Waste heat-to-power technologies

Overview of the status and impact of the innovation



Waste heat-to-power technologies recover energy from waste heat and convert it into electricity. However, the temperatures of waste heat streams are generally too low to generate electricity using traditional steam turbine technology. Alternative technologies include organic Rankine cycles, which use organic fluid to recover low-temperature waste heat, and the Kalina cycle, which takes advantage of the different boiling points of ammonia and water in a working fluid that mixes the two substances.


Conversion of waste heat into power increases energy efficiency by capturing energy that would otherwise be lost. Although technologies converting low-temperature heat into power themselves are inefficient compared with conventional steam turbines, they also reduce costs because the waste heat is free, and they produce no additional CO₂ emissions. In addition, the electricity generated can be used on site or traded in the electricity market, providing additional flexibility to the grid especially during peak hours. Even though industries have their heat integration site plans to use as much energy as possible and reduce waste heat streams, the potential to expand waste-to-power technologies is still large.

Power to heat and cooling innovations

Innovations (35)