A new waste heat to power project completed in August, saw technology integration company Heatcatcher chosen by Heliex Power to integrate its innovative steam screw expander technology into a clinical waste incinerator site near Leeds.

Heatcatcher is an independent designer, builder and operator of waste heat to power systems. Its market-leading experience of integrating the best available proven waste heat recovery technology into existing industrial processes ensures that its customers benefit from minimal operational risk and maximum financial return.

Previous projects include waste heat to power systems designed for use in lime and cement production, and the company is exploring the potential for energy recovery projects in a range of other energy-intensive industries, including glass and steel production, pharmaceutical and chemical manufacturing. A recent report commissioned by the government’s Department for Energy and Climate Change estimates that the potential for recovering and using surplus heat from industry is equivalent to 8 TWh per year, and would reduce carbon emissions by 1.9 Mt of CO2 annually.

The Heliex System is being incorporated into the site’s existing process for cooling incineration furnace gases, which can reach temperatures of 1000°C. Once cooled, the gases are made safe before being released to the atmosphere. A heat exchanger is used to absorb the heat from the furnace gases to heat water, which is turned into steam. This steam will go through the Heliex system, where it will be used to generate electricity, before being condensed to water and then returned to the heat exchanger to start the process again.

This method is a highly efficient way of utilising heat from the furnace gasses, which would otherwise be wasted. It is estimated that the annual energy savings delivered by the new system will be greater than 1,350 MWh – equivalent to the energy required by 70 homes.

“We’re delighted the medical waste incineration plant is installing a Heliex Power Steam Expander System as part of its ongoing commitment to energy saving and on-site efficiency,” said Dan Wright, CEO of Heliex Power. “Our technology is ideally suited to projects where there is an abundance of waste heat as we can harness it in a cost effective and reliable way, resulting in lower energy bills and less reliance on energy from fossil fuels for our clients.”

“It’s a great endorsement of Heatcatcher’s waste heat to power project development skills to be selected by Heliex Power to deliver this first project of its kind in the clinical waste incinerator sector,” said Darren Bryant, CEO of Heatcatcher. “We expect that in the next 5 to 10 years, more and more energy intensive users with waste heat from their processes will integrate the best available technologies to generate low carbon electricity, reducing their energy costs to win an advantage over their competitors.”

Heatcatcher design, build and operate waste heat systems primarily for power stations.