Optimal Turns to AE Smith as Capstone Microturbine Service Agent

AE Smith have become an Australian service agent for the Optimal Group authorised to commission and service Capstone microturbines, an innovative and compact onsite power plant solution

2 Jul 2014


Yes; [AE Smith] can install, commission and maintain Capstone microturbines anywhere in Australia. But we never lose sight of the ‘right outcome’ our customers are looking for when developing a holistic energy efficiency solution

Onsite power production is increasingly a consideration for many Australian businesses providing lower emissions, improved energy efficiency and increased power security.

“Our goal is to help our clients meet their energy needs in the best way possible,” explains Andrew Permezel, CEO of AE Smith. “Adding the Capstone microturbine to our Energy Services suite gives us a broader range of cogeneration options to deliver the right solution.”

The Optimal Group is the authorised distributor of Capstone microturbines in Australia. Designed and manufactured in California, Capstone’s extensive range of microturbines are among the cleanest burning engines in the world, and offer the lowest cost of ownership solutions for generating on site power. “Due to its small footprint, the Capstone microturbine provides a practical solution for sites with space and noise restrictions,” said Kane Ravenscroft, Optimal Group Sales Director.

AE Smith is currently installing a Capstone microturbine at the Richmond Recreation Centre, one of Melbourne’s busiest inner suburban public venues. “We’ve worked closely with the client’s energy performance contractor to deliver a cogeneration solution that will deliver energy savings over the next decade,” said AE Smith Project Manager Matt Younger.

Hardly seen or heard

The plant room at the Richmond Recreation Centre is adjacent to a busy street, a 50 metre pool, change rooms and offices. The perfect onsite power plant solution needed to fit within the existing plant room, save the council money and cause zero disturbance to neighbouring residents and Centre patrons.

A C65 Capstone microturbine met the brief. The Capstone microturbine has one defining feature making it significantly different from other cogeneration solutions. It has only one moving part. This revolutionary technology results in the Capstone microturbine being very quiet, very compact, very reliable and producing ultra low emissions.

Multidiscipline energy efficiency solution

“While installing a Capstone microturbine is the right solution for Richmond Recreation Centre; the energy efficiency journey is different for each of our customers,” explains Peter Ferguson, General Manager of AE Smith Building Technologies. “Yes; we can install, commission and maintain Capstone microturbines anywhere in Australia. But we never lose sight of the ‘right outcome’ our customers are looking for when developing a holistic energy efficiency solution.”

Powering up the plant

Commissioning of a Capstone microturbine is completed by the AE Smith Building Technologies team. “Needless to say, there’s more to commissioning a microturbine than just flicking a switch. We’ll sit down with Richmond Recreation Centre to understand their energy goals and how the building currently operates,” says Peter. “Then we program information into the system that controls the Capstone. For instance, we tell it when to switch on and when it needs to share power with the grid. We also align it to the BMS,” he added.

At Richmond Recreation Centre the Capstone microturbine will produce approximately 50% of the base electrical load and the waste heat from cogeneration will produce approximately 15% of the hot water heating for the pool. The project is due for completion in September 2014.

Early next year, Aquamoves in Shepperton will be the next to turn on a Capstone Microturbine. Like the Richmond Recreation Centre, Aquamoves is an aquatic and recreational facility that with will leverage microturbines to deliver prolonged energy savings.

Trained and authorised

AE Smith is authorised to service and maintain Capstone microturbines, with a number of technicians completing training in the USA. There are now 10 AE Smith Capstone certified technicians located around Australia.

Capstone microturbine combined heat and power (CHP) solutions provide:

Ultra-low emissions
One moving part – minimal maintenance and downtime
Patented air bearing – no lubricating oil or coolant required
5 and 9 year Factory Protection Plans available
Remote monitoring and diagnostic capabilities
Integrated synchronization and protection
Reliable – tens of millions of run hours and counting.