Organic Rankine Cycle
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CASE STUDY NUMBER 85: ORGANIC RANKINE CYCLE (ORC) OCT 2012
BRITISH FIRM’S PIONEERING POWER GENERATION TECHNOLOGY
A British firm is leading the way in the global renewable energy sector by developing a system that converts low temperature waste heat from factories into electricity.
Based in Redcar in North East England, DRD Power has just completed the installation of its first DRD Power ORC heat recovery system. The system uses Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) technology to generate electrical power using waste heat from industrial process and manufacturing plants.
The DRD Power ORC system is one of the first in the world to generate electricity from low grade heat, in the form of waste steam or hot water, at temperatures as low as 90oC. In essence, the system features a refrigeration compressor running in reverse to drive an electrical generator.
As well as being one of the few systems to work with low grade heat, for the first time the revolutionary DRD Power ORC system gives operators of large scale process plants and manufacturing facilities an economically viable ORC solution.
DRD Power’s Clive Whitbourn says: “Conventional ORC heat recovery systems use heat sources such
as high pressure steam at temperatures above 130oC to generate electricity. ORC systems using lower temperature heat sources are typically installed at massive geo-thermal plants and are generally not economical for chemical process plants or industrial manufacturing facilities.”
Clive Whitbourn adds: “The UK process and manufacturing industry generates vast quantities of heat between 90oC and 130oC which is currently discarded as waste. If only a small percentage of this waste heat could be recovered and turned into electricity, then this would be equivalent to the energy produced by several large power stations.”
DRD Power’s Organic Rankine Cycle system
The DRD Power ORC system generates electricity with zero carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. The annual carbon dioxide saving from a 200kW unit is around 750 tonnes and the electricity produced is worth over £100,000 per annum to the operator.
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