Microturbines are increasingly being used at various consumer sites to generate 480 VAC, three-phase electrical power, typically in the range of 25 to 500 kW. They are relatively small, combustion-gas turbines that run on natural gas, hydrogen, propane, diesel fuel, landfill gas (methane), and even some bio-diesel fuels. The turbines come in two varieties, simple-cycle and recuperated-cycle. Simple-cycle turbines are about 15% efficient, compared to turbines with reliable recuperators (that is, no moving parts) that double efficiencies to nearly 33%. They reintroduce exhaust heat energy into the cycle instead of wasting it. Better yet, system efficiency can reach 85% with an integrated combined heating and power (ICHP) installation.
Because they are about the size of an industrial refrigerator, microturbines can easily be installed on site and power a modest-sized building such as a convenience store. When multiple units are interconnected, they can offset the energy expenses and demands of larger facilities such as motels or large apartment buildings. Moreover, some users can sell their excess power back to the grid.
Author: IOTech | File Type: pdf