Maritime Waste Heat Recovery Demonstration

Application: Maritime Engine Waste Heat Recovery
Power Output: 40 kWe
Hot Water Inlet Temperature: 104°C
Hot Water Flow Rate: 3.5 l/s

ElectraTherm, an industry leader in low temperature heat recovery using Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) technology, partnered with the Office of Naval Research (ONR), Creare, and the US Naval Academy (USNA) to demonstrate maritime waste heat recovery via  gas turbine as part of a Small Business Innovation Research project. The demonstration was commissioned at the USNA in Annapolis, Maryland to demonstrate 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 ORC system 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 the ElectraTherm ORC uses to generate clean electricity. By converting the exhaust gas waste heat into power using the Organic Rankine Cycle, the Power+ Generator produces approximately 40 kWe. This maritime waste heat recovery demonstration gave proof of concept for significant fuel savings – up to 10% – via utilization of engine heat streams aboard ships, a valuable energy source that is readily available and vastly underutilized.

Read the article from Naval Technology Magazine here.

ElectraTherm utilizes Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) and proprietary technologies to generate power from low temperature heat ranging from 160-300°F / 70-150°C. Hot water is the only fuel consumed by the ORC system, no additional fuel combustion or emissions. 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.

“This is ElectraTherm’s third project with the U.S. Department of Defense, so we have confidence with their ability to meet expectations and performance requirements. We will utilize a Power+ Generator 4400 to demonstrate waste heat recovery at this smaller scale. The technology maturity, robustness, and low maintenance requirements were attractive reasons for choosing the ElectraTherm system, and we look forward to a successful demonstration with their team.”
– Roger Hill, Lead Project Engineer @ Creare


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.

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