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Publication Title | Emerging Technologies Using Microturbines

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than a microturbine of the same capacity. However, as noted earlier, microturbines are currently produced in low volumes. It is reasonable to expect that increased sales volumes could appreciably lower costs.

Promising DG Applications

Despite the ef ciency and cost challenges, potentially attractive niche markets for microturbines include:

• California CHP systems, where using microturbines (rather than internal-combustion engines) may facilitate meeting ARB emissions regulations;

• Greenhouse CHP systems where the microturbine is exhausted directly into the greenhouse, providing inexpensive and very ef cient heating plus carbon dioxide to enhance plant growth;

• Power generation from land ll gas, where tolerance of low-energy- content fuels is essential; and

• Some roof-mounted DG or CHP systems where the compact, light- weight, and low noise/vibration characteristics of microturbines may be essential to avoid expensive structural reinforcement and vibra- tion-isolation measures.


1. Capstone Turbine Corporation. 2006. “Product Innovations by the World’s Leading Microturbine Manufacturer.” Presentation at the ASME Turbo Expo: Power for Land, Sea, and Air. http://tinyurl. com/yp85u3 (or 06_turbo_expo.html).

2. Gas Research Institute and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. 2003. “Gas-Fired Distributed Energy Resource Technology Charac- terizations.” (or www.nrel. gov/docs/fy04osti/34783.pdf).

3. The Microturbines program area of the Web site for the U.S. Department of Energy, Of ce of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability, Distrib- uted Energy Program. (or

4. Rosfjord, T., D. Haught and D. Geiling. 2005. “Cooperative Research and Development for Ad- vanced Microturbine System.” Presented by United Technologies Research Center at the U.S. Department of Energy, Distributed Energy Peer Review. http:// (or review05/pdfs/presentations/turbines/tu_b2-2.pdf).

5. D&R International 2006 Buildings Energy Data Book. 2006. Prepared by D&R International for the U.S. Department of Energy. http://buildings-

6. ADL. 2002. “Cooling, Heating and Power (CHP) for Commercial Buildings Bene ts Analysis.” Final Report by Arthur D. Little Inc., to the U.S. Department of Energy. (or commercial_buildings.pdf).

7. Certified DG Technologies area of the California Air Resources Board Web site: (or dg.htm#Certi ed).

Robert Zogg, P.E.; John Bowman; and Kurt Roth, Ph.D.; are associate principals with TIAX LLC, Cambridge, Mass. James Brodrick, Ph.D., is a project manager with the Building Technologies Program, U.S. Department of Energy, Washing- ton, D.C.

April 2007

ASHRAE Journal 51

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