Some of the most popular clean technology and renewable energy solutions include wind turbines, dams generating hydro power, and solar thermal and photovoltaic panels. Waste heat recovery is one important and growing clean energy technology that many have not heard and others never will.
Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) is a process being used in waste heat recovery systems since the 1960’s. It integrates well into existing manufacturing production and power generation infrastructures. ORC units capture heat that is being released in the atmosphere and convert it to useable carbon dioxide-free electricity. The process involved in ORC uses organic and environment friendly refrigerants that are able to generate electricity from low temperature heat sources and water restricted environments. ORC technology systems require only a Rankines small footprint, yet create widespread attention from those looking for ways to maximize the efficiency of their existing investments and infrastructures.
Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) and its credibility
• It has a proven track record.
• ORC technology is relatively simple, carbon neutral and small physical footprint.
• It is one of the least expensive sources of renewable power making available.
• Its economic benefits are important when compared to other renewable energy solutions like wind or solar power generation.
• Waste heat recovery’s market is virtually unlimited. Research has shown that in the United States alone, about 100 quadrillion BTUS of energy is consumed every year. Of those about 55 to 60 quadrillion BTUs are being vented into the atmosphere as unused waste heat. With that, ORC technology can harness these emissions to generate useable carbon dioxide free electricity that can be feed back to the manufacturing process.
Manufacturing companies that directly benefit from waste heat recovery systems are in the pulp and paper, refinery, cement, lumber and power generation industries. These companies utilize large amounts of electricity and they keep a consistent waste heat streams with temperatures between 400 degrees Fahrenheit and 800 degrees Fahrenheit.
New systems are now modular, able to be customized for every manufacturing company requirement, and can be deployed easily and are very cost effective. Government legislators, environmental specialists and facility managers and developers began to identify waste heat energy a win-win clean energy solution. It is the right time to recognize the benefits of waste heat as a renewable energy source. Many companies can reduce their energy spending, carbon footprint and dependence on non renewable sources, only when existing energy source like waste heat energy has been tapped.