Update from Alaska : "Big savings from a little ingenuity"
Buying into the turbines made sense, Prendeville said. He knew the water park -- with its massive energy needs -- would need some sort of co-generation to keep costs affordable. The park itself occupies almost an entire acre of space. It contains 350,000 gallons of water to run its numerous water slides, pools and “lazy” river that snakes around the edge of the park. The park's crown jewel, a 505-foot long “Master Blaster” water slide that shoots people around the park from 43-feet in the air, is fed with 5,500 gallons of water a minute.
But beyond the sheer size of the park and all the moving water, there's the challenge of keeping the place warm. Everything -- the building, floors and water -- is kept at a balmy 84 degrees all year, an expensive prospect given Anchorage's long, cold winters.
So for Prendeville, a former electrical engineer for Alyeska Pipeline Services, it came down to consolidating resources.
“There wasn't a startling moment,” Prendeville said on the decision to go with the microturbines. “I just assumed we should be able to produce heat and power in the same way.”
Since installing the generators three years ago, Prendeville has saved thousands of dollars. With an initial investment of $350,000 for the entire set up, he's making good on his purchase. In 2009, before the generators were installed, the park spent $371,000 on energy. By January of this year, the park spent $258,350 over the previous 12 months
Porter, with Chenega Energy, said he often uses H2Oasis as an example of how efficient the generators can be.
“It could be a grocery story, but it just happens to be a water park,” he said.
He said the generators have been in Alaska for more than a decade, but haven't proliferated because of technology. In the early 2000s, the technology was unproven and of questionable reliability. That's changed since then, he said, noting that 36 of 37 microturbines on the Jersey Shore kept running -- even as the boardwalk was battered by Hurricane Sandy.
“(Now) the technology is not on trial,” Porter said. “We're changing a culture and thought process in Alaska.”
The North American market for reciprocating generator sets ranging from 30 kilowatts to 150 kilowatts (the output range of microturbines) is expected to reach $925 million, accounting for 2,310 megawatts during the year 2000. In the same year Frost & Sullivan expects microturbine sales to reach $24 million, accounting for 28 megawatts.
* Capstone is looking at a world market
* Hurricane Sandy showed how installations held up.
* combined heat and power (CHP) projects would be the type of installations that once a competitor has the advantage it will force others in the field to install microturbines to be able to compete
Once Capstone turns consistant cash flow positive...to the moon
As more people get introduced to the savings, easy care and minimal downtime you will start seeing architects design buildings with microturbines. (probably greatly increasing efficiencies).
****Why would anyone design a water park without microturbines???**** Technology expands at a slow pace until it is proven to be a money saver with low upkeep. Are we nearing the turn where we will see mass adoption? If you were building a water park and the architect didn't mention a turbine power base would you fire him?