Time Period: January 2010 to December 2012
Total Budget: 470,668 €
Financing: ERA-SME, IWT-TETRA
The main goal of the EraSME project “Waste heat recovery via a organic Rankine cycle”, completed by partners Howest (Belgium), Ghent University (Belgium) and University of Applied Sciences Stuttgart (Germany) between 1 January 2010 and 31 December 2012, was to find an entrance in Flanders for the organic Rankine cycle (ORC) technology in applications with sufficient amounts of waste heat at high enough temperatures. The project was preceded by a similar study that focused on renewable energy sources. Several tools were developed to aid in the viability assessment, the selection, and the sizing of ORC installations.With these methods, a fast determination of feasibility is possible, based on the size, nature and temperature of the waste heat stream, and the electricity price. An estimate can be given of the net power output, the investment cost and the economic feasibility. The tool is linked to a database of ORC manufacturer specifications. Another objective of the project was to keep track of the evolution in ORC market supply, both commercial and precommercial. We also looked beyond the product line of the main manufacturers. Some ORCs are developed for specific applications. ORC technology was benchmarked against alternatives for waste heat recovery: steam turbines, heat pumps and absorption cooling. ORC in or as a combined heat and power (CHP) system was also examined. A laboratory test unit of 10kWe nominal power was installed during the project, which is now used in further research on dynamic behavior and control. It is still the only ORC demonstration unit in Flanders and has been very instructive in introducing representatives from industry, researchers and students to the technology. A considerable part of the project execution consisted of case studies in response to industrial requests from several sectors. Detailed and concrete feasibility studies allowed us to better define the current application area of waste heat recovery ORC. A knowledge center for waste heat recovery (www.wasteheat.eu) was initiated to consolidate the know-how and to advise potential users.