clocking over 2,000,000 hours of operations, ElectraTherm is a global leader in small-scale waste heat recovery.

The combined advantage of ElectraTherm’s engineering along with the value of being supported by BITZER, the world’s largest independent manufacturer of refrigeration compressors which boasts close to 3,500 global employees and average annual sales approaching $1 billion, allows the ElectraTherm team to continue developing industry-leading ORC technology that is good for both business and the planet.

ElectraTherm’s Power+ Generator is a heat to power solution, converting waste heat into clean electricity and usable thermal. The Active Cooler serves as a net-zero cooling to power solution, using the same ORC process to provide self-powered cooling while generating electricity. Both of ElectraTherm’s solutions reduce emissions and energy costs while providing a baseload power / cooling supply. Taking advantage of waste heat is not only profitable, but practical. Allowing companies to benefit from a more circular economy while achieving sustainability goals.

Related Posts

Translate »