Modular waste heat recovery system delivers 8% fuel saving

A new modular, space-saving waste heat recovery system in development has demonstrated the capability to achieve a fuel saving of up to 8%.

The system converts thermal energy from the engine jacket water into electricity. It works by utilising the Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) heat transfer process and a turbo generator power conversion system. A refrigerant is boiled with waste heat and the generated steam is used to drive a turbine, which in turn powers a generator. The refrigerant is then cooled and pumped back around the system.

While the technology is not new, the generator and electronics have been redesigned and packaged into a system that is much smaller in volume than traditional ORC systems. The system has been designed to be modular to meet the demands of the retrofit market. Consisting of smaller components, the system can be broken down and transported through tight hatches and access doors.

“The ORC system is very compact and can therefore be accommodated into a much wider range of vessels. The whole system can fit into a vessel engine room as a retrospective installation, which gives some indication of its size, flexibility and impact on vessel layouts” says AVID’s founder and managing director, Ryan Maughan.

The system is part of a two year protect funded by the Energy Technologies Institute (ETI), led by AVID Technology and assisted by Royston Power, Enogia S.A.S and RED Engineering.

The system’s ability to save fuel by 8% was found by ETI during a market study. However, multiple systems can be connected to generate more power, meaning that the fuel savings are dependent on how many systems are installed versus onboard engine power.

Qualification testing and approval of key components as well as design and development of the turbo generator and system packaging and design approval from DNV GL are taking place. Maughan confirms that the system is in a land-based development and testing phase at the current time and the design process to make the system marine-ready is ongoing.

RED Engineering will ensure that the equipment developed complies with the regulations and requirements of SOLAS and DNV GL. The company’s engineers are also providing technical input to support installation of a demonstration unit in 2018, while Royston is involved in working with the vessel operator to undertake installation ahead of in-vessel testing and commissioning. Enogia is responsible for the design of the ORC turbine.