Climate-friendly energy from waste heat

16 January 2020

The German Physical Society (DPG) is jointly awarding its Technology Transfer Prize to the start-up Orcan Energy, the Chair of Energy Systems of the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and the TUM Patents and Licenses team. This recognizes the successful research, patent registration and product launch of a technology that converts waste heat into electrical power.

Every day enormous quantities of energy go to waste in industry and the transportation sector. Waste heat is generated in production processes and by motors. To utilize this heat, a team at the TUM Chair of Energy Systems has developed a new technology that can be used to generate power in factories, combined heat and power (CHP) stations, on ships and in many other industrial processes.

The easy-to-install module uses a technology similar to that of traditional steam-driven turbines. Instead of water, however, it uses an organic fluid with a lower boiling point. This principle, referred to as the Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC), was used by the team to develop a technology that makes efficient use of small quantities of waste heat with relatively uncomplicated equipment.

The DPG Technology Transfer Prize will be presented on March 31, 2020 at the annual conference of the German Physical Society in Bonn. In 2016 TUM selected the founders as the winners of its Presidential Entrepreneurship Award.