Calnetix Hydrocurrent™ Organic Rankine Cycle Systems

Calnetix’s Hydrocurrent™ Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) systems are designed to capture waste heat aboard ships and convert it into electricity for shipboard consumption.  The ORC systems can recover heat with temperatures as low as 80⁰C to produce up to 125kW of clean power and still leave enough heat for the fresh water maker.  The systems can be easily retrofitted in existing ships and reduce the load on ships bunker-fueled generators, which can result in a savings of up to 200 tons per year per ship. 

Hydrocurrent™ is based on the Thermapower® product line, which has proven to be the most compact, efficient and reliable ORC system on the market with over 400 units sold. Hydrocurrent systems have a long life span, require no major engine modification, require minimal maintenance and are very reliable. A number of competitive advantages are provided by the proprietary components of the Hydrocurent™ systems, including

Carefree® Integrated Power Module (IPM)

The Carefree Integrated Power Module (IPM) is the core of the Hydrocurrent systems. It makes small-scale ORC systems viable and economical. The IPM runs on magnetic bearings and is hermetically sealed into a single unit, eliminating the need for a gearbox or lubrication system.

The Carefree IPM consists of a high-speed turbine expander and three integrated proprietary technologies, a high-speed permanent magnet generator, magnetic bearings, and power electronics in one sealed unit.

High-speed Permanent Magnet Generator

The high-speed permanent magnet (PM) generators used in the Hydrocurrent systems are made of proven materials, which operate with very little losses, and offer simple construction, which translates into low cost. The patented technology also includes direct coupling to the turbine wheel, high tip speed capabilities for high-speed operation, simplified controls for power generation and no maintenance.

Turbine Expander

The integrated turbine and PM rotor removes the coupling and penetration between the turbine casing and the generator eliminating associated mechanical shaft losses and working fluid leakage potential. It also is more efficient then positive displacement (screw or scroll expanders).

Magnetic Bearings

Magnetic bearings offer users many benefits while maintaining a similar costing structure to conventional oil lubricated bearing systems including eliminating physical contact between rotating and stationary components and lubrication system contamination. The magnetic bearings in our Hydrocurrent products are highly reliable, reduce operating costs, simplify maintenance and expand machine operating parameters.

Vericycle™ Bidirectional Drive

Hydrocurrent’s power electronics are customized to generate power for high-speed heat and pressure recovery applications, condition power to meet the needs of the microgrid.

The power electronics software monitors microgrid activity in real time and adjusts the voltage and the frequency output to meet the real time conditions of the microgrid, if desired. In addition, the electronics package meets all the requirements for power quality. Proven, state-of-the-art technology is utilized to maximize the benefits for these high-speed systems. Some unique design features and options of Vericycle power electronics include: no auxiliaries needed for cooling, self-monitoring safety features, and adjustability for 50 or 60 Hz and 380 to 480V.

Program Logic Controller (PLC)

The PLC allows the Hydrocurrent unit to operate autonomously. It monitors the temperatures and pressures necessary for proper operation as well as controls the automated heat source and cooling source valves. Using temperature monitoring and the source valves, the PLC ensures the industrial functions are unaffected when the ORC is off line.

Hydrocurrent systems have been designed specifically for marine use with the following attributes:

  • Easy to retrofit
  • No interference with ship operation
  • No operator assistance necessary- system turns on and off automatically based on the heat source properties
  • Minimal maintenance
  • Sea water cooling for the condenser
  • Heat reserve to make fresh water on board
  • Designed under NK and Lloyds guidelines
  • Designed for static and dynamic angels of inclination for extreme sea conditions