New offerings from GE capitalise on its fleet action1 March 2014
New GT upgrade offerings from GE have benefited from the analysis of a volume of data gathered during 100 million plus operating hours from its fleet of 1600 networked GTs, both in the upgrades themselves, and in informing new designs.
In recent months GE has introduced three additions to its range of gas turbine performance enhancement offerings for the installed fleet. Most recently it has expanded its advanced gas path (AGP) portfolio, already available for the 7F fleet, and in place or currently being installed in 170 of these turbines, to include its 9-F3 and 9E customers around the world.
AGP is the (mainly) hardware contribution to two other offerings - GE's recently introduced Power FlexEfficiency (PFE) and Power LifeMax PLM) offerings for F-Class gas turbine and B/E-Class gas turbine platforms respectively. These are solutions that combine hardware and software enhancements to improve the performance, and therefore the value, of their existing assets. Both versions can harness general and specific customer experience to set and refine improvement targets as individual customers define them.
Both portfolios are supported by GE's 'Predictivity' platform, the means whereby software solutions for performance upgrades, and design improvements for new models, can tap into data from GE's networked fleet of gas turbines, and combine with the data analytics capabilities of the ongoing research effort. The essence of this process is that it harnesses data from a vast general experience that can be applied both for overall design purposes and to the technical and business needs of individual customers and individual machines.
GE's expansion of its AGP portfolio to include its 9F-3 and 9E gas turbine customers is applicable around the globe but is mainly aimed at its Asian energy market. The technology, which is proven already on the 7F-3 fleet to deliver significant levels of upgrade performance, marks the first of its kind available for comparably sized gas turbine assets in both classes.
Asian power generation entities are expected to experience the world's highest regional demand growth for power over the next several decades. Across Asia, average energy demand growth is estimated at 3.7 % annually through to 2030, with Southeast Asian demand potentially expanding nearly 90 % over the same period of time. GE's AGP technology is aimed at enabling customers with existing gas turbines in rapidly growing economies in Asia and beyond to expand their power capacities without investing in new infrastructure, or to complement new power plant construction.
AGP component modifications
AGP technology advancements mainly feature hardware design and materials improvements to the components of GE's gas turbine hot gas path system. These improvements are coupled with the company's OpFlex advanced controls software to expand gas turbine performance and more dynamic and efficient operation.
To develop and achieve these hardware and software technology advances GE has called upon data insights gained through analysis of GE's more than 100 million hours of operating data on its global gas turbine fleet of more than 1600 monitored units.
The process involves design improvements to all the hot gas path hardware - buckets, shrouds, nozzles, in terms of both design and materials. For the 9F-3 this results in a 6% output increase, a 2% efficiency increase, and extended lifing. It lifts the major maintenance interval by up to 33% to 32 000 hours.
For the 9E units it means an output increase up to 3.8 %, a fuel efficiency increase of up to 0.9 % and extended maintenance intervals as long as 32 000 hours/1200 starts, with the outage intervals also extended by up to 33 %.
First AGP customer for a 9F-3
ENKA, which generates more than 13 % of Turkey's electricity, has placed the first order for GE's 9F-3 AGP technology for 10 of its gas turbines at the Gebze, Adapazar and Izmir power plants.
The upgrades are expected to deliver a total of up to approximately 150 MW of additional output. ENKA also expects to lower its emissions footprint with the installation of the AGP solution in tandem with GE's dry low NOx (DLN) 2.6+ combustion system upgrade. Installation of the technologies is scheduled to begin in late 2015, with a targeted completion date of 2018 for all 10 upgrades.
‘The performance improvements this solution delivers to our plants will allow us to maximise the value of the energy we provide through power purchase agreements,' said ENKA O&M chairman Tahsin Kösem. 'This collaborative effort with GE will also put our sites in a better position with more available power and flexibility for electricity markets with demand increases being forecasted across Turkey. Additionally, this project increases ENKA's contribution to help meet the Turkey 2023 Vision, which includes goals of increased efficiency and lowering the country's carbon footprint.'
