How Does it Work: Capstone Green Energy’s Air Bearings

July 13, 2023

In our latest blog post, we're exploring Capstone's patented air-bearing technology, a game-changer in the world of gas combustion engines.

At Capstone, we understand the critical importance of reducing emissions and advancing sustainable energy solutions. Our patented air-bearing technology not only outperforms any existing lubrication solution but also boasts the lowest emissions among non-catalyzed gas combustion engines. Let's dive in and explore the remarkable workings of this groundbreaking technology! 

The Problem with Traditional Lubrication:

Friction, inevitable when two bodies move past each other, leads to energy loss, excess heat generation, material breakdown, and premature component wear. To mitigate these issues, lubricants have been widely used to reduce friction and transfer heat.

Man standing in oil

However, the introduction of conventional lubricating oils poses severe drawbacks. These systems are complex, requiring various pumps, switches, and tubing to create and maintain a thin oil film separating moving parts. This complexity not only leads to increased chances of equipment failure but also demands regular maintenance, oil changes, and filter replacements. The economic and environmental costs associated with traditional oil-lubricated systems are considerable.

Capstone's Air Bearing Solution:

The ingenious answer to these challenges lies in our air bearing technology. Instead of relying on oil, we use ordinary air as a lubricating medium – a game-changing approach that redefines turbine operation!

Imagine an air hockey table – the puck glides effortlessly on a cushion of air over the table's surface. Similarly, the turbine shaft in our air-bearing system rides on a frictionless cushion of air created by the unique aerodynamic shape of the Capstone air bearing. This thin layer of air between the rotating parts eliminates direct contact, drastically reducing heat generation. Any remaining heat is efficiently dissipated as air flows through the bearing. 

Advantages of Air Bearing Technology:

  1. Longer Engine Life: With reduced friction and wear, our turbines experience longer operational lifespans, ensuring your investment delivers sustainable benefits for years to come.
  2. Zero Maintenance: Bid farewell to regular inspections, oil changes, and filter replacements! Our air bearing system requires no external lubrication, simplifying maintenance and lowering associated costs.
  3. Eco-Friendly: By eliminating the need for environmentally unfriendly lubricating oils and their associated subsystems, our air bearing technology significantly reduces your turbine's ecological footprint. 
  4. Unmatched Reliability: Every Capstone MicroTurbine is equipped with air bearings and has only one moving part in the turbine generator. This streamlined design guarantees the highest reliability in the industry.

Thanks to our cutting-edge air bearing technology, Capstone Green Energy is proud to provide the most reliable and low-maintenance electrical generators in the market. As we continue our journey towards a greener future, we invite you to join us in exploring cleaner and more sustainable energy solutions. 

Stay tuned for more exciting updates and innovations from Capstone!