ORC technology replaces engine’s radiator, offsets radiator capital cost and generates electricity

ElectraTherm, a leader in distributed waste heat to power generation, partnered with the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) to commission the first fully-integrated stationary engine and waste heat to power generator.

ElectraTherm utilizes Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) and proprietary technologies to generate power from low temperature heat ranging from 170-252°F. With the typical engine running at about 35% efficiency, there is considerable waste heat between the jacket water and the exhaust. By acting as the radiator for the engine, ORC technology benefits include additional power generation, increased efficiency and reduced cooling loads. The elimination of radiator capital costs offsets up to 20% of the entire ORC project costs, delivering a payback of three years or less for diesel or heavy fuel oil-fired gensets.

ElectraTherm, Cummins Rocky Mountain and the Mobile Utilities Support Equipment (MUSE), a branch of the Navy, commissioned the unit at ElectraTherm’s headquarters in Reno, Nevada where the machine went through extensive testing, optimization and verification of performance by Southern Research Institute. The unit will ship to the military base at Guantanamo Bay for high efficiency prime power generation.

“The integrated packages are working as one in a real world setting, validating ElectraTherm’s ORC in providing fuel savings and cooling benefits,” said Lead US Navy MUSE Specialist Juan Aragon. “MUSE is extremely pleased with the success of our partnership with ElectraTherm, and we see many benefits to ORC integration.”

Typical engine sites for future applications include prime power production in remote areas, island and developing nations, biogas gensets including landfill and waste water treatment plants, natural gas compression stations, and renewable biofuels. ElectraTherm’s fleet of 50 Power+ Generators has accrued more than 390,000 hours of runtime to date.

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Energy efficiency  •  Energy storage including Fuel cells