According to GE its customers are currently operating or will soon install AGP technology on their 7F-3 GTs to address a wide range of regional market dynamics.
- Korea Southern Power Company, Ltd. installed two AGP systems at its Pusan plant in 2012 to generate 25 MW of additional power needed for growing electricity demand and to expand the region's low reserve margin of power.
- In Taiwan the Chia Hui Power Station will install AGP technology on three gas turbines in 2014 to improve the plant's heat rate, position the plant more competitively amid higher fuel prices and to manage its assets more efficiently long term.
- TransCanada Energy Ltd's Ravenswood power plant in New York, USA, expanded its output by 7 % with the AGP solution, amounting to about 20 MW by upgrading just one gas turbine. The same company's MacKay River cogeneration facility in Alberta, California has improved its operational availability using AGP technology to support its customer's nearly 24-hour-a-day manufacturing cycle. The site also has maintained its low emissions footprint to remain aligned with Alberta's clean energy policies.
- Calpine Corporation's Los Medanos and Pastoria plants in California, USA, and Westbrook facility in Maine, USA, have experienced a 5.5 % output increase since installing AGP technology on six GE gas turbines. They also have experienced an approximately 1 % improvement in site heat rates. This performance has better positioned the plants to bid more competitively for power demand, as well as capitalise on opportunities to capture additional revenue.
- Iberdrola, Mexico's leading private power generation company, installed AGP upgrades on eight units at its Tamazunchale and Altamira V plants to better manage operational costs including fuel consumption. Additionally, the output gained from the upgrades has reportedly enabled Iberdrola to increase its operational revenue by winning more bids for power in the region.
PFE and PLM
GE's Power FlexEfficiency and Power LifeMax portfolios are designed to deliver technologies blended through a collaborative process between GE and its customers to identify the solutions that best help them achieve their desired outcomes, which include flexibility, efficiency and reliability.
‘Through our PFA and PLM platforms we're really tapping into a three-way collaboration between our customers, machines around the world and our dedicated team at work,' said Fintan Tuffy, general manager of Fleet Analytics & Performance Management for GE's Power Generation Services business. 'The solutions we continue to introduce to our customers are demonstrating how information really can be transformed into tremendous power.'
PFE solutions for F-Class gas turbine customers are configured to expand performance parameters, including output, efficiency and operating windows. The operator also can benefit from an extension of maintenance intervals, asset and parts life through more durable hardware components and software technology that automate operational adjustments to reduce stresses on parts.
The advanced gas path initiative exemplifies the Power FlexEfficiency in action, says GE. This upgrade blends hot gas path component improvements with OpFlex model-based control software to deliver increases in MW output and fuel efficiency. The Power FlexEfficiency platform also features solutions including dry low NOx (DLN) combustion technologies and a broader OpFlex suite of products, both of which are designed to expand the operational flexibility of F-Class gas turbines. PLM solutions are intended to allow owners of B/E-Class gas turbines to reset the clock on their ageing assets with tailored upgrade packages. The installation of GE's most up to date hardware and software offerings on this fleet of units, which averages more than 17 years in operation, can significantly extend their life cycle of operation.
It can also, says GE, bring about improvements in output, efficiency and reliability with a suite of upgrade solutions that help B/E-Class gas turbines recapture lost performance. GE users to date benefiting from PLM solutions include Thaioil Energy, Thailand; S.A. Industrias Celulosa Aragonesa, Spain; and Great River Energy, United States.
GE's PLM platform also incudes solutions including upgrades to B/E-Class AGP systems; DLN combustion technologies such as 32K, which allows operators to run their units up to 32 000 hours between scheduled maintenance intervals; and 'Flange-to-Flange' replacements of core engine components.
Solutions delivered through the PFE and PLM platforms are part of GE's Predictivity portfolio. 'Predictivity' is GE's vehicle for tapping into the industrial internet, to harness a combination of mind and machine assets that collectively bring industrial-strength capabilities to GE users. Predictivity solutions harness huge volumes of data analysed from the largest monitored GT fleet to develop solutions that allow users to make more informed operational and business decisions that benefit from the experience of a much extended community.