While the technology is elegant and sweet, the cost of fabricating a microturbine is very high. The 40 horsepower engine from Capstone that has one third the power of a Toyota Corolla, costs them more than $20,000 to manufacture. By comparison the 60 horsepower engine in a Smart Car costs Mercedes less than $2,500 to manufacture. Is the microturbine much more efficient than a piston engine? Over the full driving range that a motorist typically runs their vehicle the, microturbine will approach 30% efficiency while the piston engine will be about 15% efficient. However, when one employs a diesel engine to do the same driving, the diesel engine yields approximately the same efficiency as the Capstone turbine. The diesel engine would only cost about $3,000 to manufacture.
For the past couple of weeks I have been blogging about Raser the Eraser and today it is about Capstone the Gallstone. Capstone also wanted to lift their stock price by getting in on the plug in hybrid bandwagon. CPST is Capstone’s stock symbol and it is a small cap stock on the NASDAQ. It was once a large cap stock during the dot com boom years but it saw a low of 39 cents a share a few months back. Last week some thermodynamic wankers in the UK, fitted a plug in van with a Capstone turbine and are claiming 80 mpg for the van. http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Photo-Release-Capstone-C30-pz-15498531.html?.v=1 . On this news the CPST stock rose to close at one dollar sixteen cents yesterday.
Again the claim of the first forty miles being energy free due to the plug in lithium ion batteries propelling the vehicle without the need for engaging the engine is being made. If Raser is an Eraser then the Capstone plug in is a Gallstone. In Capstone’s case one has to add the extra cost of the turbine versus the standard piston engine and this is amounts to another $20,000 on top of the lithium ion batteries that already added more than $30,000 to the base cost of the vehicle. Therefore the Capstone Gallstone will cost you $50,000 more than the base diesel van and get no better fuel economy. I hear gallstones are very painful, the extra fifty thousand dollars per vehicle is also painful to your wallet.
Gall is a synonym for nerve or chutzpah. I really get my hairs up on my back when these gangrene gallists who have jumped on the band wagon to save the world by lowering energy consumption make ridiculous claims about their technologies that are Betamaxs and some fool then buys the stock on the hope this is the next Apple Computer. I suggest that folks rather buy shares in my new engine company Gallstone Turbine Corporation that uses rubber bands to propel a lead acid plug in. I will list Gallstone Turbine Corporation on the NYSE with the symbol GTC which also stands for Get Their Cash.
On Wednesday June 17, Lindsay Leveen will be on blog talk radio at noon California time to discuss Eraser and Gallstone. 12pm PT (3pm ET) at http://BlogTalkRadio.com/AlternativeEnergyRadio The call in number for the radio show is (347) 838-8999.