Prime power

To meet the high availability and base load needs of industrial, commercial and residential consumers, Aurelia’s turbines operate efficiently on a continuous basis.

Power, the reliable partner of our every-day life

In most developed regions, no thought is given as to how electricity is generated or how much electricity is available. It is taken granted that at the flick of a switch or press of a button that the machine will start, the computer will boot up and the coffee machine starts to gurgle. Electricity does help us a lot in our daily lives. One only realizes that in past things used to be different, when suddenly, the lights go out, TV goes black and music stops playing. …and did I manage to save that file I was working on…?

Indeed, one usually only gives the slightest thought to availability of power generation only when power goes off. As said, in developed regions people are being used to have the power 24/7 on their hands. Our friends in developing countries might be used even to daily outages. Unfortunately, it looks like also we need to start being more prepared, too.

Development of power outages, not more often, but longer & wider

Typically, utilities delivering the power to consumers have good statistics about their service levels. There have been multiple studies world-wide of the power outages; their rate, severity and development. One of the most comprehensive relating to the development of the power outages was done by the researchers of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Stanford University in 2015. Per this and other similar studies, the frequency of power outages has not changed, but the length and size (how many end users are being concerned) has been increasing over the time. In other words, more end users are facing more and longer power outages.

The night the lights went out over Japan. Courtesy of National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), USA.

What causes this trend?

Only if there would be one reason, but unfortunately for increasing severity of the power outages there are multiple reasons. The worldwide increase in demand for electricity is accelerating causing the ageing networks to operate at or beyond their limits, the change in climate especially in terms of more severe weather systems, the addition of volatility in power generation due to renewables, and even cyber-attacks are just some of the root causes for the problem. Reasons are multiple and it is unlike that the utilities could solve the problem with any simple solution quickly.

What is ”Prime Power Generation”?

Almost all organisations and industry sectors rely on high availability of electric supply over long hours over the year. Because of the power outages, many of these organisations want to reduce their reliance on a single source of electricity supply. Simply, these organisations generate their own electricity on site to ensure the continuance of operating their business during these grid outages or for managing growth and increased consumption.

In Prime Power Generation, the electricity generators function as the main source of power and are designed to operate continuously or for extended periods of time. These units are normally more robust and reliable than standby power generators as they are required to operate continuously between maintenance cycles.

The market for Prime Power Generation units is large. According to the 40th annual Order Survey conducted by Diesel & Gas Turbine Worldwide Magazine, of all 31.015 the piston engines and gas turbines sold below 3,5 MW of nominal power capacity in 2015, 15.079 or 48,6% were installed on continuous usage.

What limits Prime Power Generation?

Typically, the limitations to the adoption of prime power generation are; the investment cost of large turbines for onsite generation equipment is too great, or the frequency and costly maintenance required by reciprocating piston engine generators is unattractive. This has meant that the organisations generating electricity for self-consumption or for sale to the networks needs to be commensurately large to support the operating overheads of large equipment or frequent maintenance.

Why Aurelia can help?

Aurelia turbines have been developed to provide power generation solutions for commercial and industrial customers especially in relatively small scale.

We believe our product is the most efficient small scale gas turbine in the world with an efficiency and cost of ownership which will allow small and medium scale organisations to generate prime power for self-consumption on site.

The benefits to the end user of the equipment include:

  • Reduced dependence on or operate independently of electricity network
  • Ability to maintain business activity when connected to an unreliable or regularly interrupted network power supply
  • Increase business activity when local network capacity has reached its limit
  • Equipment reliability and durability
  • Ease of operation, so you focus on your core business

To give an example; Aurelia’s turbine design incorporates active magnet bearings which mean that the turbine has no oils which need changing, helping significantly to reduce the costs and downtime for maintenance. Our turbine design is also modular, this results in simple and forecastable maintenance – just what the prime power generation needs.

Aurelia’s turbine design provides a form of onsite generation of electricity at efficiencies of up to 42% and availability above that of existing solutions, from a wide range of gaseous and liquid fuels, at scales that are attractive to a large range of organisations.