What are micro turbines:
A micro turbine is a small combustion
turbine that can produce 25KW to 500KW of electricity. These turbines
are built around the same turbo charger technology that is incorporated
in the turbines of aircraft and large trucks. The most common model of
micro turbines is a single stage radial flow device that has a rotating
speed of an astonishing 90,000 to 120,000 revolutions per minute.
Types of micro turbines:
Micro Turbines are broadly classified into two categories. These are recuperated micro turbines and Un-recuperated Micro Turbines. Recuperated Micro Turbines are able to reuse heat that is given out by exhaust gas to boost the temperature of combustion. This helps to increase the efficiency.
The advantage of micro turbines:
Micro Turbines are small and convenient for portable applications. They have fewer moving parts making maintenance easy. This means that the machinery is less likely to break down. These machines have very low emissions as a byproduct of generating electricity. Not only are these machines efficient they can use waste fuels to be powered. Biogas derived from landfills, and sewage treatment plants can be used to power these machines. Other alternatives include commercial fuels such as kerosene, propane, and diesel. These turbines have a higher power density as compared to reciprocating engine generators. Micro Turbines are also known for their good fuel efficiency. The fuel efficiency conversion rate is 40%.
Micro Turbines are usually not used for cogeneration purpose, which is providing heat and power at the same time as they produce very little heat in the process. The low capital cost of these machines make them an attractive option for those who are seeking power generation solutions.
Micro Turbines is still a very new technology that is constantly being improved. The implementation of advanced materials such as ceramics and thermal barrier coatings help improve the efficiency of Micro Turbines. Low operating costs and initial capital costs ensure that this technology is likely to become widely commercialized.