Recover Waste Heat.
Discover Clean Power.
We're reducing carbon intensity for industry by developing
emission-free energy projects with waste heat recovery systems.
Waste Heat to Power Solutions
Waste heat can play an important role in our energy transition, as it can be captured and converted into an emission-free source of electricity in a process called waste heat to power.
Since converting waste heat to electricity would result in zero additional emissions, waste heat conversion projects can generate carbon offsets and lower the carbon intensity of the industries that develop them. These industries are generally those who are most determined to decarbonize, such as oil and gas, chemical refining, and heavy manufacturing.
The U.S. alone has the potential to produce 15 gigawatts of power from its industrial waste heat. That’s equal to the amount of power generated by around 47 million solar panels.
What Is Waste Heat Recovery?
No industrial process is 100% efficient. When fuels are combusted for power or furnaces are ignited for industrial heating, some energy is lost as waste heat. This is often vented to atmosphere.
This waste heat can be recovered, and it has been for decades. Waste heat recovery was often used as an energy efficiency play, where the underutilized heat is captured and used on site to heat other processes.
Today, with the right technology, this wasted energy can be converted to emission-free power.
How Waste Heat to Power Technology Works
A waste heat to power project involves a full waste heat recovery system. First, thermal energy from a waste heat source is extracted and rerouted to a heat to power conversion technology. At Terrapin, we use Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) turbines.
How waste heat is converted to power (Animation: Terrapin Geothermics)
Within an ORC system, the thermal energy from the waste heat source is transferred to an organic fluid, which vaporizes. Now in a gaseous state, the vaporized fluid passes through to the turbine. The vapor expands, driving the turbine and generating electricity.
The vaporized organic fluid then continues through the cycle to the condenser where it returns to a liquid state. It is then pumped and preheated, closing the loop.
This waste heat to electricity process generates baseload (constant) power and does not interfere with industrial operations.
ORC Waste Heat to Power Applications in Cement and Steel
(Photos: Exergy International)
Our Natural Gas Turbine Waste Heat Recovery Project
Design and development
Natural gas compressor station
Waste heat from natural gas turbine
Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) system
Terrapin's Partnership Development Model
Before proceeding with a waste heat to power project, Terrapin evaluates the quality of the waste heat resource by temperature, flow rate and operational uptime. Terrapin also assesses the site location and access to the waste heat resource to ensure the safe integration of the project with the client's existing assets.
Beyond the heat source and site, Terrapin considers the jurisdiction's power market, carbon offset market, policies, and regulations to evaluate the potential economic value of the project. If it does not generate economic value for the client, Terrapin does not pursue it.
Upon checking all the boxes, Terrapin launches the pilot project development and explores opportunities for duplication across client's portfolio of assets to maximize the waste heat recovery for the client. Through Terrapin's Partnership Development Model, the entire project line is financed by third-party capital.
By integrating this waste heat to power project with the compressor station, the client harnesses residual heat from the natural gas turbine to be used as an energy source. Heat that would have otherwise been vented into the atmosphere is utilized on-site to generate emission-free, baseload electricity for the client, reducing their environmental footprint.