Industrial Companies Tap into Waste Heat to Generate Electricity

by | Mar 17, 2010

GreenMachineManufacturers now have a way to tap into waste heat and turn it into energy. A new joint venture in the Midwest will show how industrial companies can use the Green Machine, developed by ElectraTherm, to capture waste heat produced in their industrial processes and turn it into electricity, reducing fuel consumption and air emissions.

The Midwest project will be led by the newly launched Pro Renewables energy solutions company, a joint venture between investment firm The Windquest Group and Pro Services, a specialized trades contractor. The new company will serve Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Kentucky and West Virginia.

About two-thirds of the fuel burned to generate power in the U.S. is lost as heat, particularly in the Midwest, which has large energy-intensive industrial base including power plants, paper and steel mills, and food processing facilities, according to Pro Renewables. Most of the waste heat escapes from applications such as inefficient machines and industrial processes.

The Green Machine’s technology could help the U.S. Department of Energy’s push to make the industrial sector more energy efficient.

A demo unit of the Green Machine was launched at the Kalamazoo Valley Community College’s Michigan Technical Education Center. The total cost for a Green Machine ranges from $150,000 to $200,000 depending on the complexity of the installation. The payback period ranges from two to five years depending on electric rates and financial incentives, according to the company.

Six machines have been installed worldwide in a variety of applications including boilers, stationary engines and geothermal and solar thermal systems.

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