Siemens has developed a technology to use waste heat, which previously had gone unused, to generate electricity.
The solution employs silicone oils, which have a lower enthalpy of vaporization than water, and is needed because waste heat produced in industrial plants or power stations often does not have enough energy to drive a turbine with steam. Siemens recently introduced its "Organic Rankine Cycle" module.
Under this solution, the working medium drives a turbine, and then cools and reverts to its initial liquid state. Thus, electricity can be generated without the additional use of energy or raw materials, and without producing additional carbon dioxide emissions.
Conventional power plants usually convert only about 50 percent of fuel energy into electricity, and most of the waste heat is released through a cooling tower. A great deal of waste heat is produced in other industries as well, such as chemicals, glass-making, paper-making and steel production to name just a few examples. It is used often to pre-heat other substances or, if that is not possible and if the waste heat is not hot enough to drive a conventional steam turbine, the valuable energy is wasted.
Using silicone oils, Siemens engineers have succeeded in converting this energy into electricity. These oils have a much lower enthalpy of vaporization than water, and can be used to generate electricity from waste heat of only about 300 degrees.
The Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) module is derived from the so-called Rankine Cycle, a closed loop used in steam-driven heat engines. In this case, however, organic silicone oils are used as the work medium.
The oil absorbs the waste heat energy by way of a heat exchanger. It turns to vapor and drives a turbine before being completely liquefied again in a condenser and pumped back to the vaporizer. The heat released in the cooling process is also recovered to pre-heat the oil.
The ORC module has an output of up to two megawatts; variants with higher output ratings are expected to come on line in the medium term. The heart of this module is the proven SST-060 steam turbine, which has already been installed successfully more than 850 times. The silicone oil employed in this module is chlorine-free and non-toxic.
All in all, the investment costs and maintenance costs of an ORC module are comparatively low. And thanks to the lower temperatures and pressures and other factors, it is easier to operate than conventional steam-driven turbines. The ORC module features an automatic mode and requires no additional personnel, making it a very economical option for using energy sources more efficiently
Dr. Norbert Aschenbrenner | Siemens InnovationNews
New welding process joins dissimilar sheets better
28.09.2016 | Technologie Lizenz-Büro (TLB) der Baden-Württembergischen Hochschulen GmbH
Cooling buildings with solar heat
26.09.2016 | FIZ Karlsruhe – Leibniz-Institut für Informationsinfrastruktur GmbH
Friction stir welding is a still-young and thus often unfamiliar pressure welding process for joining flat components and semi-finished components made of light metals.
Scientists at the University of Stuttgart have now developed two new process variants that will considerably expand the areas of application for friction stir welding.
Technologie-Lizenz-Büro (TLB) GmbH supports the University of Stuttgart in patenting and marketing its innovations.
Friction stir welding is a still-young and thus often unfamiliar pressure welding process for joining flat components and semi-finished components made of...
Optical quantum computers can revolutionize computer technology. A team of researchers led by scientists from Münster University and KIT now succeeded in putting a quantum optical experimental set-up onto a chip. In doing so, they have met one of the requirements for making it possible to use photonic circuits for optical quantum computers.
Optical quantum computers are what people are pinning their hopes on for tomorrow’s computer technology – whether for tap-proof data encryption, ultrafast...
The Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP has been developing various applications for OLED microdisplays based on organic semiconductors. By integrating the capabilities of an image sensor directly into the microdisplay, eye movements can be recorded by the smart glasses and utilized for guidance and control functions, as one example. The new design will be debuted at Augmented World Expo Europe (AWE) in Berlin at Booth B25, October 18th – 19th.
“Augmented-reality” and “wearables” have become terms we encounter almost daily. Both can make daily life a little simpler and provide valuable assistance for...
With the help of artificial intelligence, chemists from the University of Basel in Switzerland have computed the characteristics of about two million crystals made up of four chemical elements. The researchers were able to identify 90 previously unknown thermodynamically stable crystals that can be regarded as new materials. They report on their findings in the scientific journal Physical Review Letters.
Elpasolite is a glassy, transparent, shiny and soft mineral with a cubic crystal structure. First discovered in El Paso County (Colorado, USA), it can also be...
For the first time, Fraunhofer IKTS shows additively manufactured hardmetal tools at WorldPM 2016 in Hamburg. Mechanical, chemical as well as a high heat resistance and extreme hardness are required from tools that are used in mechanical and automotive engineering or in plastics and building materials industry. Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Ceramic Technologies and Systems IKTS in Dresden managed the production of complex hardmetal tools via 3D printing in a quality that are in no way inferior to conventionally produced high-performance tools.
Fraunhofer IKTS counts decades of proven expertise in the development of hardmetals. To date, reliable cutting, drilling, pressing and stamping tools made of...
30.09.2016 | Event News
29.09.2016 | Event News
28.09.2016 | Event News
30.09.2016 | Earth Sciences
30.09.2016 | Event News
30.09.2016 | Physics and Astronomy