News

Wasabi Energy with activity update on its Kalina Cycle work and licensees

Kalina geothermal power plant, Húsavík, Iceland (source: flickr/ ThinkGeoEnergy, creative commons)
Alexander Richter 14 Apr 2011

Wasabi Energy provides an activities update on the establishment of a Kalina Cycle(R) Laboratory and Testing Facility by Chinese licensee SSNE, the successful demonstration of Kalina Cycle(R) geothermal power plant by Taiwan's Bureau of Energy, and major design innovations and production efficiencies achieved for Eco-Gen Kalina Cycle(R) Units.

In an announcement to the London Stock Exchange, “Wasabi Energy Limited provides an update on significant Kalina Cycle(R) related activities & developments from Asia.

Key highlights: “The Chinese licensee SSNE commences establishment of Kalina Cycle(R) Laboratory and Testing Facility, Successful demonstration of Kalina Cycle(R) geothermal power plant by Taiwan’s Bureau of Energy, Major design innovations and production efficiencies achieved for Eco-Gen Kalina Cycle(R) Units, Wasabi Energy on track to implement Kalina Cycle(R) build-own-operate strategy in key markets.

Shanghai Shenghe New Energy Resources Science & Technology Co. Ltd (SSNE) has commenced the construction of a state-of-the-art Kalina Cycle(R) Laboratory and Testing Facility in Shanghai. The dedicated facility has been designed to assist in the testing of major components including 1:1 scale heat exchangers and turbine assembly as well as a full factory testing capability for the Kalina Cycle(R) system with rated power outputs of up to 5,200 kW.

The Laboratory and Testing Facility will also incorporate a Kalina Cycle(R) power plant simulator that will assist in identifying process refinements and providing operator training. The Kalina Cycle(R) facility is scheduled to commence operations in the second half of 2011 and is expected to play a pivotal role in the efficient implementation of Kalina Cycle(R) technology across major market segments in China.

The Industrial Technology Institute of Taiwan’s Bureau of Energy conducted a field evaluation of two different power generation technologies, including the Kalina Cycle(R). The field evaluation involved detailed performance tests for each of the technologies and utilised the heat from a low temperature geothermal resource in the Qingshui region Yilan County Taiwan which consisted of both geothermal liquids and steam.

The Kalina Cycle(R) power plant designed and assembled by SSNE was operated continuously for 373 hours in a side-by-side comparison with the alternative organic rankine cycle technology. The field evaluation demonstrated that the Kalina Cycle(R) was not only an efficient technology but also a reliable power generation solution – particularly when compared to the competing organic rankine cycle, which experienced significant commissioning issues during the Power Plant Testing ceremony held on the 21st of January.

The key findings of the successful Kalina Cycle(R) demonstration in Taiwan as well as the specific implications on the global geothermal sector, were published in the International Geothermal Association’s March 2011 Quarterly Newsletter (Quarterly 83). Following the Kalina Cycle(R) demonstration in Taiwan, SSNE have received enquiries from a number of parties who are interested in the utilisation of the Kalina Cycle(R) technology.

Near term opportunities include a much larger 5,000 kW Kalina Cycle(R) power plant for Taiwan’s Bureau of Energy as well as a geothermal power plant with a similar capacity in Tibet.

The Eco-Gen Kalina Cycle(R) Units are micro-sized packaged power generation systems that have been developed by Wasabi Energy’s subsidiary, Global Geothermal Limited specifically for low temperature applications including the Japanese hot spring market and other low enthalpy geothermal markets. Since Wasabi Energy announced it had secured an order for the second Eco-Gen Kalina Cycle(R) from GERD(5) , it has awarded the contract to SSNE.

The assembly of the unit is progressing well and has now incorporated a number of significant improvements in the design and production of the units. The second generation Eco-Gen Kalina Cycle(R) Units incorporate a series of important innovations including advanced vapor turbine generator design, magnetic bearing technology which allow the turbine generator to operate at very high speeds (65,000 rpm) resulting in unprecedented operating efficiencies.

