The first unit of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries’ (MHI’s) much-watched J-Series gas turbine, a technology MHI has been testing for a year, was shipped this December from its Takasago Machinery Works in Hyogo Prefecture, Japan, for commercial use at Himeji Unit 2, also in Hyogo, owned by Kansai Electric Power Co. (Figure 6). Though it touts its M501J turbine as having achieved the “the world’s highest efficiency and power generation capacity in a system of this type,” MHI continues to grapple for share in a highly competitive gas turbine market with industrial giants like Siemens, GE, and Alstom.

6. An advanced series. Mitsubishi Heavy Industries shipped its first commercial J-Series gas turbine, the M501J, to Himeji Unit 2 in Hyogo prefecture, Japan last December. Courtesy: MHI

MHI says the 60-hertz M501J is its most advanced gas turbine, having reached an inlet temperature of 1,600C (2,912F)—100 degrees higher than the 1,500C-class G-Series. The M501J gas turbine has also achieved a rated power output near 320 MW (ISO basis) and 460 MW in gas turbine combined cycle (GTCC) power generation applications. And it has a confirmed gross thermal efficiency exceeding 60%—“the world’s highest level in GTCC applications,” MHI claims. (See “The T-Point Plant: The Ultimate Validation Test” in our June 2011 issue.)

The 486.5-MW unit delivered to Himeji 2 plus five others will become core components of GTCC plants with a cumulative capacity of 2,919 MW. The units are slated to go online between October 2013 and 2015.

The J-Series faces off with Siemens’ SGT6-8000H gas turbine, which was launched in June 2011. Siemens has called the 50-Hz version of that turbine (SGT5-8000H), rated at 375 MW, the “largest and most powerful in the world.” (See “Top Plant: Irsching 4 Combined Cycle Power Plant” in the September 2011 issue for more information on the performance of this first 50-Hz installation.)

Six 60-Hz units are expected to be dispatched to Florida Power & Light’s Riviera Beach and Cape Canaveral Next Generation Clean Energy Centers in Florida this year. Siemens has also received orders from South Korea to build a turnkey single-shaft 60-Hz combined cycle power plant by 2013.

—Sonal Patel is POWER’s senior writer.