The project was completed in August, 2014 and the final report is available on the Energy Commission website. Publication number: CEC-500-2015-026
Altex designed and demonstrated a 6 ton (cooling) prototype steam jet refrigeration system capable of producing chilled water from process steam generated by the boiler used to recover exhaust heat from a microturbine-generator CHP system. The advantage of this technique over other heat-to-refrigeration systems, such as absorption chillers, is that it is less expensive, utilizes less floor space, and maximizes the use of an extant heat recovery apparatus. In addition, no hydrofluorocarbons, chlorofluorocarbons, or other volatile organics are utilized. The coefficient of performance was generally low, as expected (about 0.32), but is of little concern when the cost of steam production is low. The electricity cost of this process was found to be 50-60% of conventional vapor-compression refrigeration, and the working temperatures were found to be similar.
Researchers estimate that the payback time is less than three years in cases where waste heat utilization would otherwise be less than about 75 percent.
Leva Energy, Incorporated
Altex Technologies Corporation