MHI Develops High-Efficiency 2-MW Gas Engine

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) in August revealed that it had developed a 2-MW 16-cylinder high-speed gas engine that potentially offers a power generation efficiency (lower heating value) of more than 44.7%.

Developed as part of Japan’s Strategic Innovation Program for Energy Conservation Technologies, operated by the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization, MHI’s breakthrough prototype engine (Figure 3) cuts its mechanical loss ratio by improving engine output while maintaining the same exhaust volume as the GS16R2, a 1.5 MW–­class gas engine developed by MHI in 2012. As significantly, it adapts a Miller cycle configuration to enhance thermal efficiency, as well as two-stage turbocharging, whereby “turbochargers are arranged in series in the low- and high-pressure stages and an intercooler is placed between them, creating a configuration that achieves outstanding efficiency and a high-pressure ratio,” the company explains.

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3. [E]ngenuity. Mitsubishi Heavy Industries’ newly developed 2-MW 16-cylinder high-speed gas engine boasts one of the highest power generation efficiency ratings for a high-speed gas engine. Courtesy: MHI

The engine was developed in response to Japan’s urgent need for more generation (and, particularly, cogeneration) in the wake of the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake. “Overseas, substantial expansion in the market for gas engine power supplies is anticipated against the backdrop of the promotion of distributed power generation systems responding to shale gas development in North America and to expanding power consumption in China and other Asian countries,” MHI said.

China’s government alone has announced plans to introduce distributed gas-engine power generation systems with a total output of around 50 GW by 2020.

But MHI’s prototype has yet to undergo demonstration testing, which is planned from this September through February 2015 at MHI’s engine production base in Kanagawa Prefecture. If successful, MHI plans to expand the newly developed 16-cylinder model to a full series of 6- to 24-cylinder models offering outputs ranging from 0.75 MW to 3 MW. The new line will target applications including distributed generation, regular generation and cogeneration, and emergency generation during times of disaster.

—Sonal Patel is a POWER associate editor (@POWERmagazine, @sonalcpatel)