Knowledge Center

Organic Rankine Cycle

An organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) uses an organic working fluid that has a boiling point less than that of water to convert low-grade heat into mechanical work. The mechanical work generated can then be converted into additional power.

ElectraTherm’s energy efficiency solutions utilize the organic Rankine cycle along with proprietary technologies to produce up to 125 kWe of emission-free, fuel-free electricity from sources of low temperature heat for distributed power generation.

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Next Generation ORC

With the incorporation of BITZER’s twin-screw expander, ElectraTherm’s organic Rankine cycle solutions represent a dramatic shift from previous ORC technologies utilizing radial or axial turbines – providing a more cost efficient and robust design that greatly enhances reliability.

Other benefits include much lower operating speeds – leading to less wear and tear as well as significant reductions in noise. The new twin-screw expander also tolerates “wet” dual-phase flow, allowing the system to accept variations in both temperature and flow while allowing for a turbine’s worst fear – moisture.

ORC Heat Recovery Benefits

Increases Efficiency

By taking advantage of a resource you already have, our ORC solutions reduce the parasitic load while providing additional horsepower – without affecting your existing processes. By increasing your site’s efficiency by up to 10%, you not only benefit from reduced energy costs and increased output, but could even qualify for local incentives that promote energy efficiency and sustainable advancements.

Increases Revenue

The clean electricity you generate can either be used immediately to offset the cost of power or sold back to utility for profit. Our next generation ORC process also reduces or eliminates the parasitic cooling load – decreasing the site’s electrical demand and leading to significant energy savings. In engine applications suffering from derate due to insufficient cooling, ElectraTherm’s solutions can reduce or eliminate the need to scale down – this increase in output can also lead to an increase in revenue.

Saves Energy

During a time where global energy demand is exploding, it is crucial that we not only use more sustainable forms of energy but that we use them as efficiently as possible. Waste heat, and other forms of low temperature heat, provide excellent sources of energy that can be utilized with ElectraTherm’s ORC systems to provide a 24/7 baseload power supply – generating clean electricity regardless of weather conditions. By using this heat to reduce your cooling load while generating power, you are actually saving energy.

Saves The Environment

Over 50% of the energy applied in power generation and industrial processes is lost as heat. This waste heat is commonly vented to the atmosphere or dumped into bodies of water. By utilizing your waste heat, you not only prevent these emissions but reduce your dependency on the grid –  which typically produces energy from non-renewable sources that emits loads waste heat. ElectraTherm’s waste heat recovery solutions allow your company to benefit from a more circular economy and achieve sustainability goals.

If harnessed, the waste heat from industrial processes in the United States alone can provide over 10 gigawatts of clean electricity – enough to power over 10 million American homes and save U.S. industries over $3,000,000,000 annually while creating as many as 160,000 jobs.

Heat Sources

Appropriate waste energy sources for ElectraTherm’s ORC solutions are small, distributed hot water sources such as engine jacket water, biomass boilers, solar thermal, micro-geothermal and co-produced fluids between 70°C-150°C. However, higher temperature heat sources such as thermal oils and exhaust gases greater than 150°C may also be used with the deployment of a secondary heat exchange loop.

For more information on waste heat visit our partner’s page here.


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