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CPST (NASDAQ) 2.15 | up0.07 | Apr 17 2014 | 16:00 ET

FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions

General Information

A Partner to the Business and Environment

Applications

Configurations, Pricing, and Availability


General Information [back to top] A Partner to the Business and Environment [back to top] Applications [back to top] Configurations, Pricing, and Availability [back to top]

General Information

Question: How can I purchase a Capstone MicroTurbine?
Answer: Our products are available through a network of business partners who can assist you in devising the best Capstone MicroTurbine solution to meet your energy management needs. These authorized representatives can be found under the Our Company/Distributors header.
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Question: There is no business partner or authorized representative in my area. Who should I contact?
Answer: Capstone is actively expanding our global distribution network. If a local authorized representative for Capstone products is not listed, please send an email detailing your interest to our Sales group through the Contact Us form. We will be happy to assist you.
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Question: How can I become an authorized representative for Capstone products?
Answer: Capstone alliances are located throughout the world. If you feel your established business organization can offer value-added expertise selling through one or more of our core focus applications, please direct your letter of interest to: Executive VP, Sales & Marketing, Capstone Turbine Corporation, 21211 Nordhoff Street, Chatsworth, CA 91311 U.S.A.
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Question: I am working on an article. Who can I contact for additional information?
Answer: If you are a member of the press and require additional information, please contact our Marketing department at marketing@capstoneturbine.com.
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Question: I would like to use a picture of a Capstone MicroTurbine. Who do I contact?
Answer: A number of images are available online in our visual library. Please be sure to credit Capstone Turbine Corporation for the images you use. If you are looking for a specific image that is not online, please contact our Marketing department at marketing@capstoneturbine.com.
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Question: I belong to a trade association or industry group and would like to invite a Capstone representative to speak at my event. Who should I contact?
Answer: Please direct all inquiries regarding speaking engagements to our Marketing department at marketing@capstoneturbine.com.
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Question: Where can I get a copy of the Annual Report?
Answer: You can download and print a copy of our Annual Report from the Investor Relations page of our website, or by emailing Investor Relations at ir@capstoneturbine.com
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A Partner to the Business and Environment

Question: How does the Capstone MicroTurbine protect business operations?
Answer: High technology and continuous process manufacturing operations depend on the availability of constant, clean, and reliable power. A power dip of less than one second can cost millions in lost production; longer outages can impact inventory and equipment recovery time. Onsite power generation protects operations from costly interruptions and lost sales opportunities.
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Question: How does the Capstone MicroTurbine aid in controlling energy costs?
Answer: The Capstone MicroTurbine allows a business to generate its own electricity onsite, supplementing the electric grid. During peak usage hours, this effectively reduces or eliminates grid-connected power consumption and demand charges from the local utility.
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Question: Are Capstone MicroTurbines safe for the environment?
Answer: Yes. By design, our microturbines achieve near complete combustion of flare and vent gases, virtually eliminating hydrocarbon emissions. According to the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, burning solution gas in a microturbine for resource recovery applications reduces emissions of greenhouse gases. With 9 ppm (parts per million) NOx, Capstone is an ideal solution for hybrid electric vehicle applications. Used in combined heat and power (CHP) applications, efficiencies upwards of 70% to 90% reduce greenhouse gas emissions, guards against power reliability problems, and helps control energy costs.
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Question: What are the NOx emissions from the Capstone MicroTurbine?
Answer: Running on, and compared to natural gas, typical nitrous oxide emission levels are 9 ppm or less corrected to 15% O2 (versus approximately 50 ppm NOx for a typical reciprocating engine), with extremely low levels of CO, volatile organic compounds, and particulate matter. Our CARB unit achieves levels < 4ppm NOx.
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Applications

