Utilizing Industrial Waste Heat for Power Generation Using sCO2 Cycles

The industrial sector accounts for approximately 30% of the global total energy consumption and 50% of that is lost as waste heat. Recovering waste heat from industries and utilizing it as an energy source is a sustainable way of generating electricity. Supercritical CO2 (sCO2) cycles can be used with various heat sources including waste heat. Current literature primarily focuses on the cycle’s thermodynamic performance without investigating the economics of the system.  This is mainly due to the lack of reliable cost estimates for the cycle components. Recently developed cost scaling makes it possible to perform more accurate techno-economic studies on these systems. This work aims to model waste-heat-to-power systems and by performing sensitivity analysis on various system components, attempts to determine which factors require the most attention to bring this technology into commercialization. The industries with the largest unutilized waste heat are cement, iron and steel, aluminum and gas compressor stations. In this work, models of different sCO2 cycle configurations were developed and simulated for these industries. The techno-economic model optimizes for the highest Net Present Value (NPV) using an Artificial Bee Colony algorithm. The optimization variables are the pressure levels, split ratios, recuperator effectiveness, condenser temperature and the turbine inlet temperature limited by the heat source. The results show industries can cut down costs by €8-34M using this system. Furthermore, the system can achieve an LCOE between 2.5-4.5 c€/kWh which is competitive with ORC (3.2-18 c€/kWh) and steam cycles (3-9 c€/kWh). Out of the modeled industries, waste heat recovery in the steel industry yields the highest NPV of €34.6M.

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Soliman, H.R., Þórsson, B.J., Trevisan, S., Guédez, R., 2021. Utilizing Industrial Waste Heat for Power Generation Using sCO2 Cycles. 4th European sCO2 Conference for Energy Systems. https://doi.org/10.17185/duepublico/73976
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