1997-02-24

The Capstone Turbogenerator as an Alternative Power Source 970292

A 30kW Turbogenerator has been developed by Capstone Turbine Corp and tested for use in both stationary and vehicular power applications. Low emissions are achieved without aftertreatment. This compact (18 inch diameter) lightweight (165 pound) microturbine integrates turbomachinery and an electric generator on a single shaft assembly -- the only moving part of the engine. The rotor is mounted on air bearings, which require no oil or other lubrication. The turbogenerator is air-cooled; it has no liquid coolants and needs no radiator or other auxiliary coolers.
Test units have accumulated over 10,000 hours. Originally predicted design-point power output has been exceeded, and design point thermal efficiency closely approached. On a sea-level, 35 degree Celsius day, the turbogenerator has demonstrated in excess of 24kW at 29 percent thermal efficiency. The unit is currently undergoing field testing, both stationary and mobile, over its entire power range. Mobile testing is aimed primarily at application to hybrid electric vehicles.

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