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Capstone Turbine Corporation

Capstone Turbine secures order for first-ever direct-drive diesel microturbine for marine use

CEO Darren Jamison said the first-of-its-kind microturbine will provide onboard power for the classic 1950s superyacht Istros

Capstone Turbine Corporation - Capstone Turbine Corporation secured an order for its first-ever direct-drive C65 diesel microturbine generator for marine use, providing onboard power for the classic 1950s superyacht Istros
The microturbine is scheduled to be shipped before the year end and is set to be commissioned by the summer of 2020

Capstone Turbine Corporation (NASDAQ:CPST) announced Thursday it has secured an order for its first-ever direct-drive (DC) C65 diesel microturbine generator for marine use. 

In a statement, CEO Darren Jamison said the first-of-its-kind microturbine will provide onboard power for the classic 1950s superyacht Istros.

“The motoryacht, originally built in 1954, is being completely rebuilt to the highest marine standards and will feature only the latest technologies,” he said. “The name Istros, meaning inspiration, seems appropriate considering the ship will undoubtedly inspire wider use of microturbines in the maritime industry.” 

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Capstone secured the order after receiving Approval in Principle from Lloyd’s Register in Rotterdam on the innovative new design. 

Seven Turbine Power BV, Capstone’s exclusive distributor for Belgium, Denmark and the Netherlands, helped with Lloyd’s certification process and secured the marine project with a local, high-end shipbuilder. 

The microturbine is scheduled to be shipped before the end of the year and is set to be commissioned by the summer of 2020.

Capstone’s microturbines, which typically run on natural gas or biogas fuels, can also run on a variety of fuels in a marine application -- such as diesel and liquefied natural gas. But the company said the DC power output is designed to easily integrate to a battery-based solution suited for superyachts and other large vessels. 

By eliminating the AC-to-DC conversion step, the microturbine achieves higher efficiency and has extremely low emissions. Thanks to its compact design, installing multiple units as a single redundant generating source to deliver reliable power is another one of the microturbine’s many functionalities in marine applications.

In addition, the vibration-free operation of the microturbine provides an increase in owner comfort without the cost of vibration isolation or heavy sound attenuating measures typical in traditional engine-based technologies. 

The fact that the microturbines don’t require exhaust after-treatment to meet strict marine air permitting standards is another benefit as it saves valuable onboard space and avoids additional long-term maintenance costs of emission equipment for the vessel. 

Lastly, the microturbine’s patented air bearings require no lube oil, which means the formation of an oil film on the water around the vessel is no longer an issue for yacht owners.

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“I have been working with the Capstone executive team for many years to develop a marine market for Capstone’s microturbine technology,” said Sven Fransen, director and owner of Seven Turbine Power BV.

“It is a dream come true for Seven Turbine to be able to offer such a cutting edge technology like microturbines to the maritime industry which is undergoing significant change because of recent marine emission regulations.”

Jim Crouse, Capstone’s executive vice president of sales and marketing, noted that microturbines have not been installed on yachts previously because marine applications require additional certifications to meet strict life-safety requirements. 

“This will facilitate the overall vessel approval for the Istros, and paves the way for full-type approval of the Capstone DC C65 diesel microturbine generator, which will expand the opportunity for our products in this new market vertical.”

Capstone, based in Van Nuys, California, offers a product line-up of microturbines that can produce anywhere from 30 kilowatts to 10 MWs of power, operating on a variety of gaseous or liquid fuels. To date, the company has shipped over 9,000 units to 73 countries.

Contact the author: [email protected]

Follow him on Twitter @PatrickMGraham

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