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Study Of Reduction Of Load Peak Curves Using Microturbines

Mario Ortiz García1, Sergio Valero Verdú1, Antonio Gabaldón Marín2, Carolina Senabre Blanes1, Manuel Peñarrubia Guerrero1 y Fco. Garcia Franco2

1Universidad Miguel Hernández

Avda. de la Universidad s/n, 03202. Elche, Spain


2Dpt of Electrical Engineering, Universidad Politécnica de Cartagena, Spain


The objective of this paper is to show with an economic study the economical benefits of using a distributed energy resource, such as microturbines, for load peak curves reduction. Three different approaches were considered to reduce the consumption of a University: one working only in the more expensive months and two almost the whole year. The results are expressed in €/kWh.

Key Words

Distributed Energy Resources DER, Load management, Electrical machines, Gas microturbines.

1. Introduction

The deregulation process is something that started a decade ago in developed countries by political and technological reasons. Unfortunately the experience has not been so successful as it was planed, due to a lot of problems appeared from 2000 up till now (California Energy Crisis in 2000, Blackouts in Europe, United States and Canada in 2003). After these experiences, regulators and system operators believe more and more that additional electricity resources -Distributed Energy Resources- should be procured using an integrated process that takes into account not only supply resources -Distributed Generation- but also some demand policies: for example efficiency gains in demand -in long term horizon- or price responsiveness -in short term horizon-. This supposes a new scenario where demand and supply compete on an equal foot in energy markets. For example, California Energy Commission will finance new energy efficiency programs to achieve a forecasted demand reduction of 6000 GWh in 2008 [1].

In our study we will center our attention in probably one of the most promising DER technology: microturbines.

During the last few years microturbines with a power range of 25 – 500 kW have been developed for small-scale power generation, particularly for distributed power generation.

The advantages of microturbines respect to other technologies are several, such as their simplicity, compactness, modularity and low emission levels, as well as their relative low investment and maintenance costs. Microturbines are a great solution for stand-by power, power quality and reliability, peak shaving, and an attractive power supply option whenever combined heat and power (CHP) generation can be exploited. In figure 1 can be seen the small size and compactness of a 60kw microturbine.

Figure 1. Capstone C60 microturbine with unifin heat exchanger

2. Microturbines overview

Microturbines operate on the same thermodynamic cycle as traditional gas turbines, the Brayton cycle. In this cycle, the

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