INNOVATION & TECHNOLOGY

INNOVATION & TECHNOLOGY


America is a world leader in innovation and the clean energy economy is the next frontier. Continued innovation and technological advancement in the clean energy space will help our economy grow, and re-position the U.S. as an exporter of clean energy technologies.

Research and the advancement of high-potential, high-impact energy technologies will further develop existing clean energy types — such as the next generation of solar technology, wind turbines, waste heat to power and biofuels.

Innovation led by large and small business alike will lead to new applications of technology, such as solar roof tiles, and technologies that can harness the power of ocean waves.

Waste Heat to Power (WHP) is the process of recovering waste heat that would otherwise be vented into the atmosphere and using it to generate electricity with no additional fuel, no combustion, and no incremental emissions.

Waste heat is generated in any industrial process that transforms raw materials into useful products. Examples include steel mills, paper plants, refineries, chemical plants, and general manufacturing, as well as compressor stations along oil and natural gas pipelines. This waste heat is produced whenever the operation is running, often 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. If not recovered for reuse as lower temperature process heat or to produce emission-free power, the heat will dissipate into the atmosphere, a wasted opportunity.

New technologies and innovative applications of existing technologies, including organic Rankine cycle, thermoelectrics, sCO2 power cycles, and Stirling engine, are being developed and piloted on heat streams of varying temperature and quality by companies as diverse as small start-ups to well established multi-nationals.

To date, there are less than 800 MW of installed WHP at fewer than 100 locations in the U.S. A recent DOE report identified enough industrial waste heat in the U.S. to generate nearly 20 times that amount, or 15,000 MW of electricity. Nearly 40 percent of the states consider waste heat to be a renewable resource and provide incentives for the on-site generation of electricity from waste heat.

To learn more about waste heat to power, visit the Heat is Power Association.