ElectraTherm, an industry leader in low temperature heat to power generation, recently finished the commissioning of a Power+ Generator at a geothermal site in Beppu, Japan. This marks the second ElectraTherm low temperature geothermal heat recovery system in Japan. The system runs off the geothermal heat from an onsen where the local community has enjoyed bathing at this natural resource for centuries. The baseload renewable power that is generated is sold back to utility at an attractive feed-in-tariff rate. Additionally, the ORC system reduces the return water temperature, cooling the hot spring water that would otherwise be too hot for the onsen. This reduces the cooling costs thus further increasing revenue.
There is a great potential for low temperature geothermal heat recovery applications across Japan and we look forward to each unit commissioned there as we work on progressing the market further. Japan offer a feed-in-tariff for geothermal at 40 Yen/kW, which is about $0.33 USD. This makes geothermal applications in Japan very attractive. This site utilizes heat at 116°C with a flow rate of 45.4 m3/hr to generate 65 kWe. Unlike other renewable sources, geothermal heat is baseload, providing a continuous flow of hot water and therefore power generation capabilities 24/7.
“The US Department of Energy sponsored a program in 2012-2013 for ElectraTherm to develop a ‘micro-geothermal’ power plant that could tolerate remote, unmanned operation and also be able to handle the challenges presented by varying geothermal resources. This is the first commercial step in Japan to showcase that investment.”
– John Fox, CEO of ElectraTherm
ElectraTherm’s low temperature heat recovery solutions utilize Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) technology to convert heat sources as low as 70°C into clean electricity (up to 125 kWe). The lowest heat requirements in the industry with best-in-class turndown ratios make ElectraTherm’s systems well suited for transient operation. Simple water and grid connections with a modular, scalable, and portable design make deployment fast and easy. A remote monitoring system also makes autonomous operation easier than ever thanks to the units’ ability to automatically load-follow and shutdown.
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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.