DRD Power – Regional Winner 2009 Shell Springboard

Capturing and converting waste products into renewable energy sources is an aspiration for everyone concerned about climate change.

Redcar based DRD Power’s highly innovative approach to capturing and converting vast quantities of low grade (low temperature) heat to electricity is an ideal solution for a large part of the market that has, until now, been rejected by conventional energy recovery schemes.  That it does so by producing zero CO2 adds to its appeal.

Whilst it is regarded as easy to recover the heat from high temperature sources, typically by raising steam, the challenge is to create a product that can generate electricity continuously from excess heat at temperatures of less than 130C.

With over seventy years experience of working in the chemical and process industries, directors Clive Whitbourn and Roger Mallinson are experts with understanding of the opportunities in this major industrial environment.

Clive Whitbourn said, “Large scale process plants run continuously and if only a few percent of this waste heat could be recovered and turned into electricity this would be the equivalent of a number of large power stations.”

This project, which uses Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) technology, will research the best and most cost effective way to produce a transportable, modular ORC unit capable of producing electricity from waste heat streams in the temperature range of 90-130C.

The overall market size for ORC applications within the UK is estimated to be at least £100m, representing around 120MW of generating capacity. The technology can also be applied to the renewable energy sectors such as geothermal, solar and biomass applications which could represent an additional market of at least £50m. The world market potential is in excess of £1bn.

The carbon dioxide that could be saved by converting the waste heat from ten process plants could be 130,000 tonnes per annum.  Annual CO2 savings from a 200kW ORC unit would be 688 tonnes per annum.