The production assembly period for the second generation Eco-Gen Kalina Cycle(R) Units has also been shortened dramatically from the first generation units. Both the Eco-Gen Kalina Cycle(R) Units ordered by GERD will be installed as power plant demonstration projects in Japan. Power generation issues following the recent earthquake in Japan highlight the importance of decentralised power generation.

Based on estimates by GERD and Global Geothermal Limited, the existing Japanese hot spring market could potentially sustain more than 14,000 Eco-Gen Kalina Cycle(R) Units. General Update In parallel to the testing and demonstration projects listed above, the design and construction of the 8,600 kW Kalina Cycle(R) power plant for the Khairpur Cement Plant operated by D.G. Khan in Pakistan, is progressing well.

Engineers from Global Geothermal Limited’s subsidiary, Recurrent Engineering LLC recently conducted an advanced engineering review with the FLSmidth design team to finalise process optimisations for the project. All major components required for the project including the turbine unit have been procured, with the outstanding balance of plant which includes the ammonia-water systems for the Kalina Cycle(R) scheduled to be delivered in the second half of 2011.

Implementation of Build-Own-Operate Strategy Following the recent announcements that Wasabi Energy has acquired its first power plant and has secured a 100% interest in the Kalina Cycle(R) through the acquisition of Global Geothermal Limited, Wasabi Energy has commenced the implementation of its build-own-operate (BOO) strategy.

The acquisition of the Husavik geothermal power plant is the first project in a series of potential Kalina Cycle(R) power plant opportunities that Wasabi Energy intends to develop, build and operate as an independent power producer (IPP). In addition to the above mentioned acquisitions, Wasabi Energy is exploring a diverse range of Kalina Cycle(R) opportunities with potential partners and is in the process of establishing a number of specialised subsidiaries to focus on these strategic opportunities.

The projects being evaluated cover the full spectrum of Kalina Cycle(R) commercial opportunities including licensing arrangements as well as BOO opportunities in both the energy efficiency sectors (waste heat to power) and the renewable energy sector. Each of the subsidiaries being established by Wasabi Energy will focus on either a key geographical or market sector. Wasabi Energy will provide additional information on the progress of its subsidiaries, as appropriate.

Chairman Executive Chairman of Wasabi Energy and Director of Global Geothermal Limited, Mr. John Byrne commented: “Recent global events including the March 11 earthquake in Japan demonstrate the power generation, transmission and energy security challenges even developed economies are experiencing and reinforces the importance of decentralised power generation. The two Kalina Cycle(R) power plants currently operating in Japan, the first at the Kashima Steel Works operated by Sumitomo Metals and the second at the Tokyo Bay Oil Refinery operated by Fuji Oil, provide a practical demonstration of how our technology, the Kalina Cycle(R) can provide independent power while reducing the energy intensity of heavy industry. In addition to the waste heat to power applications, the two Eco-Gen Kalina Cycle(R) units soon to be installed at two separate hot-spring sites in Japan, provide a template for how reliable power generation can be achieved independently from the established national power networks.” “In China, we continue to be impressed with the progress our partners SSNE are making in terms of building a capability to rapidly evaluate, design and deliver our Kalina Cycle(R) technology to the Chinese market. We are particularly excited about the new Kalina Cycle(R) Laboratory and Testing Facility being established in Shanghai. This new facility will not only assist SSNE in delivering quality Kalina Cycle(R) power plants to the market in China, but will also assist Wasabi Energy in the manufacturing, assembly and factory testing of Kalina Cycle(R) systems for our global business.”

“In collaboration with Taiwan’s Bureau of Energy, SSNE recently conducted a successful Kalina Cycle(R) power plant field demonstration in Taiwan which was very well received by industry groups and is expected to result in a number of commercial scale opportunities.”

Source: Company release via PowerGen Worldwide, official release of Wasabi Energy to the ASX (pdf)