Our World: Capstone Turbine Corporation

The year 2021 will mark the twentieth anniversary of the partnership between IBT Group and Capstone, a leading Californian company and the only manufacturer in the world of energy systems with gas turbines with “oil-free” technology, of which IBT is the exclusive distributor for Italy. Founded in 1988, Capstone, with over 100 registered patents, develops, manufactures, sells and does maintenance cogeneration systems: the combined production of electrical and thermal energy, enabling heat recovery. Capstone is committed to improving the efficiency of energy needs worldwide, while reducing global emissions of pollutants and greenhouse gases. Capstone’s systems help end users improve their impact on the environment by meeting power and reliability needs. To date, Capstone has shipped nearly 10,000 units to 83 countries and saved customers approximately $219 million in annual energy costs by avoiding the emission of as much as 368,000 tons of carbon into the atmosphere.

Among the areas of application of Capstone systems designed and implemented by IBT Group are the hotel, food & beverage, textile, paper, hospital and pharmaceutical, retail & office, biogas from digester, landfill, district heating sectors.

The patented “oil free” technology, from aerospace derivation, is the result of more than ten years of research that has developed an important and unique technology, given by the complete absence of lubricating oil in the special bearings that help to support the shaft of the turbine in rotation without mechanical contact. These bearings operate on a film of air that is generated by specific aerodynamic profiles that are located on the axis of the turbine. Therefore, friction occurs only during the start-up and shutdown phases of the machine. These friction moments are also defined as stress-free as they are cushioned by a specially designed support structure that ensures durability and functionality of the mechanical parts.

Capstone turbines simultaneously generate electrical and thermal energy in the form of hot air. Through specific applications, thermal carried in the form of exhaust gas could be convert to the process uses needed by the user, as saturated steam, hot air for drying process, freezing or chilled water for trigeneration system. An example in this last case, the system with Capstone uses hot water obtained with the above transformation, conveyed in a Century absorption refrigerator which, through a specific transformation process, uses it to produce chilled water then used in an air conditioning system.

The Capstone gas turbine allows a great flexibility of use both for the variation of the biogas flow rate and for the variation of the methane concentration: the system allows a modulation of the electric power from o% to 100% of the nominal power.

For any structure / industry that is subject to a seasonality of energy needs, the plant with Capstone turbine allows the modulation of energy production following the peaks of demand.  This result is obtained by varying the speed of rotation of the turbine from beginning of generation to 96,000 rpm (rated power).

Thanks to their “oil free” design, the turbines have the lowest emissions of pollutants into the atmosphere available today (NOx < 9 ppmV / < 18 mg/Nm3) allowing their installation and use without any catalytic or SCR system to abate the pollutants emitted. In terms of investment, against an initial expenditure, the recovery is between 2 and 5 years. The reduction in consumption alone is considerable, we are talking about more than 30%. Finally, the simplicity of the cogeneration arrangement based on the Capstone turbine package, the “oil free” technology, the absence of refrigerant liquids, the absence of the catalytic emission abatement system, determines a drastic reduction in both maintenance costs and the plant downtime required for the same. The modularity of Capstone systems allows you to perform maintenance to a turbine while the others continue to work.

For after-sales service, Capstone espouses IBT’s values of attention and care for the customer. Through FPP “full service” contracts, once the system is installed, at least 10 years of maintenance are guaranteed to maintain the same level of savings and efficiency of the system.

To date, more than 250 Capstone turbine systems have been installed by IBT Group, for a total of 25 MW of electrical power.

The identikit: Sustainability

A duty, a trend that has been steadily growing in recent years, a necessity, an indispensable element of our lives that must be introduced more and more, and ever more strongly, into our lives. Sustainability is all this, and much more. The term (deriving from the Latin “sustinere”), was used for the first time to refer to human development in harmony with the planet and its resources only from the 80s onwards: today, it indicates all those processes in the environmental, economic and social spheres that respect and act in the name of a reality where there is a balanced relationship between the Earth and man, and where “giving” and “receiving” are balanced with each other. In a world where “waste” and “too much” seem sadly to be part of the daily habits of each of us, some realities are constantly working to reverse this course, and to introduce sustainable solutions in various areas of life, both private and professional: among these, undoubtedly falls the energy sector, and IBT Group is proud to offer for 20 years highly efficient energy solutions in full respect of the environment. How? We explain it below.



