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Capstone Model 330 - Medium Btu Fuel


This guide provides information relative to successful installation and operation of Medium Btu (350 to 1200 Btu/scf) fueled Capstone Model 330 systems. Fuel system requirements and hardware are presented, as well as system fuel settings, and, in the case of StandAlone systems, battery information.

Fuel Gas Filtration

A main filter must be installed external to the MicroTurbine. Fuel gas supply must be dry and 95% free of particulate contaminants larger than 10 microns. All filters must be routinely cleaned of accumulated solid and liquid contaminants. Liquids in the fuel supply will degrade performance and may cause damage to the MicroTurbine. Liquids in the fuel supply will also void the warranty. Due to higher inlet pressure requirements, many applications require the Capstone optional external fuel gas booster (FGB). Capstone recommends adhering to the following guidelines to assist in meeting the fuel specification.

1) Do not use carbon steel piping for digester gas or landfill gas. Instead, use appropriately rated plastic, aluminum or stainless steel. All surfaces, seals, bearings, and elastomers should be rated for dilute acid. Typical H2S levels are 500 to 1500 ppm in wastewater treatment plants, and 2000 to 7000 ppm in agricultural (or manure) digesters.

2) Condensate knockout pots are required as far upstream from the FGB as possible and at the FGB inlet. Automatic drains are required on both of them. Another knockout pot with an automatic drain, followed by a coalescing filter with an automatic drain, is required downstream of the FGB.

4) All of the previously listed components need to be made of appropriately rated plastic, stainless steel, or aluminum – not carbon steel.

Without these precautions, the compressor and/or the MicroTurbine can ingest water and become fouled with contaminants, and/or ‘black sludge’.

What is ‘Black Sludge’?

Experts (as noted in the Oil & Gas Journal, dated 26 October 1998) in the digester gas business state that black sludge can be expected to some extent in every biogas application. The key ingredients (hydrogen sulfide, water, and iron) are all present in abundance, unless they are eliminated through gas treatment or the installer’s choice of construction materials. The more H2S and water present in the gas, and the more carbon steel in the piping and equipment, the more black sludge likely to be formed. The most likely place for the sludge to collect is in the compressor.

Fuel Gas Pressure Regulation

Depending on the Btu content of the fuel, different minimum inlet fuel pressure requirements apply. These values are summarized in the following table:

Minimum Pressure Requirements

Btu/scf (HHV) (kCal/NM3)

kPA (psig)

700-1200 (80-137)

276-311 (40-45)

600-700 (68-80)

345-414 (50-60)

500-600 (57-68)

380-449 (55-65)

450-500 (51-57)

414-483 (60-70)

400-450 (46-51)

449-518 (65-75)

350-400 (40-46)

483-552 (70-80)

511340/1 Application Guide - Medium Btu Fuel

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