Reno, Nevada -- ElectraTherm, a leader in distributed waste heat to power generation, partnered with a major oil and gas company to commission a Power+ Generator™ at a North Dakota oil well. The Power+ captures the natural gas that would otherwise be flared to generate electricity and reduce or eliminate onsite flaring. In collaboration with distributor Gulf Coast Green Energy, the project successfully demonstrates an effective means of flare reduction, and changes the landscape for industries where flaring was previously believed to be the only solution. Funding for the project was provided by the Department of Energy’s Research Partnership to Secure Energy for America (REPSEA) program and the Houston Advanced Research Center’s (HARC) Environmentally Friendly Drilling Program. A short video on the project is available here.
Currently North Dakota state regulations require that oil and gas companies significantly reduce the amount of natural gas that is burned in flares over the next several years or face steep penalties and potential curtailment of oil production at offending wells. ElectraTherm’s Power+ captures the waste heat and provides clean methane utilization without capital intensive gas clean-up, engine or micro turbine capital costs, and heavy maintenance associated.
ElectraTherm applies Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) and proprietary technologies to generate power from low temperature heat ranging from 170-252°F. At the oil well, natural gas that would otherwise be flared is instead used to fuel an industrial boiler. The boiler heats water to run the Power+ Generator, and produces clean energy (as low as 9 ppm NOx) that is used for onsite processes, offsetting the cost of electricity from the grid or expensive diesel generators.
“We’re capturing a wasted fuel source that was being flared to the atmosphere, and putting that fuel to use in the oil fields,” said John Fox, Chief Executive Officer of ElectraTherm. “The emissions profile of the site is greatly improved, the power is consumed on site and the equipment is easy to install and maintain. Beyond oil and gas, ElectraTherm sees potential for other applications where flaring is a major concern, such as at landfills and waste water treatment plants.”
ElectraTherm’s Power+ Generators utilize waste heat on applications such as internal combustion engines, biomass and geothermal/co-produced fluids. ElectraTherm’s Power+ fleet of more than 50 global installations has accrued over 430,000 hours of runtime to date. A list of reference sites is currently available on the website.