At Dynamo we are building a generator product for the broader market, but we are also paying special attention to the O&G market place. We’ve spoken to over 25 companies and over 50 individuals about what they want and need in the marketplace. The message is clear and consistent, with 15 terms that came up consistently. Below is a word cloud of what customers were consistently looking for.
We then took this input and determined what we could do best for our customers. Some of these requirements are essential but unremarkable, such as reliability and safety, but others were non-trivial, like operating on lease gas and including built-in redundancy. As a team we determined we could provide a great product but we were going to focus on three things. We would provide a product that is fuel flexible, load following, and very easy to install, as these were the primary challenges found with installing other turbines in the field.
We listened, and have put special focus on building our turbine around a very flexible combustion system. While our turbine is designed to be very fuel flexible, we decided we wanted to remove any engineering uncertainty and are including special fuel injectors and control system to enable the engine to operate on lease gas, irrespective of how sour or wet it will be. One of the biggest concerns our customer have is the fact that lease gas composition changes over time. Its energy content, pressure and temperature can change significantly compared to what typical gas turbines or natural gas reciprocating engines can handle on the order of minutes. By designing mechanical buffering system and implementing control logic in our fuel delivery system, we’ve done away with those concerns. There are no manual set points to worry about or governors to adjust. Just plug in the fuel line, allow the gas to flow and start it up.
There is also a need for a product that will be used continuously throughout the year, but must be able to respond to cyclic loads, like those from a pump jack. Continuous operations are not a problem for a small turbine, the challenge is around cyclic loading. To meet these challenges, we built our turbine differently from these rest of the microturbine industry. We are utilizing what is called a split shaft design. The part of our engine that generates power is separate from the primary engine, allowing for better load following, starting capability and tolerance to fuel variation.
There are many things to mention in this post, but I will leave discussions about safety and emissions for another time. The last thing I want to talk about is how we have made key decisions which will simplify installation and total installed costs for our customer. Our product is small, about 1/3 the size of a traditional diesel generators, and small enough in most cases to fit on the back of a pickup truck. You will still need a crane to lift the larger units off the bed, but unlike a reciprocating engine, a turbine generator does not need the same reinforced concrete pad to isolation vibration. The overall footprint will be smaller, and the resulting cost and time required to set up the generator will be much less.
These are just a few details on the myriad of nuanced design considerations we have put into our TurboCore products specifically for O&G customers.