ThermoDraft, a Greek start-up that specializes in research, development, and manufacturing of innovative environmentally friendly products in the areas of heat to power conversion and heat upgrading, is set to be one of the 21 Rising Stars showcased in the Rising Stars Pavilion at Europort.
Initially established as a spin-off of the Agricultural University of Athens, ThermoDraft combines its extensive expertise in heat to power conversion engines with a strong background in refrigeration units. ThermoDraft’s vision is to create ground-breaking and dependable solutions that contribute to decarbonization and energy efficiency in the industrial and marine sectors.
ThermoDraft actively explores state-of-the-art technologies and novel products, actively participating in EU-funded research projects. To support these endeavours, they have established a robust research and development department comprising a highly skilled scientific team. This team consists of specialized researchers and experienced professionals who possess extensive knowledge in the field of thermal processes.
This interview seeks to shed light on the technology that ThermoDraft has crafted, as well as the unique value propositions that differentiate them from competitors. Read along!
- With your own words, what is the idea behind your start-up?
ThermoDraft is a start-up company, founded in 2021, but its core team is working in the field of heat recovery, upgrade, and conversion to electricity for more than 15 years. One of its aims is to develop and bring into the market advanced Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) and High Temperature Heat Pump (HTHP) solutions, for exploiting (waste) heat sources. Such solutions are perfectly suited for ships integration, which reject huge amounts of heat, mostly at the low-temperature range. These amounts of heat can either be converted to electricity or upgraded and reused in the ship processes.
On top of that, all recent regulations bring pressure to the ship owners to enhance energy efficiency of their vessels. ThermoDraft fulfills all the above targets with its ORC and HTHP solutions that is the result of long-term intensive research and development.
- Could you describe the core products or services your start-up offers to the maritime industry?
ThermoDraft offers two unique products that both have the same functionality, to exploit (waste) heat sources, indicated next. Services concern the installation, commissioning, maintenance and after sales support of both product types.
The growing concern over the greenhouse gases emissions and the effect on our environment has brought into the spotlight the ORC as a reliable and efficient technology for low-grade heat recovery and conversion into electricity. In ThermoDraft, we provide commercial and customized ORCs for marine and industrial applications. Under the stressing fossil fuel prices and GHG emissions restrictions and the need for clean energy generation, ORC technology emerges as the ideal alternative for such low-temperature waste/excess heat sources (below 150-200 °C), since it reliably saves emissions and costs. ThermoDraft’s ORC products have a range from 30 to 200 kWe of gross power. Higher capacities can be achieved with multiple ORC units in parallel.
High-temperature heat pumps
HTHPs, can provide high efficiency heat supply that meets the heat demand of marine, leading to reduced operating costs and CO2 emissions. ThermoDraft’s HTHP main features concern the recovery of the waste heat from the auxiliary engines and upgrade for low-pressure steam production. This steam supplies the ship’s heating network, mainly for space and cargo heating, hot water preparation, and fuel/lubricating oil pre-heating, greatly reducing the fuel consumption of boilers, and indirectly all emissions. Conventional and new-generation eco-friendly refrigerants with negligible Greenhouse Warming Potential (GWP) and Ozone Depletion Potential (ODP) may be employed, such as R1234ze(E) or R1233zd(E). Polyester oil (POE) with appropriate viscosity at such temperature levels and compatible with the refrigerants is used for the lubrication of the compressor, which operates at high temperatures.
- What is your start-up’s mission and vision in the maritime industry?
Our vision is to offer incessantly pioneer, reliable, and smart designed energy efficiency products, providing solutions towards decarbonizing the marine sector while changing the way of generating power. In this context, ThermoDraft’s mission is to investigate efficient ways to exploit excess/dissipating heat of sea-vessels and develop the optimal technological foreground so that this heat to become again useful.
- How does your company differentiate itself from competitors in the maritime industry?
The following are considered as unique value propositions for ThermoDraft’s products:
- Customization and Cost Efficiency: we meet the specific needs of each application anywhere in the world at the minimum cost
- Minimum level of required maintenance
- Zero-carbon emissions
- Simple and timely installation
- Reliable industrial components
- Reduced Fuel Consumption
- Integration expertise through our previous expertise in marine refrigeration
- Expertise on after sales service for the marine sector
- Higher efficiency is possible through innovative expansion techniques (i.e. isothermal expansion)
- Why did you apply to be a Rising Stars and what do you expect of the Rising Stars Pavilion and Europort?
ThermoDraft finds Rising Stars as a unique opportunity to communicate its vision, products, and solutions to the marine society. Europort constitutes one of the most remarkable events in the marine sector gathering thousands of professionals and exhibitors, thus establishing the perfect field to make known our innovative activities.