ElectraTherm Green Machine combined with steam engine, doubling power output and increasing efficien


ElectraTherm, a leader in small-scale, waste heat-to-power generation, and its distributor SE-TECH, have installed a Green Machine at a German biogas site; the first of its kind to operate the ElectraTherm ORC in tandem with a small steam engine. This combination of the Green Machine and steam engine doubles the power output from a GE Jenbacher 312’s waste heat up to 67 kWe, boosting the efficiency of the power plant by more than 10%.

The waste heat is provided by a 635 kW GE Jenbacher engine running on biogas, with exhaust heat used to generate steam for the small steam engine. The Green Machine acts as the condenser on the steam engine, eliminating the need for a cooling loop and thereby increasing the steam engine’s efficiency. The Green Machine uses the low temperature (90 °C) heat to generate up to 35 kWe, nearly doubling the output from the steam engine alone.

The power generated from the waste heat meets the German heat use requirements to earn renewable energy credits resulting in a very strong ROI for the Green Machine of approximately 3.5 years for the plant owner.

Stefan Farwick, President, SE-TECH, said:

SE-TECH pioneered the combined ElectraTherm ORC / steam engine integration and its success has been proven with more than 5,000 hours run time. This unique configuration of two technologies ensures every kilowatt of heat is used to make electricity.

Hot water enters the Green Machine ORC where it heats a working fluid into a pressurised vapor. The vapor expands through ElectraTherm’s patented twin screw power block, spinning an electric generator to create electricity. The vapor returns to a liquid through direct air cooled condensing to continuously cycle through the system.

ElectraTherm’s waste heat-to-power technology converts sources of low-temperature heat including stationary engines, biogas, biomass, geothermal, co-produced fluids, into power. ElectraTherm’s Green Machine fleet has surpassed 70,000 hours of run time with 98% availability.

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Tags: ElectraTherm, waste heat to power