Micro turbine generators use a gas turbine to turn a generator. They are available in the 30-250kw e (kilowatt electrical) range.
Global electric power capacity additions over the next 20 years are projected to reach over 1500 GW, or approximately twice the present operating capacity. Aging and congested power grids, rising fuel costs and lower emissions requirements have all caused stationary power generation manufacturers to respond with aggressive and costly “distributed generation” (DG) technology development programs. In addition, DOE- funded activities, such as the Advanced Turbine Systems and the Advanced Micro Turbine Systems programs, are further evidence of a newly developing age in electricity production, transmission, and distribution.
Micro turbines are small combustion turbines, approximately the size of a refrigerator, with outputs of 25-500 kilowatt (kW). They evolved from automotive and truck turbochargers, auxiliary power units for airplanes, and small jet engines and are composed of a compressor, a combustor, a turbine, an alternator, a recuperator, and a generator.
Micro turbines offer a number of potential advantages over other technologies for small-scale power generation. These include their small number of moving parts, compact size, light weight, greater efficiency, lower emissions, lower electricity costs, and ability to use waste fuels. They can be located on sites with space limitations for the production of power, and waste heat recovery can be used to achieve efficiencies of more than 80%.
Micro and mini gas turbines have been identified as part of the evolving DG resource technology portfolio. There is a great deal of interest in these products.