VTA MicroTurbine

Power from digester gas: clean, efficient, low-maintenance

VTA MicroTurbine

Make good use of digester gas from both an economical and an ecological perspective: with the MicroTurbine, VTA is revolutionising the generation of power and heat in wastewater treatment plants.

This innovative unit from manufacturer Capstone opens up completely new possibilities for making good use of digester gas from both an economic and an ecological perspective.

Available in different sizes,  the turbines are suited to sewage plants of any size. Low maintenance requirements, extremely low exhaust gas and noise emissions, and low sensitivity to variable gas quality are crucial plus points for the MicroTurbine in comparison to block-type thermal power stations.

MicroTurbines can be integrated into existing plant operations without any difficulty and can be installed both inside and outside buildings. The systems are compact, tried and tested, and totally reliable.

VTA GSD power generation using digester gas

GSD

Low maintenance requirements, extremely low exhaust gas and noise emissions, and low sensitivity to variable gas quality: these are the crucial plus points of the MicroTurbine.

Advantages

virtually maintenance-free due to air bearings
no labour costs, high service intervals (8,000 hours)
no lubricants, no coolants
extremely low maintenance costs
extremely low exhaust emissions (NOx < 15 ppm)
low-noise, no vibrations
compact design, lightweight
excellent partial load behaviour from 0 to 100%
can be operated in isolation (emergency power supply)
turnkey delivery from a single source

INNOVATIVE TECHNOLOGY


With modules in power classes from 30 kWel to 200 kWel, the innovative units from manufacturer Capstone are suited to treatment plants of any size. Depending on the system (continuous combustion process), MicroTurbines can cope excellently with regenerative gases such as digester gas, biogas and landfill gas or other lean gases and their outstanding partial load behaviour is impressive. Overall efficiencies of up to 85% are achieved when used in combined heat and power generation.

MicroTurbines can be integrated into existing plant operations without any difficulty and can be installed both inside and outside buildings. The units have been tried and tested in practice and are totally reliable.

The generator operates at the same speed as the turbine (up to 96,000 rpm) because the permanent magnet is located directly on its drive shaft.

The high-frequency alternating current (1,600 Hz) generated in this way is rectified in the turbine’s power electronics and subsequently reversed to alternating current again (50 Hz / 400 V).

No autonomous frequency control is required for this purpose; the desired frequency is delivered by the mains network. This ensures that the turbine always runs synchronously with the mains network.

VTA MicroTurbine

A clean machine

The output of the turbine is controlled via the speed – due to the ‘electronic gearbox’. This means there is hardly any loss of efficiency even in partial load operation. That is true climate protection: due to its technical functionality, the MicroTurbine achieves extremely low exhaust gas values (NOx < 15 ppm based on 15% O2) which cannot be achieved by any comparable technology.

Graphic VTA MicroTurbine full load

Function

The MicroTurbine was developed on the basis of the turbocharger and aviation industries. Similar to auxiliary drives in aircraft, electricity is generated by a fast-running permanent magnet generator. This is connected without the need for a mechanical gearbox. Maintenance-free air bearings mean that the use of lubricants is completely unnecessary.
 

The combustion air enters the MicroTurbine via the generator, cools it in the process and is compressed to around 4 bar in the compressor. The fuel is added and burned in the combustion chamber. The hot combustion gases expand in the turbine and drive the compressor and the generator. Thanks to recuperator technology (preheating of the air by hot exhaust gases), electrical efficiencies of 26 to 33% can be achieved.

The permanent magnet is located directly on the drive shaft of the turbine and consequently the generator is operated at the same speed as the turbine (up to 96,000 rpm). The high-frequency alternating current (1,600 Hz) generated in this way is rectified in the turbine’s power electronics and subsequently reversed to alternating current again (50 Hz / 400 V). No autonomous frequency control is required for this purpose; the desired frequency is delivered by the mains network. This ensures that the turbine always runs synchronously with the mains network.

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