When we talk about sustainable energy, we refer to those ways of producing and using energy that take into account the environmental impact of these processes, researching and developing optimal technological solutions while respecting the resources available to them; an example of this are the production processes of micro-cogeneration and trigeneration, which working on smaller scales and consequently more sustainable, contribute to a greater extent to reducing environmental impact than large centralized plants.

Sustainable energy solutions address those undeniable environmental needs such as reducing the emission of pollutants from fossil fuels and thus reducing pollutants from the atmosphere and hydrosphere. In recent years, great strides have been made in these terms both in private homes and in the industrial and transport sectors, suggesting an increasing interest in sustainable energy which, more than anything else, represents a need and a duty.

The National Integrated Energy Plan foreseen by the EU directives that define the European objectives to be achieved by 2030, configures a strategic role to micro-cogeneration technologies for the decarbonization of the country. On the one hand, exploiting the already available infrastructure for transport, storage and distribution of natural gas, thus introducing efficiency in the energy system already in the short and medium term and, in perspective, incorporating additional shares of renewable sources such as bio-methane (exhaust gas from the process of digestion of biomasses).

Cogeneration, that is the combined production of electricity and heat, represents a technically and economically advantageous solution and therefore defined as high efficiency also for these aspects and, ERGO, sustainable for the peculiarities of technological innovation and energy saving that characterize it.



IBT Group was founded with the aim of developing highly innovative and sustainable technological solutions, which ensure maximum efficiency in business or industry. A commitment and a constant investment in terms of study and research, which can count on a dynamic and customizable approach, aimed at ensuring the highest quality.

To accomplish this, it uses state-of-the-art technologies characterized by the following prerogatives:

  • ENERGY EFFICIENCY: tailor-made solutions aimed at containing the use of primary energy, thanks to the technology of Capstone turbines (exclusive partner of IBT Group)
  • THERMAL RECOVERY: the waste heat produced in industrial processes at medium and high temperatures is recovered and trasformed into cooling energy, through the high efficiency Century absorption chillers (exclusive partner of IBT Group)
  • RENEWABLE SOURCES PLANTS: CAPSTONE turbines, thanks to their high modulation capacity and operation even with low % of methane, can also be fed with biogas from recovery processes.
  • EMISSIONS INTO THE ATMOSPHERE:The most important feature of Capstone turbines is the complete absence of lubricating oil, which allows energy self-production plants a very low emission of pollutants, much lower than the regulations in force

These solutions are applicable and customizable according to specific requirements in multiple industries such as hotel & wellness, paper, hospital, food & beverage, pharmaceutical, transportation, district heating and many others.



The data confirm the remarkable results of decarbonization achieved by the IBT Group plants in favor of environmental sustainability: in 20 years of activity, 80,000 tons of CO2 are not released into the atmosphere, while 6,000,000 are the total hours of operation of more than 250 Capstone turbines installed and more than 200 absorption chillers installed, for a total of 12,000,000 hours. In terms of case studies, we mention

  1. production for the fleet of ZEV (Zero Emission Vehicles) ecological hybrid buses of the city of Brescia equipped with Capstone turbines, which represent the lowest level of emissions in Italy for this type of transport. All without any vibration and therefore also extremely silent.
  2. The trigeneration plant at Pepsi’s headquarters in Mykolaiv (Ukraine) includes two Century absorption chillers which, by recovering the water produced by the cogeneration plant and transforming it into thermal energy, increase the collective efficiency as well as the sustainability of the system.

These are just two examples of the IBT Group world and the possibilities offered by sustainable energy in the name of a reality based on respect and balance, always.


The News: The Digital Energy Efficiency Report 2020

The Digital Energy Efficiency Report aims at assessing the current state of the Italian market in the field of energy efficiency in the industrial sector and, this year, it has been drafted also in the light of the recent health crisis that has hit the country and the whole world.



