Photo: Ingrid Marie Vincent Andersen

Waste heat from ship engines can be used for electricity production

Wednesday 13 Apr 16
|
by Lisbeth Lassen

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Jesper Graa Andreasen
Guest
DTU Mechanical Engineering

Contact

Fredrik Haglind
Associate Professor
DTU Mechanical Engineering
+45 45 25 41 13

Contact

Brian Elmegaard
Head of Section, Professor
DTU Mechanical Engineering
+45 45 25 41 69

Learn more

  • The title of the project is ‘Utilization of low temperature heat for environmentally friendly electricity production’, and Fredrik Haglind from DTU Mechanical Engineering is the project supervisor.
  • At the end of February, Jesper Graa Andreasen was awarded an EliteForsk travel grant from the Danish Ministry of Higher Education and Science for his work.
  • The PhD project is part of THERMCYC (Advanced thermodynamic cycles utilising low-temperature heat sources), which is headed by Associate Professor Brian Elmegaard from DTU Mechanical Engineering and financed by Innovation Fund Denmark—DTU Chemical Engineering also participates in the project.

In industry, there are many sources of low-temperature heat—heat which is often found in connection with waste products such as the hot exhaust gases from a ship’s combustion engine. This waste heat can be used to produce electricity by employing a special technology. 

It is possible to get far more energy out of the same amount of diesel fuel. This can be done by employing a new technology which can convert the excess heat into electricity. Because using this technology makes it possible to utilize the share of the energy from the combustion of diesel fuel which is otherwise lost as heat.

In his research project, Jesper Graa Andreasen, PhD student at DTU Mechanical Engineering, focuses on developing and optimizing the new technology called ORC, Organic Rankine Cycle. To utilize the low-temperature sources, the principle behind the ORC technology is to pump a working liquid having a boiling point below that of water into a boiler where it evaporates and is passed through a turbine. Electricity is thus produced by means of the turbine. The working liquid is then passed through a heat exchanger where the liquid condenses and restarts the cycle.

“We’re studying various organic working media in the project to be able to document their different properties and to find the most effective ones,” explains Jesper Graa Andreasen.

“Mixtures of different working media have been shown to give the best results, so we’re working on finding the best compositions.”

The technology is interesting in connection with ship engines, among other things. In a ship engine, a large part of the energy from the combustion of diesel fuel is wasted as heat, for example as heat loss in the exhaust gas. Using waste heat for electricity production makes it possible to utilize the oil even better than is the case today; the electricity produced by the ORC plant can be used for propulsion of the vessel (through a shaft motor) or to cover the power consumption on board the ship (e.g. for cabin lighting, airconditioning, or refrigerated containers), thus making it possible to reduce the consumption of fossil fuels in an industry which accounts for a large share of carbon emissions

.Foto: Ingrid Marie Vincent Andersen
The electricity produced by the ORC plant can be used for the propulsion of the ship via a shaft engine or to cover the power consumption on board the ship for cabin lighting, airconditioning, or for refrigerated containers, thus making it possible to reduce the consumption of fossil fuels. Photo: Ingrid Marie Vincent Andersen.

Foto: Ingrid Marie Vincent Andersen
The waste heat from a ship engine can be used to produce electricity by means of ORC, Organic Rankine Cycle. Photo: Ingrid Marie Vincent Andersen.