Based on its recent analysis of the marine waste heat recovery solutions market, Frost & Sullivan recognizes Climeon AB with the 2015 Global Frost & Sullivan Award for Technology Innovation. Acknowledging the high costs of electricity aboard ships, Climeon developed the futuristic C3 technology to capture waste heat streams, which would otherwise have been directed straight into the ocean. This technology converts low temperature heat to sustainable electricity to facilitate superior operating efficiency and smaller carbon footprint.
The C3 technology is offered in the form of a product called ‘Ocean™’. Its viability was proven when it recorded the highest conversion efficiency at temperatures below 100 ° C, which falls in the low heat range. The C3 technology typically operates in the 80 to 120 °C range. Climeon chose this temperature range because at 90 °C, water acts as an energy carrier and above this temperature, pressurized systems are required.
"No commercially available technology can convert water at 90 °C to electricity with reasonable efficiency but the Climeon system exceeds 50% of the theoretical maximum of 18%," said Krishna Venkataramani, Frost & Sullivan Senior Research Analyst. "C3 functions at a low pressure of not more than 2-3 bar, and does not require complex or expensive equipment."
Though the basic technology has been known for years, Climeon customized and made it more efficient by avoiding losses such as pump losses, friction and resistance in the machine. This was made possible by the inclusion of high-performance turbines and two heat exchangers, one for heating the gas and another for liquefying it. These heat exchangers are connected to an electricity generation and management system, which produces electricity at specified industry standards. The unit is capable of producing 690 V or 220 V output, depending on the need.
The C3 technology leverages the expertise of several Swedish universities. Climeon estimates that there are 30,000 ships in the global marine market that can benefit from the C3 technology, indicating significant opportunities. Other potential application areas are geothermal plants, steel plants, metal production, paper factories, solar heating, biomass combustion and coal-fired power generation. It can also be coupled with district heating networks, especially to compensate the seasonal effect.
"Climeon promotes a 150 kW model at present but has revealed its ambition to manufacture bigger models for steel factories," noted Krishna Venkataramani. "It assembles these machines in a modular manner to produce units capable of handling bigger power ratings such as 300 kW or 600 kW. This saves engineering costs on designing new systems from the ground up, as larger systems can be difficult to retrofit into existing ships."
The modular system increases the overall efficiency and versatility of the system. This novel technology has been successfully implemented aboard a ship called 'Viking Grace', which sails between Sweden and Finland. This ship has saved an estimated 200 tons of fuel and more than 400 tons of CO2 emissions per year from all the clean electricity it generates.
Each year, Frost & Sullivan presents this award to the company that has demonstrated uniqueness in developing and leveraging new technologies, which significantly impacts both the functionality and the customer value of the new products and applications. The award lauds the high R&D spend towards innovation, its relevance to the industry and the positive impact on brand perception.