Drawing on decades of gas turbine experience, GE’s Power Services business announced on May 16 that it is expanding its cross-fleet service offerings to a broader portion of the F-class market, including Siemens’ SGT6-5000F and SGT-800 models, and Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems’ (MHPS’s) 501F technology.
“GE is proven as one of the technology leaders and trusted service providers with 50 million hours of F-class operating experience on our own fleet, which we are applying to cross-fleet assets,” Scott Strazik, president and CEO of GE’s Power Services business, said in a press release.
GE has struggled recently, falling to third place behind MHPS and Siemens in gas turbine sales during the first quarter of 2018. GE announced in December that it would cut 12,000 jobs in its power unit and has reported weak earnings due at least in part to poor performance following its acquisition of Alstom’s power business in November 2015. Nonetheless, Strazik suggested that GE has benefited from the capabilities and expertise it acquired from Alstom. “We’ve combined all of these attributes and broadened our capabilities to now include select cross-fleet gas turbines,” he said.
In an exclusive interview with POWER, Martin O’Neill, general manager of cross-fleet solutions for GE’s Power Services business, said cross-fleet solutions offers the ability to take Siemens and Mitsubishi technology and “fit it out with advanced gas path hardware, particularly combustion and hot gas path through the turbine—new blades, new coatings, modified components, modified airfoil geometry, also addressing some known reliability issues, particularly on the 5000F with two-stage exhausts, bearing sag, and a number of other technical remedies.”
“What we’re trying to do is really lift the performance of those machines,” O’Neill said. “On a typical 5000F installation, we believe that we can improve output by up to 8% and at the same time that we’re doing that, due to more-efficient combustion, more-complete combustion, and improved aerodynamics in those machines, we believe we can do that with a relative improvement in the efficiency of the machine.”
O’Neill said GE can increase power output on the 501F by up to 8% and improve heat rate by 2.5%. On the SGT-800, the performance enhancement is a bit less, but still meaningful—6% increase in output and 1.5% improvement in heat rate.
Furthermore, GE believes it can push the required maintenance periodicity for the SGT-800 gas turbine from 24,000 effective operating hours, as specified by Siemens, out to 40,000 hours. According to O’Neill, Siemens specifies rotor life for the SGT-800 to be 160,000 effective operating hours. Therefore, by extending outage frequency using the GE maintenance schedule, an owner could get by on only three outages for the entire rotor life, as opposed to five or six interventions under the Siemens program.
“We believe that’s a significant performance and operating cost advantage,” O’Neill said. “Equally importantly, if not more importantly for some of our industrial users, it buys them flexibility.”
Although O’Neill wouldn’t name customers, he said GE is already performing heavy outages on Mitsubishi and Siemens gas turbines and expects to announce validated performance data on some of those machines in the coming weeks. According to Strazik, the company has more than $200 million in backlog orders already booked in Latin America and Europe.
—Aaron Larson, executive editor (@AaronL_Power, @POWERmagazine)