CO2-free Electricity from Waste Heat to Australia

April 3, 2009
New company, CoGen Power, is aiming to install a 170 MW of this zero fuel, zero emission generation capacity within five years

Opcon, the Swedish energy and environmental technology Group, has signed an agreement with Australian CoGen Power (CoGen) for the sale and marketing of the Opcon Powerbox for production of CO2-free electricity from waste heat throughout Australia. Opcon has operations in Sweden, China and Denmark.

CoGen Power is a newly created "green tech" company specializing in the application of waste heat recovery in conjunction with the Opcon Powerbox to generate complementary and base-load power. CoGen's aim is to install a minimum of 170 MW of this zero fuel, zero emission generation capacity within five years. Each Opcon Powerbox generates up to 0,7 MW of CO2-free electricity.

CoGen will design and commission waste heat recovery systems initially focusing on a 2.3 million square kilometer area, roughly five times the size of Sweden, covering the Kimberly, Pilbara, Gasgoyne, Mid West and Southern Goldfields regions that are off the South Western Interconnected Grid (Western Australia). The target market consist of mines and remote regional centers/communities, the majority being supplied by on-site, fossil fuel electricity generation systems where fuel only costs for electricity production amounts to 32 cents AUD/kWh / 1,80 SEK/kWh .

"Just in the State of Western Australia we are looking at more than 300 operating mines off the grid that use their own, costly power generation facilities. On the average mine site there is room for one or two Opcon Powerboxes. At large Iron Ore operations with 40 MW generation capacity or greater, there is room for up to eight Opcon Powerbox units. And that is just in the mining sector. Add all regional centers/communities in remote areas that are powered by fossil fuel burning generator systems and you see the scope of what savings this green technology can bring both to our customers as well as to the environment", says Ross Smith, Managing Director of CoGen.

Opcon Powerbox produces new carbon-free electricity from waste heat at temperatures as low as 55C and can be installed in large process-industry plants, power stations or with adaption onboard larger ships. By utilizing waste heat, electricity is produced from a source that would otherwise go to waste.

"Waste heat is a huge, largely untapped potential for producing new electricity around the world. According to the U.S. Department of Energy there is more waste heat available in American industry than all of the electricity produced from all renewable energy sources in the U.S. put together -- which is an indication of the potential of this new technology", continues Rolf Hasselstrm.

"This is true zero pollution, zero emission energy. The fuel to create it is already paid for and consumed, and by definition we are only dealing with the waste heat that is otherwise lost. If applied in a blanket manner across future commercial onsite distributed energy systems, waste heat recovery also becomes a nation-wide pollution solution by reducing the total carbon emissions by up to 30%, produced in fossil fuel burning power stations," says Ross Smith, Managing Director of CoGen.

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