The Power Plant
Waste Heat-to-Power Update

Waste Heat-to-Power Update

Echogen Power Systems, a privately-held company headquartered in Akron, Ohio, has commercialized the harnessing of waste heat for power applications. The company developed an innovative heat-to-electricity power generation system that uses supercritical carbon dioxide (ScCO2) to transform heat into power without creating new emissions. This technology drives value through its unique combination of a lower cost per unit of electricity produced, compact footprint, higher energy recovery from the waste heat stream, and ability to generate power from a wider range of heat sources than other competing technologies now available. Target customers include power generation and large energy consumers in the industrial sectors of oil & gas production and transmission, petroleum refining, chemical processing, iron, steel, glass, or any other sectors typically operating with large sources of energy loss from hot exhaust gases and residual heat in liquid product streams.

The heat-to-power system employs a power generation cycle called the Thermafficient® Waste Heat Recovery Engine. It uses a modified Rankine Cycle with ScCO2 as the working fluid. ScCO2 is environmentally benign, non-toxic, and has favorable heat and mass transport properties that allow for an energy dense, compact thermodynamic system. Because of the thermal characteristics of its working fluid, Echogen's heat recovery engine can generate electric power more cost effectively at lower temperatures, outperforming steam technologies in performance and overall cost savings.

The flexibility of Echogen's technology supports a wide range of applications. For instance, Echogen is developing a prototype power turbine that uses sCO2 as the working fluid for concentrated solar power (CSP) applications as part of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Sunshot initiative program. Also, the company is demonstrating the use of its heat engine technology to improve efficiency and reduce fuel consumption for marine applications as part of an SBIR Phase I award from the Navy, and via a licensing agreement with GE Marine in the commercial space.

Today, the company's primary expertise involves turbomachinery and thermodynamics, with less emphasis on power electronics. Now, the company has a proprietary new project that will involve greater use of sophisticated power electronics, beyond its in-house capabilities. Therefore, the company is looking for a consultant with power electronics system design expertise, specifically in the areas of active front end rectifiers and permanent magnet alternators. The consultant's power electronics system support may include any or all of the following:

·     Developing statements of work for vendors

·     Vetting vendors

·     Technical design reviews and discussions

·     Risk analyses

·     Debugging/shakedown of hardware

The degree to which Echogen needs the consultant for above functions will depend on the progress of project development. Most of the company-to-consultant communication will be handled by telephone and e-mail. On occasion, some face-to-face meetings may be required. For more information, contact: Sean Arnold at [email protected]

 

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