Frequently Asked Questions.
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The Heat is Power Association (HiP) is the industry-led organization focused exclusively on advancing waste heat to power (WHP) as a renewable energy resource through advocacy, outreach, and productive alliances.
Waste heat is an energy resource. “Waste heat” is the term used for heat energy that is generated as a by-product of a man-made activity, such as an industrial process, power generation, or comfort heat (e.g., HVAC) Similar to “natural” heat energy resources like solar and geothermal, the excess thermal energy (or wasted heat) produced by industrial processes is captured and converted to usable energy (or electric power) via appropriate technology.
Waste heat to Power (WHP) uses a variety of technologies that capture waste heat and convert it to electricity: steam turbine and Organic Rankine Cycle are the two leading technologies.
Both waste heat to power (WHP) and combined heat to power (CHP) capture and utilize a waste heat resource.
CHP systems generate electricity first and then capture the waste heat from the electric generation process for useful thermal purposes, e.g. heat for industrial processes or building HVAC systems.
WHP systems capture waste heat first, (e.g. from industrial processes or commercial building heating systems) and then convert it to electricity, with no additional fuel or intermittent emissions.
Industry utilizes 30% of energy in the U.S. and 20% – 30% of energy consumed by industry is lost to the atmosphere as waste heat, ~ 5-13 quadrillion BTU/yr, at a cost of $20B-$60B/year.
A DOE commissioned study “Waste Heat to Power Market Assessment March 2015”, gauges there is an opportunity to produce 15 GW of power from waste heat.
Waste heat is a zero-emission energy resource. The heat will be generated regardless of whether the wasted portion is captured, and it is converted into electricity with no fuel, thus there are no emissions.
Every quantum of wasted heat recovered increases the energy output of the fuel used; less fuel is needed to produce the same quantum of product, and thus reduces carbon intensity.
WHP is fuel neutral and provides reliable on-site power at the plant where it is co-located thereby reducing electric purchase from the grid. WHP is a critical tool in decarbonizing the U.S. economy. In the highly energy intensive industrial sector, WHP lowers industrial carbon intensity and will help industry accelerate meeting net zero emission goals by 2050. The 26% federal investment tax credit for WHP signed into law January 2021 is intended to boost development of WHP technology in the U.S. It is currently applicable until January 2023), but is anticipated to be extended for five more years (until January 2028).