Navy Trial: Generating Electricity from Low-Grade Waste Heat
Southern Research Institute has finalized plans to demonstrate an Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) generator at the US Naval Facilities Engineering and Expeditionary Warfare Center, Mobile Utilities Support Equipment (MUSE) Division in Port Hueneme, Calif., which could potentially produce up to 624 gross megawatt hours of electricity in a year using waste heat and deliver a new source of energy to remote military installations.
This evaluation, conducted by Southern Research under a program funded by the Department of Defense’s Environmental Security Technology Certification Program (ESTCP), is expected to provide independently verified information about the efficiencies and value of using waste heat to power technology to reduce energy costs for military facilities.
Technicians at the MUSE facility will initially operate the generator, which produces electricity using low-grade waste heat, and then deploy it as part of a remote DOD field operation. Data will be collected and analyzed by Southern Research engineers and technicians.
The ORC generator being evaluated is the Green Machine manufactured by Nevada-based ElectraTherm. This technology uses low-grade waste heat – with a current focus on fossil-fuel-fired electrical generators – to generate additional local power to boost overall system efficiency. The system could potentially boost the overall fuel efficiency of a 1 MW diesel-fired electric generator by six- to eight-percent, capturing heat from the engine’s exhaust and radiator coolant and safely and efficiently converting it to electric power.
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