Innovation in Gas Turbine Technology

December 14, 2020 Category: Capstone Turbine

About Capstone Turbine

Founded in 1988, Capstone Turbine develops, manufactures, sells and services microturbine energy solutions ranging in size from 30 kilowatts (kW) to 10 megawatts (MW). To date, Capstone has shipped nearly 10,000 Capstone turbines to 83 countries through our global distribution network. Capstone is the world's leading producer of highly efficient, low-emission, resilient microturbine energy solutions and serves multiple vertical markets worldwide, including Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy, Natural Resources, Critical Power Supply, Transportation and Microgrids. Our award-winning systems have logged 90 million operating hours and counting. Capstone Turbine proudly manufactures and assembles all of its microturbines in Van Nuys, California.

Capstone Courtyard

Small Scale Gas-Turbine Energy Solution

A microturbine is a small-scale gas turbine used to generate electricity at the location of the end-use customer rather than at a central utility power station. Generating power on-site at the user’s location prevents electricity losses over power lines, while providing the user with clean and reliable energy, including in cases of emergency grid shutdowns, extreme weather, wildfires, blackouts or brownouts. Capstone microturbines are also used as range extenders for hybrid electric vehicles (buses, trucks) or as onboard auxiliary power for marine applications.

In addition to electrical power generation, microturbines continuously produce clean exhaust heat, which can then be recovered via a heat exchanger. This thermal energy can be used in a variety of ways, including for the production of hot or cold water, steam, space heating, and for cooling via a chiller, as well as to drive industrial equipment. By utilizing the exhaust from the microturbine, businesses can cut their energy usage. The use of both electric and thermal energy simultaneously from a single fuel source is called combined heat and power (CHP). Some of our systems also provide cooling, known as combined cooling heat and power (CCHP), with the addition of a chiller.

Microturbine power plants can run ‘24/7’, and among their additional benefits to end-users are improved environmental performance and reliable, onsite energy to avoid losses from grid disruptions. Moreover, centralized electricity generation, paired with separate on-site heat generation, has a combined efficiency of about 45 percent, whereas microturbine energy systems can achieve efficiency levels of up to 80 percent with CHP, and up to 90 percent with CCHP, or higher in some cases.

Another benefit of Capstone’s unique microturbine technology is the ability to use a variety of fuels, including abundant natural gas, renewable gas, hydrogen fuel blends, propane and more in a clean and efficient manner. Essentially, we use whatever fuel the customer has available to provide a local source of reliable power and heat.

Key Dates in Our History

Year Description
1988 Company founded.
1994 Developed and tested prototype 24kW microturbine.
1997 Capstone microturbine used in the world’s first successful road test of a microturbine-flywheel powertrain for autos, and installed in an HEV bus and 2 HEV cars.
2000 Capstone Turbine Corporation has an IPO and becomes a public company traded on NASDAQ: CPST.
2007 Capstone announces launch of ultra-low emissions product.
Capstone announces first megawatt microturbine solution.
2009 Capstone ships its first C1000 1 megawatt MW scale product.
2011 Capstone joins Kenworth and Peterbilt to demonstrate Class 7 and Class 8 microturbine range extender
2015 New C1000 Signature Series microturbine introduced at PowerGen International
2018 Capstone proudly achieves EBITDA breakeven milestone
2020 Capstone launches Rental Program - Energy as a Service (Eaas) strategy
Capstone announces significant progress in microturbine hydrogen testing

Tagged: History