HAYWARD, Calif. — Alphabet Energy, a leader in thermoelectrics for waste heat to power (WHP) applications, and Heat is Power, the trade association for the WHP industry, have released statistics to help explain the value of utilizing waste heat to generate electricity and reduce emissions.
Waste heat to power is the process of converting exhaust heat into electricity without additional fuel or emissions. Energy-intensive industries, such as industrial manufacturing, oil and gas operations, and transportation, operate around the clock, year-round, and produce enough waste heat to generate over 15 GW of electricity per year, according to ICF International and Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
While WHP is an emerging technology and installed capacity is not yet on par with that of solar and wind, estimates show that to generate nearly 52,000 GWh of electricity, it takes 22.7 GW of solar compared to only 6.5 GW of WHP due to WHP’s much greater capacity factor. In the U.S. industrial sector alone (e.g., industrial manufacturing, oil & gas), WHP technologies could generate over 120,000 GWh/year of electricity, more than double the nearly 52,000 GWh/year that could be generated from the 22.7 GW capacity for the entire U.S. photovoltaic market (based on a 25.9 percent capacity factor).
“Waste heat to power could have as big an impact on carbon reduction as solar, but much more quickly,” said Matt Scullin, founder and CEO, Alphabet Energy. “Waste heat from furnaces, engines, flares, compressor stations, and vehicle tailpipes is abundant throughout the U.S. industrial sector and on our highways. With a much higher capacity factor than wind and solar, the U.S. industrial sector could convert its waste heat into over 120,000 GWh of clean electricity per year. That’s enough electricity to power Norway for an entire year, while also eliminating nearly 100 million metric tons of CO2. WHP is a path to tackling an entire climate mitigation wedge of 1 billion tonnes of CO2 by 2050.”
For more information, view the Waste Heat to Power infographic here.
For more information about Alphabet Energy, visit www.alphabetenergy.com.
Publication date: 12/24/2015