Microturbines are a relatively new distributed generation technology being used for stationary energy generation applications. They are a type of combustion turbine that produces both heat and electricity on a relatively small scale. Microturbines offer several potential advantages compared to other technologies for small-scale power generation, including: a small number of moving parts, compact size, lightweight, greater efficiency, lower emissions, lower electricity costs, and opportunities to utilize waste fuels. Waste heat recovery can also be used with these systems to achieve efficiencies greater than 80%.
Because of their small size, relatively low capital costs, expected low operations and maintenance costs, and automatic electronic control, microturbines are expected to capture a significant share of the distributed generation market. In addition, microturbines offer an efficient and clean solution to direct mechanical drive markets such as compression and air-conditioning.