The C200 and Beyond: Capstone’s Most Prolific Machine and Its Future

 

The Capstone Turbine Corporation has become a global market leader in micro-turbines. Since Capstone’s formation in 1988, the C200 (200 kW) has been the company’s most successful machine in terms of units built. If a Capstone is sold, chances are a C200 is involved.

To understand why the C200 is so prevalent, one must become acquainted with Capstone’s product line. The company offers the C30 (30 kW), C65 (65 kW) (an uprated C60), and C200. There are three additional machines – the C600, C800, and C1000 – that are popular with customers. The latter are multiple C200 turbines that come in a single power package. For instance, a C600 is three C200 turbines. Forecast International’s database shows about 25% more C200s ordered or installed than the company’s second-most-popular machine, the C65.

The C200 has gone through improvements that  launched sometime around 2015. The C200s now come in the Signature Series, which offer a list of improvements and boast optimization for CHP and CCHP applications. Accommodating these cooling and heating applications is important for market success. By Capstone’s own reporting, CHP installations in the United States have grown 8% over the last five years. Reportedly, the C65 will also become a Signature Series machine at some point in the near future. Capstone is not sitting on its laurels, however – a new machine is on the horizon.

Capstone has been developing a C250 turbine, which by Capstone’s nomenclature will presumably be 250 kW. Additionally, the company has mentioned a C1250. It is not clear whether the C200 will be retired, but that is a distinct possibility. The C65 replaced the C60, so that might be what Capstone will do with its next machine.

Competition?

Capstone turbines have been installed around the globe. Therefore, any newcomer or longtime micro-turbine producer in the world is competition.  A slew of new machines coming out of Europe, which Forecast International reported on last year, will pose some form of competition to Capstone. For example, Aurelia Turbines is in the process of producing an efficient 400 kW machine designed for similar applications to Capstone turbines. Furthermore, America’s FlexEnergy has been around for some time, and it has garnered a large order from Russia and has been receiving further orders from various domestic companies.

Despite competition from various sources, Capstone will remain the market leader for the foreseeable future. Their willingness to expand or upgrade their product line will help them maintain a strong position moving forward.

Be sure to visit Forecast International Power Systems analysts Carter Palmer and Stu Slade at Power-Gen International on November 19th through 21, Booth #3515


About Carter Palmer

Carter Palmer is an analyst at Forecast International covering small gas turbines and space.

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