Capstone Distributor IBT Group Announces Successful Test of Microturbine Fueled by Pure Vegetable Oil
A recent test of a microturbine fueled entirely by vegetable oil was successful, according to IBT Group, Capstone Turbine Corporation’s exclusive distributor in Italy.
A Capstone C30 MicroTurbine® was used in a project testing the ability of a gas turbine to produce electricity and heat in a CHP application using pure vegetable oil – such as sunflower or colza oils – as fuel. IBT Group partnered with Spike Renewables, a research engineering company in Florence for the test.
“We selected Capstone Turbine Corporation technology for this experiment because the patented air bearings don’t require lubricants and offer more advantages than a typical turbine used in a combined heat and power application,” said Ilario Vigani, IBT Group President and CEO. “Using a Capstone C30 microturbine in a vegetable-oil CHP application reinforces the benefits of Capstone technology, including increased energy savings, lower emissions, higher efficiencies and greater fuel flexibility.”
According to IBT Group, at full power, the 30kW microturbine consumes vegetable oil at a rate of 11 liters/hour with an electrical efficiency exceeding 25%. The innovative IBT-Spike project was supported by the region of Tuscany (Project OVEST) and follows a previous European Community project called LIFE-VOICE.
“Agri-energy markets and raw material producers are harvesting interest in vegetable oil as an alternative to fossil fuels because of its environmental and economic worth,” said Jim Crouse, Capstone’s Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing. “Microturbines continue to play an integral role in research projects testing the reliability of power sources that use vegetable oil as a renewable fuel.”
“CHP plants powered by vegetable oil are eligible for many incentives including the Green Certificates,” Vigani said. “This technology is particularly suitable for greenhouses, farms and agritourism since there are numerous economic benefits for the agricultural sector. The microturbine produces sufficient onsite electricity and heat to operate a small or medium facility, which helps cut costs and allows companies to explore new avenues of income.”