Distributed Technology Comparison

Distributed Technology Comparative Analysis

Microturbines Combustion Turbines Reciprocating Engines Photovoltaic Systems Wind Turbines Fuel Cells* Hydro
Size Range (kW) 25 – 500 200 – 230,000 1 – 10,000 <1 – 100 0.2 – 5000 100 – 400 100 – 805,000
Fuel natural gas, hydrogen, propane, diesel natural gas, liquid fuels natural gas, diesel, landfill gas, digester gas Sunlight Wind natural gas, hydrogen, landfill gas, digester gas Water
Average Efficiency 28% 27.40% 34.50% 12.50% 30% 50% 75%
Combined Heat and Power Efficiency X X X NA NA X NA
Average Installed Cost ($/kW) 950 – 1,700 736 2,170 3,705 1,895 7,648 2,294
Average Heat Rate (Btu per kWh) 12,200 12,417 9,889 NA NA 7,693 NA
Average O&M Cost ($/kWh) 0.014 0.024 0.025 0.002 0.01 0.03 0.02
Average Nox Emissions (lb/kWh) (1) 0.00026 0.000748 0.00007 0 0 0.00001 0
Average CO2 Emissions (lb/kWh) (1) 1.573666667 1.3638 1.1396 0 0 0.5075 0

(1) Nationwide utility averages for emissions from generating plants are 0.005 lb/kWh of NOx and 1.2 lb/kWh of CO2.
Although the electric conversion efficiency of the prime mover does not change, CHP significantly improves the fuel utilization efficiency of a DG system with some efficiencies up to 89 percent.
*Fuel cells using hydrogen generated from renewable resources are emission free and offer superior efficiency when used in combined heat and power applications.

Federal Emergency Management Plan: Regional Reliability Plan for Mission Critical Facilities in Southwestrn Connecticut (2009), Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology, Inc.
California distributed energy resource guide
UTC Power
FuelCell Energy, Inc