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Waste Heat to Power System (WHP) for Building Facilities

Waste to Heat and Power (WHP)

Waste to Heat and Power (WHP)

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Waste heat to power (WHP) is a combined heat and power (CHP) system that converts heat from an existing thermal process into electric power. These are used in energy-intensive facilities like steel mills, glass furnaces, refineries, and cement kilns.

As per the U.S Department of Energy, CHP Installation Database lists the installed WHP capacity of 938 MW at more than 100 U.S sites as of 2019.

This article discusses the working and features of waste heat to power (WHP) systems in industrial facilities.

Working of Waste Heat to Power (WHP)

WHP is referred to as the bottoming cycle configuration of the CHP system. In this system, fuel is first used to make thermal energy, and the waste heat is recovered via a heat exchanger, thus producing thermal energy. This thermal energy is used to power a turbine generator to produce electricity.

Combined Heat and Power Bottoming Cycle
Image Credits: US Energy Information Administration

Bottoming cycle CHP system is most beneficial when used in energy-intensive industries. This system requires a heat source of sufficiently high temperatures over 500F for its efficient operation. 

Features of Waste to Power (WHP) Technology

  1. Waste heat from the thermal process
  2. Waste heat from mechanical drive
  3. Waste heat from other systems

The waste heat from the thermal process includes high-temperature waste heat recovered from the oven, kiln, boiler, furnace, etc. 

Waste heat from mechanical drive includes low-temperature waste heat recovered from engines and gas turbine exhaust. 

Waste heat from other systems is from industrial processes like fertilizer manufacturing, incineration of sewage slides, etc., which generate heat as a byproduct.

WHP systems are often applied in industrial applications but also have applications in commercial operations and district energy systems. The information on the feasibility and project level considerations for WHP for a facility can be found in the “Waste Heat to Power System” report, provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s CHP Partnership.

FAQs

What is waste heat to power (WHP) technology?

Waste heat to power (WHP) is a combined heat and power (CHP) system that converts heat from an existing thermal process into electric power.

How does a WHP system work?

WHP is referred to as the bottoming cycle configuration of the CHP system. In this system, fuel is first used to make thermal energy, and the waste heat is recovered via a heat exchanger, thus producing thermal energy. This thermal energy is used to power a turbine generator to produce electricity.

What are the types of waste streams used for the WHP system?

The waste heat sources that are used to drive WHP technology are:
1. Waste heat from the thermal process
2. Waste heat from mechanical drive
3. Waste heat from other systems

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