We're reinventing the diesel genset

11 September 2018
Written by Stuart Kelly

The diesel genset. The workhorse of the world for providing distributed power for decades. Last year over 2 million diesel gensets were purchased and installed around the world to provide primary power, on-grid backup power or as an ingredient in a hybrid genset using solar panels, battery banks and/or wind turbines.

And yet. Diesel gensets are still noisy, smoky, expensive to maintain, needing services every 300 hours and haven’t really enjoyed much innovation unlike the automotive industry.

conventional generator

So why are they popular? Well, they’re reliable, relatively low cost and still a preferred option for many applications compared to renewable sources of energy available. Fuel cells (hydrogen/ammonia) for certain markets don’t work due to availability of fuel supply and (multiple suppliers to keep prices competitive). Solar panels need real estate, regular cleaning and open to vandalism and theft. So are batteries.

So our team in Bladon have taken another approach and designed a diesel genset that is designed from the inside out to address the downsides of conventional diesel gensets. Using microturbine technology, Bladon have built a Micro Turbine Genset (MTG) that can use diesel as a fuel source;

bladon micro turbine
  1. High maintenance costs – servicing a diesel genset every 300 hours is costly and exposes the site in which the genset sits to human error, theft and security risk. Using a microturbine that runs on airbearings, using no oil or liquid coolant shifts the service interval from 300 hours on average upto 8,000 hours. Problem solved.
  2. Fuel costs and theft – a microturbine continuously burns the fuel that feeds it. That way a more complete combustion of the fuel is achieved thus driving up efficiency and lowering emissions. Microturbines are fuel flexible meaning it can use diesel, kerosene or paraffin for example or even a mixture of the fuels to help reduce costs and theft since regular diesel engines can’t handle a mixture of fuels.
  3. Secure by design – in order to be different, you have to be the same. Our MTG packaging has a hardened, tamper-proof enclosure, single service door access, and padlock hood. Inside there are no reusable parts that other conventional diesel gensets can recycle either.
  4. Reduced Environmental Impact – with only one moving part in the MTG it runs very quiet. So quiet in fact sometimes you don’t know the MTG is running until you’re standing right beside it! Low vibration running thanks to the airbearings technology means the MTG can be installed in residential area, parks, and rooftops. Emissions are also low with the MTG being the world’s first EURO V emissions standard compliant 12kW diesel genset.
Back to news