New Power for Cellular Towers

by Carter Palmer, Power Systems SpecialistForecast International.

Can cellular towers be cheaper and greener? At Bladon Jets, the answer is a resounding yes. The microturbine, fast becoming a favorite among distributed power proponents, might just be the future.

The world is crowded with towers to connect ever more people. However, not all of them are easily accessible. Typically, the electricity generated by these remote pylons depends upon conventional diesel-powered generators; however, an alternative is in the works.

Enter the MTG12 microturbine.

Rather than using reciprocating engines, the microturbine promises to deliver effective power to these remote towers. At 12 kW, the turbine is small, even when compared to other microturbines; however, its output is equal to the task. In comparison to traditional diesel gensets, the MTG12 promises to require fewer on-site service visits, produce lower noise levels, and have a longer service life due to its one moving part. Staffed with engineers from top auto and aero-turbine companies, Bladon Jets has a unique outlook on its future. It envisions producing thousands of these units, and with Tata Group as a minority investor, it has the backing to manufacture these machines in volume.

While the future might be different than what Bladon Jets anticipates, the idea is sound and the maintenance requirements are reasonable. Excellent ideas do not always translate into profit, but it must be said that Bladon Jets has secured its first order for $7 million. This order milestone may be the beginning of a long, successful career in power generation.

Other applications are possible and new turbines could be developed. Bladon Jets has already had the opportunity to power two electric concept cars, one of which is a Jaguar. Interest has also peaked in Bladon Jets at the prospect of having a microturbine to mitigate the impact of power outages in disaster-stricken areas.

Cellular towers may be just the beginning, as few companies produce turbines in this power range. With the popularity of microturbines already cemented, Bladon Jets may be a company to follow.


Forecast International produces two distinct Power Systems products. The Aviation Gas Turbine Forecast presents the 15-year outlook for aviation turbofan, turboprop and turboshaft engines and more. The Industrial & Marine Turbine Forecast covers the markets for gas and steam turbines, mechanical drive engines, and marine power, among others.

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