Pioneering and outstanding technology
September 2013 – At the Baden-Württemberg Environmental Technology Awards 2013 Dürr won first prize in the Energy Efficiency category for its ORC technology. ORC modules are used to generate electricity from waste heat.
Dürr’s prize-winning new ORC generation now also enables combined-heat-and-power operation even in small scale units. The modules deliver electricity, but also residual heat which can be re-used.
ORC stands for Organic Rankine Cycle. In this thermal cycle process an organic liquid is evaporated with the aid of waste heat. The vapour drives a generator which produces electricity. The advantage over conventional steam processes is that ORC systems operate even at relatively low waste heat temperatures.
ORC systems can be connected to various waste heat sources, for example in biogas systems, landfill sites, waste water treatment plants and industrial production facilities. Thanks to Dürr’s direct evaporation technology, up to 20% of the waste heat can be converted into electricity. 80% of the input energy is available at a temperature of up to 90°C for use as heat downstream. Dürr offers combined-heat-and-power (CHP) operation from power outputs of as low as 40 kW.
One example of a CHP plant is the ORC system operated by municipal utility company Stadtwerke Gross-Gerau. This increases the electricity generation capacity of a biogas cogeneration plant by 560 MWh per year – without any extra fuel input. The residual heat emitted by the ORC system is used for space heating and for drying processes in a neighbouring plant.
The motto of the Environmental Technology Award was “Outstanding Technology. Pioneering Products”. The judges praised the ORC module as a “product which results in significantly lower energy consumption”. Environment Minister Franz Untersteller regards innovations such as Dürr’s ORC technology as very important: “Process waste heat and concepts which enable or optimize its use are among the issues of the future,” he stated when presenting the award.
The ORC technology is also explained in a video.