Turboden, a Mitsubishi Heavy Industries company, is a global leader in the design, manufacture and service of ORC turbogenerators, since 1980, which harness heat to generate electric and thermal power from renewable sources (biomass, geothermal and solar energy) and waste heat from industrial processes, engines and gas turbines, particularly suitable for distributed generation. Today Organic Rankine Cycle technology has become the most popular process for improving sustainability and energy efficiency by generating power from medium and low temperature heat sources. When compared to a traditional steam turbine, an important difference shall be emphasized: instead of water vapor, the ORC system utilizes a high-molecular-mass organic fluid, resulting in excellent electric performance and several key advantages.
Turboden, a Mitsubishi Heavy Industries company, is a global leader in the design, manufacture and service of Organic Rankine Cycle turbogenerators, which harness heat to generate electric and thermal power from renewable sources (biomass, geothermal, solar energy) and waste heat from industrial processes.
Turboden has more than 300 plants in 32 countries and offers turbogenerators from 200 kWel to 15 MWel.
The Australian market is of interest to Turboden, thanks to its growing potential and the variety of opportunities.
ORC technology is a technology for the combined generation of heat and electrical power from various renewable sources and from heat recovery applications, particularly suitable for distributed generation. When compared to a traditional steam turbine, an important difference shall be emphasized: instead of water vapor, the ORC system utilizes a high-molecular-mass organic fluid, resulting in excellent electric performance and several key advantages.
The main technical advantages of an ORC cycle are:
- low mechanical stress of the turbine due to the low peripheral speed;
- low RPM of the turbine allowing the direct drive of the electric generator without reduction gear;
- no erosion of blades, thanks to the absence of moisture in the vapor nozzles;
- high cycle efficiency;
- very high turbine efficiency;
- no water consumed.
The system offers also operational advantages:
- simple start-stop procedures;
- automatic and continuous operation;
- partial load operation down to 10% of nominal power;
- high efficiency even at partial load;
- no operator attendance needed;
- quiet operation;
- high availability (typically 98%);
- low maintenance cost;
- long life.
ORC products are configured for either electricity only applications where heat sources are captured to produce electric power or combined heat and power (CHP) applications that produce both electricity and hot water for use as space or industrial process heating.
ORC technology can be efficiently applied to different fields of application: exploitation of biomass, where cogeneration ORC plants produce heat and electrical power from biomass with high efficiency and user friendly operation; geothermal sources, where ORC technology is particularly suitable for the exploitation of medium-to-low-enthalpy sources, heat recovery from industrial processes, easy to integrate into the industrial process - even with inconstant heat sources - and completely automated, leaving the industrial user focused on its own production process; combined cycles with reciprocating engines and gas turbines, minimizing the fuel consumption without adding complexity to the system. Finally, in Solar Thermal Power applications, Turboden units allow to convert the heat collected by solar collectors into electricity through an efficient thermodynamic cycle.