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Heat And Steam Don't Go to Waste - Technology also suitable for CHP Projects by Ian Cameron
A British engineering firm specialising in the design and manufacture of systems that recover energy from waste heat and process steam used in industrial processed is hoping for further growth following it's latest order success.
Based in East Kilbride, Scotland, Heliex Power said it's patented steam expander systems recover medium grade energy to generate thermal power and clean electricity.
The Heliex system replaces the steam pressure reduction valve in processes and in applications where steam is being discharged to the atmosphere. Electricity is generated using low grade steam from the customers own processes and it can be sold to the grid or used in house.
In waste heat recovery applications, the set has its own boiler and condenser and extracts energy from a flow of hot gas, liquid or two-phase flow. The energy is recovered through electricity generation.
Heliex Power Ltd. was established as a spin out from City University,London.
According to Heliex's Founder and Chief Technical Officer, Professor Dan Wright, the technology works where turbines and Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) systems are unable to because screw expanders can process wet steam and fluctuating flows, which removes the requirement for variable speed systems and refrigerants.
He said the technology is particularly suitable for combined heat and power projects as the system processes waste heat from biogas installations, gas and diesel engines and process flue gasses, which he said boosts efficiency and generates electricity and meets heat requirements without using additional fuel.
This technology is also well suited to industrial processes including food, chemical and glass manufacturing.
One of the company's largest projects is at the Vetrobalsamo plant in Milan, Italy, where one of the the Heliex steam expander systems uses steam generated by a waste heat recovery boiler using exhaust gases from the furnaces in a glass making plant to generate 4MW free heat that is supplied to local residents in a district heating scheme.
The Vetrobalsamo plant produces over half a million glass bottles each day and puts sustainability first, having reduced 70% of fumes emissions compared to other traditional glass works, the company said.
According to Heliex, due to the high overall efficiency and energy saving incentives, the complete cogenerative system will allow annual savings of approximately €1 million.
Heliex said a number of technologies were considered by the plant's operator.It was decided that a Heliex HP204 Steam Expander System would be the most suitable for supplying both electricity to the plant and the heat at the correct temperature for the district heating system.
In another project in the UK, a Heliex HP145 System was integrated with an existing biomass boiler to provide a combined heat and power facility. Heliex's client, who has not been named, operated a district heating system supplying hot water to 200 homes using a 3.5 MW steam raising biomass boiler fueled by local wood chips. A Heliex HP 145 set uses the steam raised in the boiler to generate 106 kW of electricity to power the boiler plant.
Heliex supplies two steam expander generator sets: the HP204 and the HP145 models. Four models in the 145 portfolio can produce gross power outputs up to 160kWe while five in the HP204 family produce up to 500 kWe depending on steam inlet and outlet conditions.