FAQ: Q&A

How does air bearing life depend on start/stop sequences number?

There is almost no correlation. Air bearing operation implies that the rotor shaft does not contact with bearing's surfaces. When the shaft reaches about 2 000 rounds per minute a boundary layer of air forms between the foils and the shaft protecting it from wear and tear. Time of bearing and shaft friction is measured by split seconds. Moreover, moving parts of microturbines are made of special anti-friction materials and alloys. Officially, Capstone microturbines can handle up to 300 start/stop operations per year – almost every day, which does not happen in real life.

What is the minimum electrical load of a microturbine?

Microturbines can operate in the range from 1% to 100% of nominal power output without reduction of life and without a loss of efficiency. Load levels do not affect microturbines deterioration or their reliability. This is achieved through implementation of advanced digital technologies including double inversion opposing to mechanical linking to a load as it is usually done in traditional generators. Gas reciprocating units cannot operate undel loads lower than 40% – their control system will trigger automatic shutdown. Digital inverter in microturbines tracks load consumption profiles and efficiently works at both at full and partial power demands. There is no problem of excess power output at low demand.

Our site is located on the Sakhalin island. Where do we address our questions concerning microturbine operation? How long will it take to get help?

Our company has a 24/7 call center where you can address all your emergent questions. You can report your maintenance or repair request, order spare parts or receive technical support by telephone/fax + 7 (495) 787-91-95 or via e-mail cs@bpcenergy.ru. Technical support engineers will provide feedback within 24 hours and either will solve your issue remotely or will send a field specialist to your site.

Can microturbines run on pyrolysis gas?

Yes, they can. It depends on gas composition and hydrogen content. For instance, in 2013 BPC put pyrolysis power plant in test operation. The microturbine plant located in the Tver Region runs on pyrolysis gas generated by a fast pyrolysis unit, which uses flax shives as raw material. A Capstone C65 microturbine demonstrated stable and reliable operation running on the pyrolysis gas without any additional gas treatment.

How much does microturbine overhaul cost?

An overhaul costs about 30-35% of a microturbine cost. Overhaul is performed after 60 000 running hours and includes engine replacement and components diagnostics. All operations are performed on the site of operation and take only 10 hours. The overhaul procedures can be compared with an intermediate overhaul of gas reciprocating engines that has to be performed each 25 000 – 30 000 running hours.

Where are microturbines manufactured?

Beginning from 2010 microturbine packages for customers in Russia and the CIS countries have been produced in Tutaev, the Yaroslavl Region. BPC Engineering manufactures its branded ENEX power plants under OEM agreement with Capstone Turbine Corporation. This provides an opportunity to promptly react to the growing demand of domestic market and adapt product to local operating conditions. In the manufacture of microturbine packages BPC uses original assemblies and components, including engines and electronics. At the same time the share of Russian-produced content reaches 40-60%. The main facility for microturbine units manufacture is located in Chatsworth, California, USA.