Microturbines - It’s all been done before 1998! The rise and fall of the Turbo Genset company LTD ; High hopes for a light weight compact turbo-generator developed by Colin Besant of Imperial College London. A past candidate for a Turbine Recharged Electric Vehicle (TREV) system?
They quoted “Until now, coupling of electrical motor/generators to small turbo machines required reduction gearboxes. Low speed motor/generators are large and heavy; the gearboxes are heavy and expensive”
"Now, a high speed motor/generator directly coupled to a small gas turbine, gas expander, is a reality”
“A hand portable genset powered by a gas turbine”
“A technical breakthrough in high speed electrical power generation” Similar language has been published on a recent microturbine website!
A revolutionary and innovative product but also challenged by the economics of producing a cheap and efficient long-life gas turbine power unit and matching high-speed alternator. Turbo Genset attempted to build their own gas turbine power plant illustrated by the TG40 unit. The genius of the alternative Capstone system is that it was all developed together and not a high speed electrical machine looking for a problem to solve! A later unit the TG50 consisted of the high-speed alternator driven by a aero-derivative APU type of engine manufactured by PBS. The company no longer exists in the form that attempted to market the generator. Microturbines and Micro gas turbines have existed for many years and are not a new innovation driven by changing energy needs or the prospect of range extenders for vehicles. A fascinating episode in the chequered evolution of the microturbine power plant. Here is a collection of pamphlets issued circa 1998.