Transforming heat into power generation

Every day, heat is released into the atmosphere from boilers, generators, exhaust stacks, ovens and kilns in many different industries. In fact, almost three-fifths of the primary energy used in power plants becomes waste heat, and 20 to 50 percent of industrial energy input is lost as waste heat (according to the US DOE and IEA). GE's Clean Cycle* heat-to-power generator can convert much of that heat into a reliable source of electricity without producing additional emissions.

GE’s heat to power generators can provide you with lower, more stable power bills and an added source of electricity revenue from your heat source today. 


  • Efficient: Generates electricity (up to 140 kW per unit) from heat in a process that uses no additional fuel and results in no additional emissions
  • Modular: Standardized solutions are quick to install on existing heat sources, and they are simple to maintain
  • Flexible: Units automatically respond to changing heat conditions and can be installed in multiples for more electrical output from larger heat sources
  • Reliable: GE’s small scale heat to power units operate in more than 10 different countries, on a variety of different heat sources, and have accumulated greater than 400,000 operating hours

How To Get Power From Heat

Just about any source of heat - including exhaust, water, steam or oil - with sufficient temperatures and flow rates can be used to create electricity with the Clean Cycle generator. Below is how the energy conversion process works:

  • Heat is applied to a Clean Cycle unit, which contains a working fluid with a lower boiling point than water
  • The heat causes the working fluid to turn from a liquid to a pressurized vapor, in the same way water turns to steam
  • The pressurized vapor expands across a turbine, causing it to spin
  • The turbine is coupled to a generator, which produces electricity
  • The power from the generator is conditioned by power electronics to be used on-site or sold to the grid

Where are Clean Cycle units being used?

The Clean Cycle solution has received GE’s ecomagination* qualification for its ability to provide customers with cost savings and environmental benefits. Not only does the Clean Cycle generate power without producing emissions, it also provides the power at a fraction of the cost of typical generation. Below are a few examples of the Clean Cycle units in operation today:

  • In Indonesia, one Clean Cycle unit displaces 1,000 barrels of oil per year from diesel engine consumption by turning the engine heat into electricity and making the engine installation more efficient
  • In the United Kingdom, one Clean Cycle generates an extra 800 MWh of electricity from biogas gas engine’s heat, enough to power 100 EU households
  • In the United Kingdom, four Clean Cycle units decrease a cement plant’s electric bill by 25 percent

*Trademark of the General Electric Company

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