Siemens Energy to build novel waste heat-to-power facility in Canada

Siemens Energy has signed an agreement with Canada-based TC Energy Corporation (TC Energy) to commission what is said to be a first-of-its-kind waste heat-to-power pilot installation in Alberta.

The facility will capture waste heat from a gas-fired turbine operating at a pipeline compression station and convert it into emissions-free power. The electricity produced will be put back into the grid– resulting in estimated greenhouse gas reductions of 44,000 tons per year, equivalent to taking more than 9,000 vehicles off the road.

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At the heart of the facility will be an innovative heat recovery process designed by Siemens Energy. The patented technology, licensed under Echogen Intellectual Property, is based on an advanced Rankine Cycle and uses supercritical carbon dioxide (sCO2) as the working fluid to convert waste heat into power.

Due to its properties, sCO2 can interact more directly with the heat source than water/steam, eliminating the need for a secondary thermal loop, typically required in traditional waste heat recovery systems.

By deploying sCO2-based waste heat recovery solutions, midstream operators can realize greater value than traditional alternatives based on Organic Rankine or steam cycles. Benefits include a 25 – 40% smaller footprint than steam-based systems, a 10% increase in compressor station efficiency, and the capability to produce clean, emissions-free electricity. Moreover, because the working fluid is contained within a closed-loop system, no boiler operator is required, making the system suitable for remote operation.

The new facility is expected to be commissioned toward the end of 2022 and could generate enough electricity to power more than 10,000 homes.

Arja Talakar, senior vice president, industrial applications products for Siemens Energy, said: “We are proud to partner with TC Energy to build this first-of-its-kind facility and look forward to scaling the technology to other installations in the coming years.”

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The pilot project is supported by CAD $8 million (USD $6.3 million) in funding from Emissions Reduction Alberta’s (ERA) Industrial Efficiency Challenge. For more than 10 years, ERA has been investing the revenues from the carbon price paid by large final emitters to accelerate the development and adoption of innovative clean technology solutions.

“The agreement with Siemens Energy on this initiative exemplifies TC Energy’s long history of embracing innovation and leading-edge technology in its operations,” says Corey Hessen, senior vice-president, and president, power & storage, TC Energy. “We are committed to integrating sustainable energy solutions that reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions across our footprint and look forward to having this operational at one of our compressor stations.”

TC Energy is currently evaluating other compressor station sites to deploy the technology, with the potential to generate 300MW of emissions-free power.