GE’s New HA Turbines Nearing Delivery

General Electric’s (GE’s) new flagship HA turbines, which will be the largest and most efficient in their class when deployed, will see their first delivery at EDF’s Bouchain combined cycle plant in France this summer. The first U.S. order is from Exelon for four 7HA turbines intended for expansions at the Wolf Hollow and Colorado Bend plants in Texas, expected to come online in 2017.

The air-cooled HA turbines are an evolution of GE’s earlier steam-cooled H-class turbine, which saw disappointing sales as a result of concerns with its overly complicated design and low serviceability. The new HA, by contrast, was heavily tested and designed for simplicity—GE spent more than $1 billion developing it, including $200 million on a full-scale test plant in South Carolina—and it has seen strong early interest.

The 50-hertz 9HA (Figure 2) and 60-hertz 7HA both come in two different models. The 9HA.01 is rated at 397 MW in simple cycle mode and 592 MW in 1 x 1 combined cycle mode, while the 9HA.02 is rated at 510 MW in simple cycle and 755 MW in combined cycle. The 7HA.01 and 7HA.02, meanwhile, are rated at 275 MW and 405 MW, and 337 MW and 468 MW, respectively.

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2. Heavyweight. GE’s new 9HA gas turbine, set to enter service this summer in France, will be the most powerful and efficient model on the market, the company says. Courtesy: GE

Both designs can achieve better than 41% efficiency in simple cycle and more than 61% in combined cycle mode. GE says the 9HA.01—the model slated for Bourchain—can reach full power in 30 minutes and ramp at 60 MW per minute.

GE already has $1 billion in orders for 7HA and 9HA turbines—15 units so far—and it hopes to sell up to 500 of them by 2030, which could represent up to half of its gas turbine sales. The company said this spring that it’s currently negotiating for up to $11 billion in additional orders.

Thomas W. Overton, JD, associate editor