Conventional combustion turbine (CT) generators are a very mature technology. They typically range in size from about 500 kW up to 25 MW for DER, and up to approximately 250 MW for central power generation. They are fueled by natural gas, oil, or a combination of fuels ("dual fuel"). Modern single-cycle combustion turbine units typically have efficiencies in the range of 20 to 45% at full load. Efficiency is somewhat lower at less than full load.
Photo Source: University of Florida
Combustion Turbine Overview
500 kW - 25 MW
Natural gas, liquid fuels
20-45% (primarily size dependent)
Very low when controls are used
There are three main components in a combustion turbine generator:
Compressor - incoming air is compressed to a high pressure.
Combustor - fuel is burned, producing high-pressure, high-velocity gas.
Turbine - energy is extracted from the high-pressure, high-velocity gas flowing from the combustion chamber.