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A Systems Overview


The FREEPOWER® ORC Turbine Generator (or Organic Rankine Cycle Turbine Generator, to give it it's full title) is a closed cycle electrical power generation system driven by an external heat source; no internal combustion is needed. "Organic" is a chemical term for the refrigerant type fluids commonly used in the closed cycle.


In simple terms, the FREEPOWER® Microturbine Generator System comprises a high speed generator (similar to a car alternator) which is directly coupled to a multi- stage turbine. The turbine is driven by high pressure hot gas. The gas, the "working fluid", is a refrigerant which, in liquid state, is pumped from a reservoir by an electric pump into a compact heat exchanger, where it is heated up and vaporised by the source of waste heat, and then passes to and drives the turbine, in so doing losing heat and pressure. It then passes into the first of two small heat exchangers where it gives up most of the residual heat to preheat the liquid working fluid, and then to the second small heat exchanger where it condenses back to a fluid, and hence to the electric pump and round the circuit again. The system is closed loop, ie. sealed, so no "working fluid" is lost to the atmosphere. The efficiency of the system, heat in to usable electricity out, is from 10% at 110C to more than 22% at 270C, running on waste heat, (Depending on the temperature of the waste heat and working fluid).


These are considered to be reasonable thermodynamic efficiencies within the heat recovery and solar thermal markets.


The unique properties of the FREEPOWER® turbine generator system, which set it in a leading position in the renewable energy market, stem from our ability to apply the technology that up to now has only been available for multi megawatt systems to microturbine systems, through leading edge technologies that were simply not available a few years ago.


The system can be driven by any external source of heat, ie hot air, steam, hot oil exhaust gases from engines, manufacturing process waste heat, solar thermal energy, and so on. The FREEPOWER® system has been developed to run on low grade waste heat.


The classic example of wasted energy is the ubiquitous internal combustion engine, be it petrol, diesel or gas fuelled, reciprocating or turbine. The best simple cycle fossil fuelled engine (except super large power stations or marine engines) will be between 35% and 40% efficient. This means that 60/65% of the energy from the fuel used to drive the engine is lost as waste heat.




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