Southern Research Institute to demonstrate ORC generator technology for US Navy

6 February 2013 (Last Updated February 6th, 2013 03:40)

Southern Research Institute is set to evaluate an organic rankine cycle (ORC) generator, manufactured by ElectraTherm for producing electricity from waste heat for the US Navy.

Southern Research Institute is set to evaluate an organic rankine cycle (ORC) generator, manufactured by ElectraTherm for producing electricity from waste heat for the US Navy.

In order to produce additional local power to boost overall system efficiency, the newly developed ORC generator uses low-grade waste heat to potentially produce up to 624MW hours of electricity in a year.

The system is capable of safely and efficiently converting the collected heat from the engine's exhaust and radiator coolant to electric power.

"By using unique technology to generate electricity from otherwise wasted, but useful, energy, a new energy source is made available, improving generating efficiency, reducing operational costs, and reducing emissions."

Intended to serve as a new source of energy to remote military installations, the evaluation is part of a programme funded by the US Department of Defense's (DoD) Environmental Security Technology Certification Program (ESTCP).

The ORC is scheduled to undergo demonstration at the US Naval Facilities Engineering and Expeditionary Warfare Center, Mobile Utilities Support Equipment (MUSE) Division in Port Hueneme, California, US.

Independently verified information will be provided by the Southern Research about the ORC technology efficiencies, as well as data about potential use of waste heat-to-power technology, while reducing energy cost and environmental impacts for military facilities.

Southern Research's advanced energy and transportation technologies programme manager and director Tim Hansen said that the ESTCP continued to demonstrate technologies that meet DoD's renewable energy, energy security, and environmental goals.

"By using unique technology to generate electricity from otherwise wasted, but useful, energy, a new energy source is made available, improving generating efficiency, reducing operational costs, and reducing emissions," Hansen added.

Initially, the MUSE facility will operate the generator, with the US DoD then deploying the system for remote or portable field operations.

Defence Technology