HiLLo-ORC : Semi-Hermetic Expander Technology for Converting Waste Heat to Electricity

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1 Nature of technology/product.
The HiLLo-ORC (HERO Organic Rankine Cycle) system being developed at Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) is a high efficiency, low temperature and low cost technology that enables the conversion of waste heat water or air to electricity. The innovation claim of the HiLLo-ORC system design derives from the concurrent optimization of semi-hermetic expander and systematic streams. In the HiLLo-ORC design, the semi-hermetic expander encloses a generator with a specially designed turbine-rotor that enable highly efficient working of the refrigerant evaporated by the waste heat into the expander. The refrigerant flows through the shell outside the rods flowing waste heat water or air in the evaporator. It can be evaporated at a very low temperature below 100°C to be high-pressure flow to drive turbine with extremely efficiency. The close-loop makes the operation working environmentally friendly and economically.

2 Market need and potential impact.
The evaluation reveals that 72% of the global primary energy consumption is lost after conversion. In further detail, 63% of the considered waste heat streams arise at a temperature below 100°C shared by industry, transportation and electricity generation. The global waste heat recovery market will grow steadily at a CAGR of around 7% by 2021. In Taiwan, 69% of the primary energy consumption is from industry and 40% of the waste heat at a temperature is below 100°C. In the waste heat recovery market, the high-temperature heat above 100°C is easier to be recovered economically. However the very-low-temperature heat below 100°C is emitted as a waste or pollution. The HiLLo-ORC is a specially design for recovering the heat to be useful electricity economically. It solves the problems of waste heat emissions and electricity needs.

3 Competitive advantage and technological innovation.
The major challenge of the ORC waste heat recovery system at a very low temperature is the efficiency and cost accepted by users. Otherwise, the product will not be used widely. The unique design feature of our HiLLo-ORC is the semi-hermetic expander with a turbine-rotor subsystem, coupled with optimized evaporator, condenser and smart control system thereby enabling highly-efficient operation without energy loss of the seal for separating the refrigerant and waste heat flow. The advantage of our semi-hermetic expander is a “reinvention” of the semi-hermetic compressor used widely in the Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Industry. This makes the cost of our HiLLo-ORC system to achieve a very competitive price with short return of investment (ROI).

4 Potential interest from industry partners.
The ITRI team has worked with Hanbell Precise Machinery (http://www.hanbell.com/) to commercialize this technology. With supports of the Taiwan’s Bureau of Energy, four primary demo sites have been working successfully with estimated 2 years ROI. The demo sites of our HiLLo-ORC system locate at a chemistry factory with 200 kwe capacity, a steel factory with 200 kwe capacity, a paper factory with 125 kwe capacity and a geothermal farm with 300 kwe capacity. We have been working with biomass, refinery, power generation, food processing and solar heat industries for the very-low-temperature waste heat recovery.


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  • Name:
    Jung Huang Liao
  • Type of entry:
    Team members:
    Yie-Zu Hu/ Ren-Chain Wang/ Chih-Wei Yen/ Jung-Huang Liao/ Li-Feng Tsai/ Tzeng-Wuu Wey/ Jia-Wei Jan/ Ta-Wei Wang/ Ta-Hua Lai/ Mu-Chian Wu/ Jung-Yi Yen/ Miao-Ru Chen/ Yu-Sin Lu/ King-Wen Huang/ Shao-Tsung Tsou
  • Profession:
    Business Owner/Manager
  • Number of times previously entering contest:
  • Jung Huang's hobbies and activities:
  • Jung Huang is inspired by:
    Create and save energy to make world better.
  • Software used for this entry:
  • Patent status: