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Title: Combined Heat and Power Systems Technology Development and Demonstration 370 kW High Efficiency Microturbine

The C370 Program was awarded in October 2010 with the ambitious goal of designing and testing the most electrically efficient recuperated microturbine engine at a rated power of less than 500 kW. The aggressive targets for electrical efficiency, emission regulatory compliance, and the estimated price point make the system state-of-the-art for microturbine engine systems. These goals will be met by designing a two stage microturbine engine identified as the low pressure spool and high pressure spool that are based on derivative hardware of Capstone’s current commercially available engines. The development and testing of the engine occurred in two phases. Phase I focused on developing a higher power and more efficient engine, that would become the low pressure spool which is based on Capstone’s C200 (200kW) engine architecture. Phase II integrated the low pressure spool created in Phase I with the high pressure spool, which is based on Capstone’s C65 (65 kW) commercially available engine. Integration of the engines, based on preliminary research, would allow the dual spool engine to provide electrical power in excess of 370 kW, with electrical efficiency approaching 42%. If both of these targets were met coupled with the overall CHP target of 85% total combined heatingmore » and electrical efficiency California Air Resources Board (CARB) level emissions, and a price target of $600 per kW, the system would represent a step change in the currently available commercial generation technology. Phase I of the C370 program required the development of the C370 low pressure spool. The goal was to increase the C200 engine power by a minimum of 25% — 250 kW — and efficiency from 32% to 37%. These increases in the C200 engine output were imperative to meet the power requirements of the engine when both spools were integrated. An additional benefit of designing and testing the C370 low pressure spool was the possibility of developing a stand-alone product for possible commercialization. The low pressure spool design activity focused on an aeropath derivative of the current C200 engine. The aeropath derivative included changes to the compressor section —compressor and inducer — and to the turbine nozzle. The increased power also necessitated a larger, more powerful generator and generator controller to support the increased power requirements. These two major design changes were completed by utilizing both advanced 3D modeling and computational fluid dynamics modelling. After design, modeling, and analysis, the decision was made to acquire and integrate the components for testing. The second task of Phase I was to integrate and test the components of the low pressure spool to validate power and efficiency. Acquisition of the components for the low pressure spool was completed utilizing Capstone’s current supplier base. Utilization of Capstone’s supply base for integration of the test article would allow — if the decision was made —expedited commercialization of the product. After integration of the engine components, the engine was tested and evaluated for performance and emissions. Test data analysis confirmed that the engine met all power and efficiency requirements and did so while maintaining CARB level emissions. The emissions were met without the use of any post processing or catalyst. After testing was completed, the DOE authorized — via a milestone review — proceeding to Phase II: the development of the integrated C370 engine. The C370 high pressure spool design activity required significant changes to the C65 engine architecture. The engine required a high power density generator, completely redesigned compressor stage, turbine section, recuperator, controls architecture, and intercooler stage asThe two most critical design challenges were the turbine section (the nozzle and turbine) and the controls architecture. The design and analysis of all of the components was completed and integrated into a system model. The system model — after numerous iterations — indicated that, once integrated, the engine will meet or exceed all system requirements. Unfortunately, the turbine section’s life requirements remain a technical challenge and will require continued refinement of the bi-metallic turbine wheel design and manufacturing approach to meet the life requirement at theses high temperatures. The current controls architecture requires substantial effort to develop a system capable of handling the high-speed, near real-time controls requirement, but it was determined not to be a technical roadblock for the project. The C370 Program has been a significant effort with state-of-the-art technical targets. The targets have pushed Capstone’s designers to the limits of current technology. The program has been fortunate to see many successes: the successful testing of the low pressure spool (C250), the development of new material processes, and the implementation of new design practices. The technology and practices learned during the program will be utilized in Capstone’s current product lines and future products. The C370 Program has been a resounding success on many fronts for the DOE and for Capstone.« less
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Technical Report
Research Org:
Capstone Turbine Corporation, Los Angeles, CA (United States)
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Country of Publication:
United States