Question: Who should use Capstone MicroTurbines?
Answer: Capstone MicroTurbines are designed for use in commercial and industrial environments. The ideal application for the Capstone system is in facilities wired for three-phase power with peak electric loads operating between 25 and 750 kilowatts.
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Question: Can I use a Capstone MicroTurbine for my home?
Answer: Although the Capstone system is economically suited for operation in multi-use complexes, apartments, and condominiums, the average-sized single family residence would not typically generate enough of a load for a microturbine to be financially feasible.
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Question: Can a Capstone MicroTurbine be used for backup power?
Answer: With our stand alone (SA) option, Capstone MicroTurbines can be used for backup power in two ways: *DUAL MODE: Normally operating in Grid Connect mode, the system switches to Stand Alone mode during a grid outage. Switching is done automatically by the Capstone Dual Mode Controller (DMC) that differs from an automatic transfer switch (ATS). An ATS selects between primary (grid) and alternate power sources, while the DMC normally parallels the microturbine(s)to the grid, or, isolates from the grid during a grid outage. The DMC Applications Guide provides detailed information. *BACKUP ONLY: By connecting to an ATS on the alternate terminal, the microturbine can be applied as a "backup only" generator, starting when a grid outage occurs and the ATS throws over to the alternate position. *ALTERNATE ATS CONFIGURATION: The "backup only" configuration does not take full advantage of microturbine capabilities and cost savings potential from running a large number of hours each year with low maintenance. Alternatively, the turbine can be connected in a "prime power" configuration, on the primary side of the ATS, running full time with the grid as backup.
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Question: How are Capstone MicroTurbines used in CHP?
Answer: Our microturbine exhaust contains approximately 70 percent of the energy that was stored in the fuel. This results in exhaust temperatures approaching 371 degrees Centigrade. This clean exhaust can be put to use in three ways: *DIRECT: Use the exhaust directly for heating needs such as drying, process heating, et cetera; *HOT WATER: Use the exhaust to generate hot water or steam for domestic hot water, pool heating, space heating, et cetera; *CHILLED WATER: Use the exhaust to generate chilled water for air cooling, process water, et cetera.
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Question: What is CHP?
Answer: CHP is an acronym for "combined heat and power", also known as cogeneration. It is a process that converts a fuel simultaneously into both thermal (steam, hot water, hot air) and electrical energy.
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Question: How is heat recovered and used?
Answer: In CHP applications, captured exhaust heat can be used in three ways: *DIRECT: Porting exhaust straight from the microturbine and into the heating load; *HOT WATER: Using an air-to-liquid heat exchanger, create hot water or steam for circulating through the heating load; *CHILLED WATER: Using an absorption chiller, or other thermally-activated cooling technology, create chilled water for circulating through the cooling load.
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Question: How much does heat recovery cost?
Answer: In CHP applications, heat recovery costs vary depending on the desired by-product: *DIRECT: Least expensive with the highest thermal efficiency, but requires design engineering to properly integrate the hot exhaust into the manufacturing process; *HOT WATER: More expensive because it requires the addition of a heat exchanger, exhaust ducting, and water piping to transport the hot water; *CHILLED WATER: Most expensive because it requires the addition of an absorption chiller, cooling tower, heat exchanger (if a hot water-fired chiller is used); and water piping to transport hot and cold water.
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Question: Does the Capstone MicroTurbine run on biogas with low methane content?
Answer: The Capstone MicroTurbine can transform low grade, unprocessed waste biogas with methane content as low as 35 percent (350 Btu/scf) into usable electricity. It is proving a practical and cost-effective technology that can eliminate flaring at landfills, wastewater treatment plants, and agricultural or livestock facilities.
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Question: Can the microturbine create onsite electricity in remote locations where there is no electric grid?
Answer: Yes. The Capstone MicroTurbine can reduce pollutants and greenhouse gases while creating onsite electricity from a variety of gases including high pressure sweet or sour wellhead gas and low-pressure coal bed methane. In CHP, or combined heat and power applications, the oxygen-rich heat exhaust can be captured and further utilized for heating water or air, or to drive A/C compressors.
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Question: Does the Capstone MicroTurbine function in extreme temperatures?
Answer: This watershed technology has successfully been deployed in areas ranging from the arid desert to Canada's frozen tundra.
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Question: Can the Capstone MicroTurbine run on casing gas?
Answer: Yes. The Capstone MicroTurbine can turn unwanted casing gas (700–2600 Btu/scf) with up to 7 percent sour content, into essentially "free" electricity to power the downhole pump, small compressors, motor loads, and other onsite needs of a remote oil or gas development site.
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Question: Can I purchase a Capstone MicroTurbine to convert my vehicle to a HEV?
Answer: Currently, we deploy our microturbines in a variety of hybrid-electric vehicles. We are focused on designs that can be used in relatively high volume commercial applications, such as city center and "on demand" transit routes. At this time, we regret we cannot accommodate custom "one-off" designs.
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Question: What is the required maintenance on the Capstone MicroTurbine?
Answer: The Capstone MicroTurbine is designed to run for extended periods of time with minimal maintenance. An air filter change is recommended after the first 8,000 hours of operation, with routine maintenance typically following every 8,000 hours. Factory engine servicing is recommended after 40,000 hours of intermittent or continuous use.
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Question: How quickly does the Capstone MicroTurbine start up?
Answer: Stand alone or black startup time takes approximately 120 seconds. When operating in GC mode coupled with our dual mode switch, the unit can transition to provide stand alone backup power in < 10 seconds. For backup power applications that require faster start times, such as emergency generators, the Capstone MicroTurbine can be applied in conjunction with an Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) to provide compliant backup power.
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Configurations, Pricing, and Availability

Question: What kinds of fuels do the Capstone MicroTurbines run on?
Answer: The Capstone MicroTurbine system can be configured to run on the following fuels: Low Pressure Natural Gas, High Pressure Natural Gas, Compressed Natural Gas, Diesel, Gaseous Propane, Kerosene, "Sour" Gas, Landfill Gas, and Digester Gas.
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Question: What if the fuel I am interested in operating is not listed?
Answer: Capstone prides itself as a technology leader. Alternative fuels are constantly under evaluation and your inquiries regarding fuels not listed here can be directed to our Product Applications team through the Contact Us form.
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Question: Does the Capstone MicroTurbine provide AC or DC power?
Answer: Capstone MicroTurbines produce both alternating current (AC) and direct current (DC) power. The AC output is 480V.
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Question: What models are available today?
Answer: Capstone presently manufactures a 30kw, 60kW, 200kW, 600kW, 800kW, and 1000kW family of microturbines optimized for use with a variety of approved fuels.
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Question: How much does a Capstone MicroTurbine cost?
Answer: Due to the variety of custom configurations for the many applications in which our Microturbines are used, pricing varies. Specifically, the pricing varies in accordance with fuel considerations, add-ons, ancillary components like compressors or heat exchangers, site preparation such as concrete pad and perimeter security, utility hookups, permitting, interconnection, and commissioning.
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Question: Does Capstone offer microturbines for lease or rent?
Answer: Yes, both lease-to-purchase and rental options are available.
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Question: Once ordered, how quickly will I receive my microturbines?
Answer: Capstone's standard lead time is 12 weeks from receipt of an order. Because each order varies based on the needs of the customer (application and fuel specific with a number of value-added options), the lead time can be longer or much shorter. Capstone is capable of providing, at a customer's request, deliveries as quick as three to six weeks from receipt of a paid order.
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