Small turbines outgunning recips

We realized something a few months ago. Heavy-frame machines were getting all the glory — at least in terms of our recent coverage. We have attempted to redress the balance with a cover story on the booming small turbine market. It features models from the likes of Opra, Siemens, Solar Turbines, Kawasaki, and Man Diesel & Turbo. In addition, the magazine visited Capstone’s facilities in the Los Angeles area. The result is another story highlighting its various microturbines, and its plans for larger models in the very near future.

What we found of most interest was the intense amount of innovation apparent within this sector. These companies are solving big problems and making their wares more efficient than ever. As a result, microturbines and small turbines are carving out a larger slice of the market, taking over territory traditionally owned by recips in oil & gas and small-scale generation.

Aeroderivatives are also in the spotlight courtesy of our annual sojourn to the Western Turbine Users Conference. As usual, the show provided an analysis of market trends (with good news for GT sales in the coming years), an update on the latest technology from GE Aero Energy and aftermarket tips.

In addition to all that microturbine, small turbine and aeroderivative coverage, we have plenty of variety. One article, for example, covers the latest HEPA filters, which hold the potential to eliminate water washing completely. They are more expensive than traditional filters, but the value equation revolves around lifetime costs as opposed to initial purchase price. In the example highlighted in our story, one user tried them out for a while and is now changing to HEPA filters throughout his fleet of GTs.

There are plenty of other O&M tips, too. These include how to clean superalloy blades correctly, how to deal with thermal growth, and the best way to monitor blade tip clearance. Each topic is the subject of an article in the current issue.

Finally, our columnists tackle the intricacies of compressor design and fugitive emissions. There have been rumors about the impact fugitive emissions will have on power generators. This article provides a good rundown of the ins and outs.

Coming up in subsequent issues, we have aftermarket parts in our sights. We are researching the market and plan to have a couple of informative pieces for you soon. In addition, we will provide coverage of PowerGen Europe in Cologne and ASME/IGTI Turbo Expo in Copenhagen. Under the auspices of ASME’s International Gas Turbine Institute, Turbo Expo offers a blend of the practical, the theoretical and the improbable.

One further topic bears mention. We are gathering data on turbine packages and modules, the specific uses they are being put to, who offers them, the markets they serve, the advantages, and any ongoing trends in this sector. Should you have any input for this story or for our planned features on aftermarket parts, feel free to get in touch and share your views.