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Publication Title | Technical Reference Stand Alone Operation – Capstone Model C30 and C60/C65

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Capstone Turbine Corporation • 21211 Nordhoff Street • Chatsworth • CA 91311 • USA Telephone: (818) 734-5300 • Facsimile: (818) 734-5320 • Website:

Technical Reference

Stand Alone Operation – Capstone Model C30 and C60/C65


This document presents information on operating the Capstone MicroTurbine in Stand Alone mode. Stand Alone mode allows power generation at locations where there is either no electric utility service or where backup power is desired when the electric utility is unavailable. For Stand Alone operation, the voltage and frequency of the MicroTurbine are set to meet load requirements. The MicroTurbine behaves as a voltage source that always follows the power requirements of the load, (i.e., the output power is determined by the actual current draw demanded by the connected loads).

The MicroTurbine in Stand Alone mode utilizes a large on-board battery pack to power connected loads when no electric grid utility is available. The battery provides energy for starting the MicroTurbine, and once idle conditions are reached, provides an electrical buffer for sudden increases or decreases in load. During operation, the battery also provides energy for supporting power draw while the MicroTurbine increases speed to provide the necessary power. In addition, it serves as a buffer to absorb energy during a loss of load while the MicroTurbine decelerates to produce less power. During MicroTurbine shutdown, the battery may be placed in sleep mode to minimize drain and preserve battery charge. Management of the battery and its state-of-charge is automatic during MicroTurbine operation.


Stand Alone capabilities include a Soft Start function, which allows the MicroTurbine to begin exporting power at less than nominal voltage and frequency, and then linearly increases voltage and frequency to nominal levels over a period of time. This Soft Start feature can assist in starting loads with large in-rush currents. To meet output power requirements automatically, the system can be configured in Auto Load mode. Auto Load ensures that the MicroTurbine closes the output contactor to immediately produce the required output power once minimum engine load speed is reached.

Power Specifications

The electrical output is user-adjustable from 150 to 480 volts AC, 10 to 60 Hz. The current in each phase may be continuous and need not be balanced, as long as electrical current limits are respected. For complete electrical performance ratings, see Model C30 and Model C60/C65 Electrical Technical Reference (410000/410001). For details on electrical wiring requirements, see the Electrical Interconnection Technical Reference (410009).

Other Modes

The MicroTurbine can be configured in two other modes of operation: Grid Connect, and Dual Mode. Grid Connect configures the MicroTurbine in parallel with the local electric utility grid to reduce utility electric demand during peak load periods. Dual mode combines both Stand Alone and Grid Connect modes so that the MicroTurbine is able to maximize power availability, utilizing the grid when available and operating in Stand Alone during a utility outage. Refer to the Grid Connect Operation Technical Reference (410027) and Dual Mode Controller Technical Reference (410039) for details.

410028 Rev. D (February 2006) Page 1 of 22

This information is proprietary to Capstone Turbine Corporation. Neither this document nor the information contained herein shall be copied, disclosed to others, or used for any purposes other than the specific purpose for which this document was delivered. Capstone reserves the right to change or modify without notice, the design, the product specifications, and/or the contents of this document without incurring any obligation either with respect to equipment previously sold or in the process of construction.

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