Fuel Flexible, Ultra-Portable Microturbine Generator

Votes: 22
Views: 15791

A large unmet need in the oil and gas industry is a portable power generation system which is reliable, requires little maintenance, can operate continuously for extended periods of time, and has the capacity to consume on-site fuel.

Dynamo Micropower is developing robust, fuel flexible, ultra-portable sub-30kW microturbine generators for highly distributed generation in an electrically driven world.

The majority of oil and gas well locations are in remote, isolated areas with limited or no electrical grid infrastructure. Bulky diesel reciprocating engine generators are typically used to power pumping equipment on site. Diesel fuel is not only expensive, but transporting fuel and maintenance personnel out to sites is also very costly. Typically 50% of the operating cost of stripper wells is from fuel and maintenance costs. Diesel generators in this application must be serviced every 6 weeks, which adds up to large amounts of downtime and reduced production.

75% of the 825,000 oil and gas producing wells in the United States are considered marginal, meaning that production marginally exceeds operating costs. Many of these wells will be abandoned with oil/gas remaining in the well which likely will never be harvested once the well is abandoned. 70 additional wells are abandoned every day. By decreasing operating costs, our product extends the profitable life of sites and decreases the amount of fuel remaining in wells at the end of profitable life. The Dynamo microturbine can effectively cut O&M costs in half.

We leverage the inherently fuel flexible nature of microturbines with our in-house design software which allows for rapid redesign of components to meet customer specific power generation requirements. We utilize just-in-time (JIT) manufacturing for custom solutions allowing for short lead times and rapid deployment. Our proprietary system architecture simplifies typically complex turbine component geometries and allows for simple manufacture. The Dynamo microturbine has only two moving parts and is very simple to assemble, disassemble, and service. Components are arranged in a stacked fashion and requires only hand tools for complete assembly, a process that takes about ½ hour.

Our system is cost competitive with current diesel generators and is 1/5th of the size. Our microturbine offers 99.9% up-time, with a maintenance interval of 10,000 hours. By making use of the wellhead gas previously being wasted by flaring, the Dynamo microturbine can reduce the levelized cost of energy (LCOE) by 90%. Our system is designed to be modular, such that units can be swapped out quickly to minimize down-time and disruptions in operation. Multiple microturbine units can replace a large single generator effectively as a hedge against unplanned downtime.

While the oil and gas industry is our primary point of entry to the market, our product is not limited to this application. Our design is 80% smaller than the standard generators available on the market for similar power production while still being cost competitive. Our solution meets the needs of countless applications including: rapidly deployable emergency power generation, ultra-portable power generation, and backup power generation for residential and small-scale commercial customers.

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  • 2013 Top 100 Entries


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  • Name:
    Erik Herold
  • Type of entry:
    Team members:
    Jason Ethier
    Ivan Wang
    Erik Herold
  • Software used for this entry:
    Solidworks, Matlab, Comsol
  • Patent status: