Kalina Cycle® Technology and History
The Kalina Cycle® was invented and patented in the
1980s by Russian engineer Alexander Kalina. His invention included the first time
development of a contiguous set of ammonia-water mixture thermodynamic properties,
which provide the basis for unique power plant designs for different forms of power
generation from different heat sources. The thermodynamic properties Kalina conceived
have been analyzed and verified for over 20 years by a variety of independent researchers
and consulting engineers.
World's First Ever Kalina Combined Cycle Power Plant Fires Up
The U.S. Department of Energy sponsored the first major Kalina Cycle®
technology demonstration constructed between 1991 and 1997 at its test site in Canoga
Park, California. This 6.5 MW combined cycle configured power plant ran for a total
of 8600 hours, including tests to demonstrate and verify efficiency gains in both
waste heat and combined cycle operation. The successful Canoga Park plant has been
widely described and documented in a variety of highly regarded international publications.
"The Canoga Park plant takes Kalina Cycle® technology
from idea to performance.The power generation industry has been looking for opportunities
to boost efficiency and lower costs while trying to meet more stringent environmental
regulations. The Kalina Cycle® meets those needs."
said Dr. Alexander Kalina.
Canoga Plant Exterior, Canoga Plant turbine
The plant's singular feature that distinguishes the Kalina Cycle®
from the Rankine Cycle is the Distillation Condensation Sub-System (DCSS). The main
function of the DCSS is to alter the composition of the working fluid during the
condensation process. By making the mixture composition leaner (less ammonia) in
the condenser, the turbine back pressure is reduced, leading directly to increased
electrical output and higher plant efficiency.
Kalina Cycle® Technology Gains Commercial Success
From 1999 through 2000, three new commercial Kalina Cycle®
plants were constructed and placed in service. These were a 4.5 MW waste-to-energy
demonstration facility in Japan, a 3.5 MW waste heat power plant at
Sumitomo Steel, and a 2.0 MW geothermal power plant in Iceland.