ORCNext project leads to 25% more electricity from waste heat


The SBO project ORCNext aimed at developing knowledge and design tools for the next generation of Organic Rankine Cycles (ORC). The focus was the implementation of ORC-technology in waste heat valorization. The project , funded by IWT, ran from February 2012 to January 2016. The project was a partnership between Ghent University, University of Antwerp, University of Liège and Atlas Copco.

At the start of the project, the industry recognized the potential of ORCs for waste heat recovery. On the other hand, ORCs were in industrial practice not often installed.  The state of the art overall (and seasonal) efficiency was too low and as a consequence the financial benefits were limited. The ORCNext project aimed at tipping the balance by developing design tools and insight in ORC thermodynamics, control and financial mechanisms.

The project showed that the overall technical target of increasing efficiency with 20 to 25% can be met through appropriate cycle selection, efficient expanders, appropriate control and less oversizing of the heat exchangers.

On 27 January 2016 the successful completion of the ORCNext project was celebrated with a closing event. This event, on which the project results were presented, took place in Het Pand in Gent and attracted more than 30 interested companies.

Dana, one of the members of the user group, states:

« Due to the ORCNext project, Dana has built up broad knowledge about Organic Rankine Cycles. An important result for Dana is that for a system optimized on the basis of power per cost, the standard Rankine Cycle with preferably isentropic fluids leads to the best compromise between simplicity, compactness and power output. »

Further information?


Prof. dr. ir. Michel De Paepe
project coordinator