Small is beautiful

Small gas turbines (GTs) are performing quite well in the marketplace. According to Forecast International (Turbomachinery Handbook 2016, p.20) turbines below 50 MW will account for three quarters of total unit sales over the next decade. But as you go down in size, the dominance of smaller machines becomes even more impressive. Models below 10 MW will account for almost half of all sales over the same period, and those below 3 MW will gobble up more than 20% of overall market share.

Forecast International notes that the modularity and flexiblity of smaller turbines as well as their low emission levels make them the preferred choice for institutions such as hospitals and schools that are looking to power their own operations economically. Couple that with the fact that the microturbine market is finally heating up after years of modest sales and you have a recipe for a potential small turbine boom.

Accordingly, our cover story features interviews with many of the top suppliers of small turbines and microturbines. They discuss trends impacting their market, how they are adapting to them, where they are experiencing rebounding sales in the face of an oil & gas recession, and what new products they are bringing to market. It is noteworthy that even big turbine stalwarts like GE are now giving as much attention to their NovaLT line (models less than 20 MW) as they give to their much larger LMS100 and HA lines.

Meanwhile, we are well underway on our preparations for the Turbomachinery Handbook 2017. I can’t wait to see an update to the figures above from Forecast International in its annual review of GT sales, trends and order forecasts. The Handbook will also feature a much anticipated review of the U.S power sector by Industrial Info Resources, as well as our first ever detailed market analysis of the centrifugal compressor space. All that will be in additon to the specifications of every turboexpander, turbocompressor, steam turbine and gas turbine, whether for power generation or mechanical drive.

So enjoy this issue and you can look forward to the new Handbook in the very near future.