Specifically, during the 2020 Digital Energy Efficiency Report, these issues were explored:

  • Energy efficiency investment trends in the industrial sector with a focus on digital technologies
  • The evolution of the relevant regulations and incentive schemes
  • A comprehensive view of energy efficiency service providers and Energy Management Experts
  • The Impact of UVAM Pilot Projects on Industry
  • Energy efficiency in the transport sector, particularly in public transport
  • The impact of Covid-19 on industry and future prospects.



The industry-wide energy efficiency sector has taken a hit from the pandemic: according to estimates, it may have to wait until 2023 to see an investment level above the €2.5 billion achieved in 2019, which nevertheless represented just +1.9% compared to the previous year, when growth was 4.1%.

The 2020 Digital Energy Efficiency Report also includes a survey involving more than 150 companies and operators in the sector, developed by the Energy&Strategy Group of the School of Management of the Politecnico di Milano, which analyzed investments related to both the hardware and software sides of energy efficiency.



This is about 2.6 billion euros of investment in industrial energy efficiency in 2019, just +1.9% compared to 2018, and more than 90% of this is related to hardware technologies, while only 7.5% concerns software for controlling and monitoring the performance of production cycles. However, it is in this minority band that the greatest growth is concentrated: +34% over 2018, equivalent to €200 million. This makes us understand how data management and energy diagnosis are increasingly important.

Compared to 2018, there is significant growth in interventions on the production process (+18%), a consolidated trend over the last three years that makes them rise to first place, and compressed air systems, which record a turnover of 170 million euros (16%); followed by HVAC and refrigeration systems (+6%); stable, however, investments in relamping (lighting) and inverters, and down (-5%) those in electric motors, cogeneration (-13% on 2018, itself down 24%) and combustion systems (-19%).

Thus, it is clear that technologies with a higher degree of maturity are being installed for replacement and are showing a decline in investment, while those with a lower degree of maturity are showing growth or stability.



Two forecast scenarios have been studied for the near future: a trend scenario, which imagines a strong growth in investments (rebound effect) and another full recovery scenario, with a sustained increase in investments also in the following years and able to make up for the decline in 2020.


In both scenarios, we note that business development plans will, and should, be closely tied to investments in energy efficiency.

Among these investments, cogeneration plays a central role being a mature and reliable technology able to guarantee an energy and, therefore, an important economic saving. IBT, thanks to its long and consolidated experience in the energy sector, is able to evaluate, through a detailed energy analysis, the efficiency opportunities where a cogeneration or trigeneration plant allows fast investment returns. The same can be said with a simple absorption heat recovery.

This guarantees the client an economic saving that can be invested in the company’s core business.

The Solution. Hotel and Wellness: process and benefits of sustainable energy solutions

Each reality has its own characteristics and needs, that’s why the solutions we offer are extremely adaptable to each sector and each project. Specifically with regard to the hospitality sector, such as hotels and wellness centers,  IBTgroup has as its ultimate goal to create solutions with maximum efficiency and environmental sustainability, thanks to the use of Capstone technology.

The cogeneration plants with Capstone turbines are particularly suitable for hospitality facilities because they are oil-free (no lubricating liquid present) and are also extremely flexible so they can meet the seasonal electrical needs of the facilities.



Capstone turbines can simultaneously generate electrical and thermal energy in the form of hot water, steam, hot air and thermal oil. They use a patented oil-free technology derived from aerospace, which provides for the total absence of lubricating oil through the use of air bearings (air-bearings) that can support the turbine shaft (the only moving part) in rotation without mechanical contact. The advantages are many: the absence of lubricating oil keeps the system and the room in which it is installed clean as it is not necessary to refill with fresh oil and the disposal of exhausted oil, the air bearings eliminate friction, vibration and the use of coolants significantly reducing maintenance.

In addition, the turbines guarantee a reduction in consumption thanks to the possibility of modulating the load from 0 to 100%, a result made possible by the variation of the turbine rotation speed from 45,000 (initial generation) to 96,000 rpm (rated power) on a patented air bearing.

As already mentioned, environmental sustainability is a key point for IBT, that’s why using Capstone turbines also means ensuring the protection of the environment considering the reduced emissions of pollutants. In addition, these systems, having reduced size and weight and especially operating in total absence of vibrations and low noise emissions, are potentially installed anywhere: indoor or outdoor, ground or roof, thus facilitating the logistical management of hotels that have more flexibility in choosing where to install the turbines.

