Capstone Turbine Corp., Chatsworth, California, U.S.A., took a step up in the
power output of its product line with the introduction of its 1 MW, C1000 power package. The power package is designed to offer variable outputs of electric power for applications in oil and gas, hospital, industrial, municipal, retail, landfill and other installations requiring electric power.“This is another important technical achievement for Capstone, as we will be able to effectively compete in megawatt-scale projects and, therefore, double our addressable market,” said Jim Crouse, Capstone Turbine Corp.’s executive vice president of sales and marketing.

C200 microturbines

Capstone Turbine Corp. has introduced its 1 MW, C1000 power package designed for electric power generation in oil and gas, hospital, industrial, municipal, retail, landfill and other applications. The package, based on a 9 m long ISO container includes up to five, C200 microturbines each with a 200 kW output.

New flexible C1000 product opens door for larger-scale projects According to Capstone, the C1000 platform is the first 1 MW power package available based on a microturbine prime mover. The package uses up to five of the company’s recently introduced 200 kW, C200 microturbines to produce power — up to 20, C1000 packages can be placed together in a parallel arrangement for a total output of 20 MW. “The C1000 platform applies the same dependable technology found in our proven 30 kW and 65 kW products,” said Darren Jamison, Capstone’s president and chief executive officer. “We believe the C1000 will be well received in the United States and abroad, and reinforce our commitment to provide customers one of the most environmentally friendly distributed generation products available.”Using multiple microturbines installed into one container, the company can flexibly configure the package into 1000, 800 or 600 kW systems using five, four or three C200 microturbines respectively.

The microturbines are packaged in a 9 m long ISO container, including the power electronics in a standard configuration ready to install. All that is required are fuel and electrical connections. The package is also capable of use in CHP applications, which would require additional system hook-ups. In addition, the C1000 package includes Capstone’s remote monitoring and diagnostic capabilities with integrated utility synchronization and protection.

The system also includes Capstone’s comprehensive factory protection service plan. Other benefits of the package, according to Capstone, are lower greenhouse-gas emissions, patented air-bearing technology, ease of installation and commissioning, minimal scheduled maintenance and downtime, low noise and vibration, and a small modular system footprint. The unit has an electrical performance under nominal full power performance at ISO conditions of 1 MW output at 400 to 480 Va.c. with a three-phase, four-wire electrical service. The package will be available in 50 and 60 Hz grid connect and 10 to 60 Hz stand-alone operation versions. The maximum output current is 1450 Amp at 400 V or 1200 Amp at 480 V in grid connect operation and 1550 Amp stand-alone operation with a linear load.

Electrical efficiency is 33% according to published numbers from Capstone. The microturbine fuel requirements include natural or raw natural gas HHV 30 756 to 47 532 kJ/m3 with an inlet pressure using standard natural gas at 37 280 kJ/m3 of 5.2 barg. The fuel flow rate is 120 000 MJ/hr. As for turbine exhaust characteristics, the NOx emissions at 15% O2 are <9 ppmvd for the standard turbine and <4 ppmvd for a CARB-certified version. The NOx to electrical output ratio is less than 0.17 g/bhp-hr for the standard configuration and less than 0.05 g/bhp-hr for a CARB-certified version. The exhaust gas flow is 6.7 kg/s, while exhaust gas temperatures are stated to be 280°C at ISO conditions.

Dimensions for the package are 2.4 m wide x 8.5 m deep x 2.9 m high, with the grid connect model weighing 12 927 kg and the dual-mode model weighing 7711 kg — these are estimates and they may vary in production units, according to Capstone. Acoustic emissions at full-load power under nominal full-power performance at ISO conditions are 65 dBA nominal at 10 m. Capstone is planning certifications of the power electronics and engine assemblies to be recognized to UL 2200 and UL 1741 for natural gas operation. The systems will meet statewide utility interconnection requirements for California Rule 21 and New York State Public Service commission.

C200 microturbines,and the power electronics

A cutaway view (left) of the C1000 package reveals the placement of the five C200 microturbines,as well as the power electronics within the container. A beta version (right) of the new C200 microturbine is shown here during test at the Capstone facility. The new turbine includes features from the company’s C30 and C65 microturbines.

Models are also planned that bear the CE compliance marking.“One key part of the package is the Capstone power electronics system that is used to convert electricity into clean, reliable, useable electricity,” said Mark Gilbreth, executive vice president and chief technology officer of Capstone Turbine Corp. “These electronics convert the high frequency a.c. electricity into d.c., step it down and then convert it back to a.c. for use on the power grid.
“In addition, service of the microturbine is very simple due to the minimal amount of parts and lack of such systems as lubrication and cooling. A service
technician only needs four hours to swap out a complete microturbine module in
the event that one needs to be replaced.” Development on the C200microturbine, the main component of the C1000 package started in 2002.

It has been tested in a number of climates for durability.In a Beta fleet, the microturbine has logged over 8000 hours at multiple facilities across the United States. As part of bringing the product to market,Capstone completed a US$12.8 million agreement with UTC Power (a United Technologies Corp. company) in September 2007. Under the terms of this agreement, UTC Power will help fund
commercialization of the C200 and provide a sales channel to accelerate adoption of this new technology. This, according to Capstone, allowed them to double the product’s addressable market.“We were very pleased to announce that important business development with UTC Power,” said Jamison. “As one of the market leaders in on-site power solutions, UTC Power’s continuing commitment to developing environmentally advanced products makes them an ideal strategic partner for Capstone.” UTC Power and Capstone Turbine Corp. collaborated for several years in the development, marketing and sales of UTC Power PureComfort low-emission combined cooling, heating and power systems. The systems are designed to generate between 195 and 390 kW of electricity and capture exhaust energy from the Capstone microturbines to power an absorption chiller, thereby producing seasonal cooling and heating within the same unit.

When the Pure-Comfort system is integrated with a facility’s central heating or cooling system, the energy efficiencies can exceed 80%, according to UTC Power. Last October, Capstone received a US$3.8 million C200 order from Greenvironment OY,its distributor in Finland and Germany. The first installation of the C200 product will take place in the fourth quarter of this year. “The new C1000 package is as clean as a fuel cell, priced like a reciprocating engine package and has the reliability of a gas turbine,” said Crouse. “In addition, the package is smaller and lighter when compared to a reciprocating engine package and compared to a fuel cell system in the same power range, it is smaller,lighter and much less expensive.”Capstone is accepting orders for the C1000 and expects to ship its first systems for installation early in 2009.Packaging of the C1000 units will take place at Enercon in Peoria, Illinois,U.S.A.

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