Microturbine makes debut

Unicom Distributed Energy (UDE) recently completed the first commercial installation of a TurboGenerator Power System at The Energy Efficient McDonald`s in Bensenville, Ill. The system is designed to save McDonald`s money on energy while providing another source of power for enhanced reliability.

The TurboGenerator system is a compact, self-contained unit that uses a natural gas-fueled microturbine generator. Designed to provide electricity on-site at the customer`s facility-operating parallel to the utility grid-the system is expected to pay for itself in a two- to three-year timeframe, providing an anticipated average of 10 percent reduction in the combined cost of energy and outages.

Brought to market by UDE and manufactured by AlliedSignal Power Systems Inc., the TurboGenerator system begins the final phase of product testing prior to commercial production, which is expected to begin during the second half of 1999. Throughout the second quarter, UDE will install additional test units at customer facilities, including a CitiBank branch, Heinemann`s Bakeries and several others in Unicom`s Midwest region.

The system generates 75 kW continuous power, and several systems may be linked together to provide power for small- to mid-sized commercial, industrial and institutional facilities. It is optimal for buildings ranging in size from a small retail operation to a medium-sized manufacturing operation.

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Temporary power systems, such as this Caterpillar power module installation, provide generating capacity for ComEd customers` summer cooling demands.

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