Microturbines

Colin Rodgers, James Watts, Dan Thoren, Ken Nichols, and Richard Brent

CONTENTS

5.1 Single-Shaft Gas Microturbines

5.1.1 Overview

5.1.2 Design Characteristics

5.1.2.1 Combustor Overiew

5.1.2.2 Natural Gas Fueling

5.1.2.3 Recuperators

5.1.2.4 Bearings

5.1.2.5 Generator

5.1.3 Single-Shaft MT Cost Considerations

5.1.4 Single-Shaft MT Cycle Analysis 5.1.4.1 Part-Load Performance

5.2 Twin-Shaft Gas Microturbines

5.2.1 Configuration

5.2.2 Why Two Turbines?

5.2.3 Applications

5.3 Power Electronics and Controls

5.3.1 Power Electronics Technology

5.3.2 Digital Control Technology

5.3.3 Applications

5.3.3.1 Grid-Connect Operation

5.3.3.2 Stand-Alone Operation

5.3.3.3 Dual Mode Operation

5.3.3.4 Multiple Unit Operation

5.3.3.5 Flexible Fuel Operation

5.4 Microturbine Performance Improvements

5.4.1 Turbomachinery Performance

5.4.2 Engine Operating Conditions

5.4.3 Heat Recovery

5.5 Rankine Cycle Microturbines

5.5.1 Working Fluids

5.5.2 Rankine Cycle Engine Performance

5.5.3 Rankine Cycle Engine Cost

5.6 Challenges

5.6.1 Operational Challenges

5.6.2 Technical Challenges

5.6.3 Institutional Challenges

5.7 Nomenclature Acknowledgments References

Microturbines may offer one of the best short-term distributed power production options because of their simplicity and because no major technological breakthroughs are required for their deployment. Low emissions also characterize modern microturbines. This chapter describes three promising turbine technologies: single-shaft gas-fired turbines, dual-shaft gas-fired turbines, and Rankine cycle engines. The differentiators between combustion turbines, described in Chapter 3, and microturbines are four:

1. Size: less than 200 kW net shaft power output (this number is somewhat fuzzy, and various authors will include engines above 200 kW or restrict the size to less than 100 kW)

2. Simple cycle: single-stage compressor and single-stage turbine

3. Pressure ratio: 3:1 to 4:1 instead of 13:1 to 15:1

4. Rotor: short drive shaft with generator on one end with a bearing in the middle

Solar Stirling Engine Basics Explained

Solar Stirling Engine Basics Explained

The solar Stirling engine is progressively becoming a viable alternative to solar panels for its higher efficiency. Stirling engines might be the best way to harvest the power provided by the sun. This is an easy-to-understand explanation of how Stirling engines work, the different types, and why they are more efficient than steam engines.

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