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Power from Waste Heat (ORC)

«Your waste heat won't leave us cold!»

Cut the cord from increasing electricity rates and make a name for yourself as an energy-efficient company. Convert your unused waste heat into valuable power. The Institute of Energy Systems and Fluid Engineering (IEFE) will help you. 

Core Area

The industry now already attempts to use process integration for the highest possible utilisation of thermal energy. If unable to do so, any waste heat can be otherwise utilised. One option is feeding it into a district heating grid.

However, if the heat source is far from the settlement area, waste heat can be converted into electric power. This can be used as auxiliary power or easily fed into the existing mains. The so-called Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) is one technology used to convert thermal energy into mechanical energy or electricity, even at relatively low temperatures (100°-350°C).

ORC is based on the conventional steam plant process (Clausius-Rankine Cycle) but instead of water, it uses an organic working fluid. Organic working fluids have lower boiling points, which is crucial in utilising waste heat with temperatures below 350 °C.

Generating electricity from industrial waste heat at temperatures starting at around 100°C is an important contribution in increasing the energy efficiency of industrial plants and processes. ORC can further be operated with solar and geothermal energy as well as with heat from the combustion of biomass.



IEFE considers itself to be Switzerland's central contact for matters related to ORC and serves as a hub between ORC manufacturers, end customers, energy consulting firms and engineering firms. We will gladly provide suitable referrals.

IEFE's interdisciplinary approach (thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, control engineering, etc.) can aid ORC manufacturers in optimising product efficiency, output and cost.

IEFE will support interested end customers with potential analyses, case studies and independent expert opinions, aiding in deciding on potential ORC application.

To energy consulting firms and engineering firms, ORC technology is an interesting alternative for utilising waste heat. IEFE can provide consultation and planning tools to support you.

Scientific support for ORC pilot plants provided by IEFE further guarantees the technology transfer between research and application and vice versa.

Project examples