The Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) is a heat recovery process that converts thermal energy into mechanical power. An organic working fluid that has a lower boiling point and higher vapor pressure than water is used to transfer heat from an external source into a closed loop system.
The Rankine cycle, which typically uses water as a working fluid, generates about 80 percent of all electric power used worldwide, including virtually all solar thermal, biomass, coal and nuclear power plants. It is named after William John Macquorn Rankine, a Scottish engineer and physicist, and serves as the fundamental thermodynamic foundation of the steam engine.
Although the underlying concept is the same for all ORC systems, Calnetix and Access Energy® ORC systems are more efficient and reliable compared to competitive products under the similar working conditions. This is mainly due to the interworkings of the underlying system components. We have been able to minimize and in some instances remove the system’s mechanical and electromechanical losses. This includes the elimination of a gearbox, the production of a more efficient generator, the use of magnetic bearings (no friction and increased reliability) and the use of optimized power conditioning.
Calnetix Technologies currently offers three main Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) modules to generate clean power from the waste heat. For small-scale land-based applications, we offer two Thermapower® ORC modules, and for marine applications, we offer a Hydrocurrent™ ORC module. Our ORC products are the safest, lowest cost waste heat recovery systems available today. We utilize proven high-speed technology that has been produced for over 13 years. Together with our distribution partners and licensees, we have sold over 35 MW of capacity throughout the world.