ElectraTherm installs waste heat-to-power generator in California

By ElectraTherm | July 13, 2018

ElectraTherm, a leader in distributed waste heat-to-power (WHP), commissioned its first Power-plus Generator in California to generate fuel-free power from a biomass boiler. The Organic Rankine Cycle generator is part of a California Energy Commission grant for combined-heat-and-power (CHP)/prime power generation from biomass. A partnership between Wisewood Energy and the Sierra Institute developed the plant and site so that a biomass boiler will provide heat to the Plumas County Heath and Humans Services Building in Quincy, California. By incorporating ORC technology seasonally when heat demand for buildings is available, the plant will also generate electricity to offset the power consumed onsite.

ElectraTherm utilizes ORC and proprietary technologies to generate power from low temperature heat ranging from 170-252 degrees Fahrenheit. At the site, a biomass boiler consumes locally-sourced forest cleanup and logging waste. The heat is used to produce a high pressure vapor that expands through ElectraTherm’s twin screw power block, spinning an electric generator to produce fuel-free, emission-free power. After turning the expander, the vapor is condensed back into a liquid by rejecting heat to the building heating loop. The Power-plus balances out the building thermal demands by adding 24/7 heat to power capability and can vary from prime power mode when building thermal demand is minimal or CHP mode when the building thermal demand is highest.

The commissioning of this project marks ElectraTherm’s 23rd biomass application in its fleet of nearly 70 machines, and ElectraTherm’s first machine in California. ElectraTherm’s other biomass sites include the United Kingdom, Oregon, Florida, Maryland and Italy. For a complete list of installations, please go to the website.

“It is great to see the utilization of the vast amounts of renewable biomass available in certain regions in the US and across the globe,” said John Fox, managing director of ElectraTherm. “Biomass offers a 24/7 renewable energy source for combined heat and power (CHP) and boiler sites just like this one in Plumas County. I congratulate the CEC for their vision and support for such a project.”

ElectraTherm’s Power-plus Generator utilizes hot water as its fuel to create electricity with zero emissions and no combustion. In addition to biomass, ElectraTherm sees strong potential in the U.S. and around the globe for combined heat and power applications, flared gas in wastewater, the oil and gas industry, and even micro geothermal opportunities. ElectraTherm’s Power-plus fleet operates in 10 countries and has surpassed 900,000 hours of runtime.