Industry leaders announce the introduction of Organic Rankine Cycle technology to the marine market with its Wärtsilä Marine ECC product. This innovation obtains improved energy efficiency and lower fuel consumption, thereby reducing both operating costs and exhaust emissions.
Wärtsilä, the marine industry's leading solution provider, has signed an exclusive agreement with Turboden of Italy to jointly develop, market, and distribute the Wärtsilä Marine Engine Combined Cycle (ECC) product. Marine ECC is to be based on Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) technology. The two companies will gain synergistic benefits from the combined strength of Wärtsilä's global presence in the marine market, and from Turboden's leadership and experience in developing ORC technology. Turboden is a Pratt & Whitney Power Systems company. The joint development work will initially focus on applying the ORC technology for ship applications, and the Wärtsilä Marine ECC product is expected to enter the market during 2011.
The Wärtsilä Marine ECC provides a means of obtaining an efficient and reliable small-scale combined cycle system from the otherwise wasted energy recovered from downstream exhaust gas, and/or from the high-temperature cooling water of reciprocating engines. This could provide added power in the range of 8 to 12 per cent to the prime mover. Typical sizes range from hundreds to several thousand kWe. With the Marine ECC in operation, fuel oil consumption is significantly lowered, which in turn provides the operator with reduced operating expenses. At the same time, and as a direct result, exhaust gas emissions are lowered and this too aids the operator in meeting increasingly stringent environmental regulations.
"Because of high fuel prices and the need to reduce emissions, improving energy efficiency is today a matter of great importance to our customers. The Marine ECC will benefit both the customer and the environment, and is, therefore, completely in line with Wärtsilä's strategy," says Juha Kytölä, Vice President, Product Centre Ecotech, Wärtsilä.
The Rankine Cycle
The Rankine Cycle is a thermodynamic cycle that converts heat into work energy. Water is the most commonly used working fluid in Rankine Cycle systems, which generate the majority of the electricity used throughout the world. The ORC, on the other hand, can operate using various organic fluids to utilize the waste heat from exhaust gas, and from lower grade heat sources such as high-temperature cooling water.
While the ORC is already a well-established form of energy production with an increasing application base, it is new to the marine market. The ORC technology provides many advantages, including high thermodynamic cycle efficiency, the ability to operate at lower heat source temperatures, simple start up procedures, automatic and continuous operation without operator intervention, simple maintenance procedures, and long lifecycles.
"Following the very positive results that Turboden is now achieving with heat recovery systems for Stationary internal combustion engines, we are now excited to be working with Wärtsilä to develop an ORC solution specifically applicable to the marine market," says Paolo Bertuzzi, General Manager, Finance & Commercial Area, Turboden s.r.l.