Software for remote control will also be provided and, in terms of safety and continuity, these plants can guarantee the supply of electricity and heat even in the event of a blackout thanks to the “island” operation.

To ensure maximum efficiency but also the possibility to customize and modulate each proposed solution, IBT proposes itself as a unique partner for the realization of so-called “turnkey” projects: from the feasibility study, in which we collect all the necessary information both in technical and economic terms to optimize the investment and performance in the short and long term. This study is followed by the design and engineering part, which, thanks to our know-how and the use of advanced technologies, allows us to propose integrated solutions. From procurement to installation to ensure, through continuous monitoring and support during all phases, the achievement of the objective of productivity and performance expectations. Once the system is installed and running we offer specific maintenance packages to support constant support and guarantee the performance of our solutions. Finally, our after-sales service ensures advice throughout the life of the system or product supplied. We offer solutions to extend the investment, quickly provide any type of spare parts, monitor performance and provide training for technical staff for the proper management of the systems.


This month we are in Italian magazine Guida Cogenerazione with the presentation of our latest specific energy efficiency applications for industry and water purification.

In particular, we have developed innovative applications that ensure maximum efficiency in industries that need thermal vectors, such as saturated steam or sub-zero glycol water, for their production process such as Food & Beverage.

In addition, the recent use of the FORSU (Organic Fraction of Urban Solid Waste) in water treatment plants sees the optimal use of our solutions based on Capstone technology.

To find out more, find us on page. 34 and 35 of the Guide which you can read here ? https://bit.ly/314aML1


Spiga Nord Spa, a reality on the world chemical scene, has adopted Capstone oil-free gas turbine technology, to allow the Carasco (GE) plant superior performance in energy production and heat recovery.

In an integrated system it is composed of 2 C200S Turbines coupled with a steam generator that creates 3,000 kg / h of saturated steam at 17 barG with an integrated direct fired burner.


Business Focus Magazine is a world-leading commercial magazine aimed at senior executives. Our presence on this magazine is strategic with respect to our business objectives to inform entrepreneurs of the potential and benefits of our turbines.

IBT Group to power Parma Ham producer Furlotti with Capstone technology

IBT Group is pleased to announced an order for a natural gas-fueled C600 Capstone Signature Series turbine to provide combined heat and power (CHP) to Italian Parma ham manufacturer Furlotti & C. Srl.

The thermal energy from the exhaust of the micro turbine will be utilized alongside the electrical output to provide steam via a steam boiler for the manufacturing process. This combined heat and power application boosts the overall efficiency of the microturbine to over 80%, making it one of the most economical and environmentally friendly solutions in the industry.


For further info please download the official press release here.

Capstone secures direct drying project for EU leading wood flour manufacturer

Capstone Turbine Corporation (www.capstoneturbine.com) (Nasdaq:CPST), the world’s leading clean technology manufacturer of microturbine energy systems, will supply a C600S microturbine to power and serve the wood drying process for a manufacturer of wood chip and wood flour for the zootechnical sector in Northeast Italy.

IBT Europe GmbH, Capstone’s Italian distributor, will installed the system which is estimated to be commissioned in January 2018. Capstone microturbines were selected for the associated cost reductions due primarily to their ability to connect seamlessly with existing industrial process systems.

Download the press release here.

Lasole la produzione

The new CHP solutions with oil-free gas turbine for the food & beverage industry @ Anuga FoodTec 2018

IBT EUROPE & Capstone will present at Anuga FoodTec 2018 (Stand D021, Hall 10.1), the world’s largest food technology trade fair that will be held in Cologne on 20-23 March 2018, the latest cogeneration solutions with Capstone oil-free gas turbine for the food & beverage industry.
The 2018 edition of Anuga FoodTec will be focused on the optimization of the primary resources used for the production of food & beverage and, more specifically, on optimizing the energy consumption for their production processes. In this respect, IBT has developed specific applications that maximize the overall efficiency in those industrial processes that heavily employ saturated steam, exhausted gas for drying processes/hot water production, or subzero glycolic water.