Alaska Energy Authority Project
The Alaska Energy Authority (AEA) with the diesel stimulus funding took on the project to look at the increase in fuel efficiency of stationary source diesel power generation in small scale settings such as the villages of Alaska. AEA provides assistance in building, maintaining and operating rural power plants and the ongoing effort by the agency includes engine efficiency improvements, power plant upgrades and replacements, rebuilding or replacement of diesel generators and heat recovery from diesel engine exhausts.
AEA in collaboration with the University of Alaska, Fairbanks started testing and evaluating Organic Rankine Cycle Engines operating on recovered heat from the diesel engine exhaust. Phase 1 of the project required testing of two Organic Rankine Cycle engines (green machine) with different kilowatt output in laboratory setting using ammonia-water cycle and glycol-based engines. Phase 2 of the project called for field testing of the two units based on the chosen methodology, either glycol or ammonia engine, in rural Alaska villages.
Phase 1 of the project is complete and the field testing of the glycol based engines are in progress. Diesel stimulus money was used for buying instruments, laboratory testing and software analysis. Phase 2 of the project is being funded by different sources and is ongoing.
Picture of Electratherms heat to power system - The system uses a closed loop Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) to recover heat from diesel engine exhaust.