Earlier this year, GE’s Power Services achieved a significant milestone with its 9EMax gas turbine upgrade solution. The 9EMax completed initial validation testing and was offered commercially to gas turbine customers around the globe. The first 9EMax unit was installed at a customer’s site in Asia.

“First fire is a critical test where the gas turbine is switched on and runs on fuel at the site. We completed the ‘first fire’ milestone with the unit successfully reaching full speed at no load, and it proved to deliver significantly more power and efficiency compared to current 9E gas turbine operations,” Eric Gray, general manager of Gas Plant Solutions for GE’s Power Services, said in a press release announcing the occasion.

During the tests, over 1,000 pieces of instrumentation were used to collect data and improve the performance of the machine. The sensors collected over 14 terabytes of data. The validation test monitored and mapped the unit’s behavior at typical operating parameters. Some of the conclusions included:

  • The turbine’s output was increased to 145 MW in simple cycle operation and to 210 MW in a combined cycle configuration.
  • It achieved up to 37% efficiency in simple cycle and up to 53.5% efficiency in combined cycle operation.
  • It delivered maintenance intervals of up to 32,000 hours or 900 starts—equivalent to approximately four years of typical plant operation.
  • It offset as much as 2% to 3% of normal performance degradation between maintenance intervals in extreme ambient operating conditions.

9EMax can operate at partial loads, making it ideal for power producers looking to add renewables to their energy mix. It also includes an array of digital solutions to boost operational reliability, improve combustion operations, and manage emissions.

In this episode of The POWER Podcast, Executive Editor Aaron Larson spoke with Gray about innovations incorporated into the 9EMax gas turbine.

For more power podcasts, visit The POWER Podcast archives.

Aaron Larson is POWER’s executive editor (@AaronL_Power, @POWERmagazine).