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High Ef ciency Microturbine with Integral Heat Recovery

Improving the Operating Ef ciency of Microturbine-Based Distributed Generation at an Affordable Price

This project is developing a clean, cost-effective 370 kilowatt (kW) microturbine with 42% net electrical ef ciency and 85% total combined heat and power (CHP) ef ciency.


The U.S. economic market potential for distributed generation is signi cant. This market, however, remains mostly untapped in the commercial and small industrial buildings that are well suited for microturbines.

Gas turbines have many advantages, including high power density, light weight, clean emissions, fuel exibility, low vibration, low maintenance, high reliability, and excellent durability. These power generation systems are frequently used for aviation, utility power, and remote oil and gas applications.

This project is developing a 370 kW gas-fueled microturbine that will attract additional markets because of its increased energy ef ciency and reduced capital cost, which is expected to be approximately $600 per kW. The microturbine technology will maximize usable exhaust energy and achieve ultra-low emissions levels.

The initial target for the C370 microturbine is the distributed generation market using existing fuel infrastructure, including fossil fuels, such as natural gas and diesel, as well as renewable fuels, such as land ll gas, digester gas, and syngas.

Bene ts for Our Industry and Our Nation

The C370 CHP system will reduce U.S. industrial energy intensity, natural gas requirements, carbon intensity, and criteria pollutant emissions; provide more secure power; create jobs; maximize competitiveness of industry; and strengthen the economy. Potential bene ts of a C370 CHP system include:

• Energy savings of 44% compared to a traditional system of separate electricity and thermal energy generation

• 59% reduction in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions compared to traditional system

• 95% reduction in nitrogen oxide (NO ) emissions compared to traditional system x

• Payback period of approximately 2.6 years, at an average electric price of $0.10 per kilowatt hour and average natural gas cost of $8.00 per MMBTU

• Use of alternative fuels, including renewables and syngas, to reduce natural gas consumption

Applications in Our Nation’s Industry

This project will target industrial, commercial, and government facilities that currently use the C200 or have the potential to employ the new C370. The C370 is not limited to small scale distributed generation using traditional fuels. Multiple C370 microturbines can be packaged into multi-megawatt systems for larger project sizes. Both dual fuel capability and uninterruptible power supply (UPS) functionality can be added in the future to increase reliability and energy security.

Project Description

The objective of this project is to demonstrate a microturbine- based distributed generation system with increased ef ciency, reduced emissions, and improved customer value. The highest risk technical challenges were addressed early in the project and many components from current Capstone products are being used to accelerate development and ensure commercial success.

The project is using a modi ed Capstone C200 compressor and turbine assembly to act as the low-pressure section of a two-shaft turbine system. This results in an electrical output of 250 kW.

A new high-temperature, high-pressure compressor and turbine will act as the second assembly. After an intercooler and the high-pressure assembly are added, the electrical output will increase to 370 kW.


Schematic of the thermodynamic cycle for the C370.

Illustration courtesy of Capstone Turbine Corporation

Image | High Efficiency Microturbine with Integral Heat Recovery

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