The Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) is a heat recovery process that converts thermal energy into mechanical power. An organic working fluid that has a lower boiling point and higher vapor pressure than water is used to transfer heat from an external source into a closed loop system.

How it Works


Although the underlying concept is the same for all ORC systems, Access Energy's ORC system is more efficient and reliable compared to competitive products under the similar working conditions. This is mainly due to the interworkings of the underlying system components. Access Energy has been able to minimize and in some instances remove the system’s mechanical and electromechanical losses.

This Includes:


Click on the component names below to learn more about each.

Carefree® Integrated Power Module (IPM)/ Turbine Expander

The Carefree Integrated Power Module (IPM) is the core of Access Energy’s ORC systems. It makes small-scale heat recovery systems viable and economical. The IPM runs on magnetic bearings and is hermetically sealed into a single unit, eliminating the need for a gearbox, lubrication system and rotating seals.

The Carefree IPM consists of a high-speed turbine expander and three integrated proprietary technologies, a high-speed permanent magnet generator, magnetic bearings, and power electronics in one sealed unit.

The integrated turbine and PM rotor removes the coupling and penetration between the turbine casing and the generator eliminating associated mechanical shaft losses and working fluid leakage potential. It also is more efficient then positive displacement (screw or scroll expanders).

Magnaforce™ High-Speed Permanent Magnet Generator

The high-speed permanent magnet (PM) generators used in the Thermapower® and Hydrocurrent® systems are made of proven materials, which operate with very little losses, and offer simple construction, which translates into low cost. The patented technology also includes direct coupling to the turbine wheel, high tip speed capabilities for high-speed operation, simplified controls for power generation and no maintenance.

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Powerflux™ Magnetic Bearings and Insight™ Magnetic Bearing Controller (MBC)

Powerflux™ magnetic bearings offer users many benefits while maintaining a similar cost structure to conventional oil lubricated bearing systems, including eliminating physical contact between rotating and stationary components and lubrication system contamination. The magnetic bearings in the Thermapower® and Hydrocurrent® products are highly reliable, reduce operating costs, simplify maintenance and expand machine operating parameters. They are controlled by the Insight Magnetic Bearing Controller (MBC), which levitates the turbine wheel/rotor assembly.

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Vericycle™ 300-AE Bidirectional Drive

Access Energy’s power electronics are customized to generate power for high-speed heat recovery applications and condition power to meet the needs of the microgrid.

The power electronics software monitors microgrid activity in real time and adjusts the voltage and the frequency output to meet the real time conditions of the microgrid, if desired. In addition, the electronics package meets all the requirements for power quality. Proven, state-of-the-art technology is utilized to maximize the benefits for these high-speed systems. Some unique design features and options of Vericycle power electronics include: no auxiliaries needed for cooling, self-monitoring safety features, and adjustability for 50 or 60 Hz and 380 to 480V.

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Program Logic Controller

The Program Logic Controller (PLC) allows the ORC unit to operate autonomously. It monitors the temperatures necessary for proper operation as well as controls the automated heat source and cooling source valves. Using temperature monitoring and the source valves, the PLC ensures the industrial functions are unaffected when the ORC is off line.