Introduction: The NSF, Arctic Research Support & Logistics Program, was awarded a grant from the US DOE to promote greater energy efficiency through the implementation of a combined heat and power (CHP) technology. A 65 kW Capstone Microturbine CHP unit was purchased and an "energy module" was designed and built to house the equipment. The CHP was shipped to Summit, Greenland to provide power and heat to the Summit Science Station, and commissioned in June, 2016.
Discussion: Some specific problems with operation of the microturbine, as well as solutions are discussed. Example challenges include altitude deration and limits, fuel deration, ambient temperature impacts, blowing snow impacts, maintenance problems, and control scheme problems. Positive attributes for the microturbine CHP system as compared to traditional diesel reciprocating engine generator sets include its compact size, low weight, quiet operation, low emissions, low maintenance, and high waste heat recovery.
Conclusions: The NSF will not continue to operate the CHP unit at Summit due to the need to operate two gensets to meet the Station load much of the time. The energy required to keep the batteries charged and warm, and the uncertainty of having qualified maintenance technicians, also contributed to the decision.