Two years after it laid the foundation stone, Germany’s E.ON on June 27 opened Hungary’s most efficient combined cycle gas turbine (CCGT) power plant (Figure 7). The €400 million ($573 million) plant in Gönyü has a capacity of 433 MW and an efficiency of over 59%, E.ON claims. Siemens supplied the main components: an SGT5-4000F gas turbine, an SST5-5000 steam turbine, an SGEN 5-3000W generator, and the entire electrical and instrument and control equipment. The natural gas–fired power plant is of single-shaft design with the main components arranged in a single driveline.
Just as GE Energy, Siemens, and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) in May announced gas combustion technology developments—each seeking to push the 60% barrier with new gas turbine designs—Alstom has quietly been upgrading its KA26 combined cycle power plant. (See the July 2011 “Global Monitor” for more information on the GE, Siemens, and MHI turbines.) The firm says that the next generation of the 500-MW power plant, based on the advanced class GT26 gas turbine, features “achievable” efficiencies of over 61%, increased flexibility, and more than 350 MW, which can be delivered in less than 15 minutes to help integrate renewable energy sources (Figure 3).
It may seem counterintuitive, but the strategic coupling of simple- and combined- cycle technologies with renewable generation could establish the conditions necessary for adding more renewable megawatts to transmission grids around the world.
Gas turbine makers GE, Siemens, and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) in the last week of May separately profiled unprecedented results from development or testing of three innovative combined-cycle gas turbine (CCGT) technologies.
If you needed additional proof that the power industry is changing, the ELECTRIC POWER keynote and panel discussions over the past few years have provided it—top-of-mind issues have been significantly different each year. For the 2011 keynote speaker and panelists, the challenges of reliability, regulatory compliance, financing, and getting the fuel mix right took center stage. In the wake of Japan’s nuclear crisis, safety also featured prominently.
Spain has served as both exemplar and scapegoat when it comes to renewable energy policy. Though power policy must necessarily accommodate specific national resources and goals, Spain’s experience as an early and eager adopter of renewable energy technologies and subsidies is a cautionary tale of how the best intentions can have unintended consequences.
With natural gas serving as the fuel de jour, many utilities and merchant generators will be considering the purchase of new combustion turbines in the near future. If you are in the market for a gas turbine, here are some key design features you should discuss with turbine vendors prior to your next purchase.
Fourteen years ago, the MHI T-Point demonstration combined-cycle plant in Takasago, Japan, changed the way modern gas turbines are validated under real operating conditions. In February, T-Point marked yet another milestone by starting to validate the world’s largest and highest efficiency gas turbine, which operates at the unprecedented turbine inlet temperature of 1,600C.
Located on the scenic Japanese coastline, Tohoku Electric Power Co., Inc.’s new 446-MW Sendai Thermal Power Station Unit 4 is a combined-cycle plant that replaces three 175-MW coal-fired units that had been in operation for more than 50 years. The new plant features the first application of MHI’s 50-Hz M701F4 gas turbine, which provides a thermal efficiency boost from the old plant’s 43% to more than 58%. This change substantially reduces CO2 emissions.
Lab-scale experiments have shown that seawater and calcium could effectively remove most of the carbon dioxide (CO2) from a natural gas power plant’s flue gas stream. A large fraction of the captured gas could then be converted into dissolved calcium bicarbonate—which, pumped into the sea, could be beneficial to the ocean’s marine life, says a researcher representing both the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory’s (LLNL’s) Carbon Management Program and the University of California, Santa Cruz.