According to the terms of the agreement, Cummins will incorporate Capstone�s 30 and/or 60kW microturbine systems into a new line of Cummins generator systems. These Cummins products will have a “Powered by Capstone MicroTurbine” nameplate and be sold worldwide, with the exclusion of Japan and Mexico. The products will be available in the marketplace later this year.
Cummins Power Generation business unit is a global supplier of diesel and natural gas-powered generator sets, power electronics and generator set components from five kilowatt to multi-megawatt installations. It is also supplies auxiliary generator sets for recreational vehicles (RVs) and recreational marine applications.
Capstone MicroTurbine power systems utilize new technology to generate electricity and usable heat with very low emissions from a variety of fuel sources, including natural gas, propane, diesel, kerosene and low-grade “waste” gases from landfills, oilfields, sewage treatment plants and agricultural digesters.
“These low-maintenance Capstone MicroTurbine power systems have demonstrated real-world reliability with more than a half-million hours of aggregated operation,” said Jack Edwards, President Power Generation and Executive Vice President of Cummins Inc. “This agreement capitalizes on the strengths of two market leaders. Capstone�s technology combined with Cummins Power Generation worldwide market presence and generator packaging expertise creates a complementary product line that offers tremendous value to our customers.”
“This endorsement and adoption of the Capstone MicroTurbine technology by one of the world�s leading engine manufacturers is very significant,” said Dr. Ake Almgren, President and CEO of Capstone Turbine. “We see our technology as complementary to traditional reciprocating engines. This agreement is an important recognition that our unique approach to clean engine technology is viable.”
Cummins, headquartered in Columbus, Indiana, is the world�s largest producer of commercial diesel engines above 50 horsepower. The company provides products and services for customers in markets worldwide for engines, power generation, and filtration. In 2000, Cummins reported sales of $6.6 billion.
Capstone Turbine Corporation was the winner of the Financial Times Energy�s 2000 Global Energy Award for Most Innovative Commercial Technology. It is a leading producer of low-emission microturbine systems. In 1998, Capstone was the first to offer commercial power products utilizing microturbine technology, the result of more than ten years of focused research.
The future for microturbine technology looks promising, according to a recent report by investment bank Bear Stearns. The report into the US market for distributed generation technology, states that microturbines will play a large role in the distributed generation. They have the advantage of being flexible, commercially viable, easy to install and have a good environmental performance. They also have low maintenance costs and can be controlled remotely.
Both Capstone and Honeywell, another leading manufacturer of microturbines, have taken significant orders for their products. Microturbines are likely to find a niche in generating supplemental power to small manufacturing plants or to portions of plants that have no tolerance for power outages. The likely application for microturbines is commercial, in outputs of anywhere from 25 kW to 500 kW, providing power to restaurants, retail stores, hotels and offices.