Turbine Driven Truck

Figure 1: Could it be that you will soon be seeing products from Capstone Microturbines as you walk down the aisles at Walmart? Not quite. But a Capstone turbine is inside the latest concept truck being created for Walmart’s vast distribution network

Known as the Walmart Advanced Vehicle Experience (WAVE), it features an aerodynamic cab with a convex nose to reduce aerodynamic drag and increase cargo space, the driver seated in the center amid a bank of LCD screens, and a structure composed of carbon fiber to reduce weight. This is said to be the first carbon-fiber trailer ever produced with its 53-foot side panels being the largest single pieces of carbon fiber ever manufactured. The trailer alone is about 4,000 pounds lighter than a conventional trailer (Figure 1).

The electric powertrain (Figure 2) is built around a Capstone microturbine and an electric motor. Its turbines are designed with just one moving part, no gearbox and the ability to operate without lubricants. Capstone’s offers a wide range of microturbines such as the C30 (30 kW), the C65 (65 kW) and the C200 (200 kW). These models can also be packaged into larger modules.

If this WAVE concept becomes a success, this could open up a vast new market for Capstone. After all, typical trailers of this size only achieve 5 to 6 mpg. Even the latest high efficiency AirFlow BulletTruck could reach 13.4 mpg. This WAVE model is said to top that. And with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) about to establish new rules for trucks, it is more than likely that within a few years, the government will outlaw low mpg vehicles from the nation’s highways. www.capstoneturbine.com

Metering ball valve

HAM-LET's metering ball valve (MBV) incorporates metering and shut-off functions in one unit, combining a micro-meter control mechanism for gases and liquids with a sealing mechanism. It is said to be easy to install, not requiring multiple connectors and pipelines. As the MBV series is a single unit, it replaces the two separate valves previously required. With the choice of three stem tapers enabling metering at flow capacities as low as Cv=0.0001 with up to 11 handle turns, the MBV series meets the demand for precise flow control. The company offers five different O-ring materials providing a range of temperature and chemical coverage. www.ham-let.com