„Organic Rankine Cycle“ (ORC) describes a process allowing for power generation with such sources of heat the temperature of which is below that of steam. The systems include steam turbines adapted to the modified temperature level.
The process can be used in a practice-orientated manner, for instance for the use of geothermal energy, biomass or waste heat – consequently heat that is freely available. That is why ORC turbines are part of numerous concepts for sustainable energy production and a growing market which Expander Tech S. L. in La Vall d’Uixó from Spain founded as a branch of Jaume I University in 2000 has an outstanding market position in. The company focuses on the energetic revaluation of sources of heat above 90 °C. The systems are globally distributed under the trademark Rank®.
Part of the challenges that every designer of an ORC system has to cope with is the transmission of torque from the screw expander or vaporiser to the generator preventing the medium from escaping.
The engineers of Rank® solved this problem via a magnetic coupling type MINEX-S of the KTR product portfolio. This coupling ensures contactless torque transmission via permanent magnets. Driving and driven side are separated by a non-metallic containment shroud made of ceramics or PEEK CFK. This makes it not only unlikely, but virtually impossible for a medium to escape in this position of the power train: The product space is reliably sealed statically.
This principle has proven not only with the ORC systems by Rank®, but for instance in the drive train of pumps conveying aggressive media hazardous to health.