Learn how and when to remove this template message Cross-section cutaway illustration of Capstone C65 65kW microturbine Capstone Turbine Corporation, incorporated in , is a California based gas turbine manufacturer that specializes in microturbine power along with heating and cooling cogeneration systems. Key to the Capstone design is its use of air bearings , which provides maintenance and fluid-free operation for the lifetime of the turbine and reduces the system to a single moving part. This also eliminates the need for any cooling or other secondary systems. The Capstone microturbine is a versatile and dispatchable technology that is fuel flexible and scalable enough to fit a variety of applications. The company sells microturbine generators for electrical power generation , cogeneration , biogas -fueled renewable energy , and hybrid vehicle power.
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Small volume production, commercial prototypes now. Courtesy of California Distributed Energy Resources Guide on Microturbines Microturbines are small combustion turbines approximately the size of a refrigerator with outputs of 25 kW to kW. They evolved from automotive and truck turbochargers, auxiliary power units APUs for airplanes, and small jet engines.
Most microturbines are comprised of a compressor, combustor, turbine, alternator, recuperator a device that captures waste heat to improve the efficiency of the compressor stage , and generator.
The figure below illustrates how a microturbine works. How a microturbine works. Courtesy of slimfilms. Types of Microturbines Microturbines are classified by the physical arrangement of the component parts: single shaft or two-shaft, simple cycle, or recuperated, inter-cooled, and reheat.
The machines generally rotate over 40, revolutions per minute. The bearing selection—oil or air—is dependent on usage. A single shaft microturbine with high rotating speeds of 90, to , revolutions per minute is the more common design, as it is simpler and less expensive to build.
Conversely, the split shaft is necessary for machine drive applications, which does not require an inverter to change the frequency of the AC power. Microturbine generators can also be divided into two general classes: Unrecuperated or simple cycle microturbines—In a simple cycle, or unrecuperated, turbine, compressed air is mixed with fuel and burned under constant pressure conditions.
The resulting hot gas is allowed to expand through a turbine to perform work. Recuperated microturbines—Recuperated units use a sheet-metal heat exchanger that recovers some of the heat from an exhaust stream and transfers it to the incoming air stream, boosting the temperature of the air stream supplied to the combustor. Further exhaust heat recovery can be used in a cogeneration configuration.
The figures below illustrate a recuperated microturbine system. Recuperated microturbine View enlarged diagram Courtesy of EPRI Cogeneration is an option in many cases as a microturbine is located at the point-of-power utilization.
CAPSTONE’S COVID-19 RESPONSE
C65 Capstone Microturbine