Drone-maker Fusionflight has developed an 8-kW microturbine generator that weighs less than one-tenth of what an equivalent petrol generator would.
The company is famous for its JetQuad UAVs – ultra-fast VTOL drones using thrust-vectored jet turbine propulsion to act like quadcopters on steroids.
They’re amazing little power units, running on diesel, kerosene, or jet fuel, with 5 percent turbo oil mixed in. The ARC microturbine generator measures about 17 x 27 x 52 cm (6.7 x 10.6 x 20.5 inches) and weighs just under 9 kg (19.8 lb).
Fusionflight says it’s powerful enough to run an off-grid home with, light enough to mount as a range extender to small electric aircraft and drones, and it offers a way to charge up an electric car where no plug-in options are available. Mind you, it won’t charge the battery back up as fast as your EV drains it on the highway – by our math, the Tesla Model 3 uses around about a constant 15.6 kW at 90 km/h (56 mph), rising to around 21.6 kW at 120 km/h (75 mph).
Fusionflight doesn’t give any numbers for noise, nor does JetCat which is a leading supplier of these kinds of microturbines. One noise evaluation study on an older JetCat P80 turbine measured 116.5 decibels – louder than a chainsaw, a jackhammer, or a typical rock concert.
Turbine noise is usually high-pitched and is perceived to be directional.
It is going to be a 130,000-rpm turbine and will be quite loud. However, the noise is kinda awesome. Skip to 3:30 to hear it being switched on and throttled up to 50 percent. They are expected to have a premium price tag.