Boilers for CHP ORC units

Boilers for CHP ORC units

What is the ORC system?

Boilers for CHP ORC units – The ORC system (Organic Rankine Cycle) is based on a type of turbine that works on the same principle as conventional steam, to transform thermal energy into electrical energy. Unlike the latter, the ORC turbine vaporises an organic fluid that has important advantages in terms of maintenance, operation and durability of the system, such as a lower rotation speed in the turbine, lower working pressures and no erosion of the mechanical parts.

How does an ORC system with biomass or solid waste as a fuel source work?

ORC turbines need a thermal input to evaporate the organic fluid that causes the rotation of the turbine.

This thermal input is made thanks to a thermal oil heater, also called thermal fluid boiler.

The heater gives the heat from the combustion of the biomass or solid waste to the thermal fluid which, in turn, exchanges it with the organic fluid that moves the turbine.

Biomass combustion or solid waste must be burned in combustion systems capable of working continuously, such as the pusher grate or the fluidized bed.

Image: Turboden

What are the applications of an ORC system with biomass or solid waste?

The ORC system has important applications for the use of biomass and solid waste as fuel, given that one of its important advantages is the high thermal use of energy with water up to 90ºC. This allows its use in applications as cogeneration, such as drying or the supply of hot water.

So, with a locally produced fuel, important applications can be found in industrial processes such as:

  • Manufacture of pellets
  • Sawmills
  • Greenhouses
  • Trigeneration
  • Board production (plywood, MDF…)
  • Food production
  • Waste treatment (RDF or CDR, CSR, industrial wastes)
  • Manure treatment
  • Treatment of animal waste (meat meal)
  • Sludge treatment
  • Industrial waste treatment

Image: Turboden


The ORC system has many advantages over the conventional water-steam cycle. The organic fluid used to move the turbine, having a higher molecular weight than water, causes the turbine to rotate at a speed, besides not being corrosive. This means:

  • Less need for maintenance
  • More durability
  • More availability
  • Less corrosion in the blades

What type of combustion system is suitable for an ORC system?

ORC turbines, like any installation designed to produce electricity continuously, need a stable, reliable thermal energy supply system without unscheduled stops.

Since the fuel is usually biomass and other solid waste, combustion systems are usually mobile grate or fluidized bed chambers adapted to thermal oil heaters.

These systems have automatic cleaning which allows them to guarantee working regimes of more than 8,000 hours per year.

Complete plants with ORC system

At Sugimat we have supplied 5 complete installations for ORC turbines.

Our thermal oil heaters with grate combustion chamber technology or fluidized bed combustion chamber are the perfect combination to give the ORC turbine the necessary stability for its operation.

Sugimat is able to supply complete plants in turnkey modality (EPC) that include the supply of the ORC turbine so that the customer does not have to worry about the integration of the equipment.



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