The World’s First Two-Stage Turbocharged Gas Engine

GE launched what it is calling the world’s first two-stage turbocharged gas engine this June. The new technology is initially being applied to its Jenbacher J624 engine (Figure 6), essentially upgrading the 24-cylinder gas engine GE introduced in 2007 for commercial power generation, but the company plans to offer it with other engines.

6. The little engine that could. GE launched “the world’s first” two-stage turbocharged gas engine, and it is initially applying the technology to its Jenbacher J624 engine (shown here). The company claims that an advanced boost pressure increases the 24-cyclinder gas engine’s output by nearly 10%—from 4 MW to 4.4 MW—and its electrical efficiency to 46.5%. Courtesy: GE

According to GE, when using the new system it developed with specialists from ABB Turbo Systems, the J624 achieves nearly 10% higher output—bumping it from 4 MW to 4.4 MW. It also offers an electrical efficiency of 46.5%, an increase of 1 percentage point. The improved machine is now better suited for operation in hot and humid environments and combined heat and power (CHP) plants. (For more on GE’s Jenbacher J624 and its applications, see POWER’ s September 2009 story, “Top Plants: Royal Pride Holland Commercial Greenhouse Cogeneration Plant, Middenmeer, North Holland Province, Netherlands.”)

“The advanced boost pressure allows us to significantly push the gas engine operating range and maintain full output and efficiency at high ambient temperatures and high elevations,” said Prady Iyyanki, CEO of the gas engines division of GE Power and Water, who called the technology “game-changing.” In addition to the higher charging pressure, the technology also significantly improves the power density of the engine, allowing it to run beyond 22 bar brake mean effective pressure—the average cylinder pressure expressed in units of pressure, which is calculated from the engine power output, displacement, and rotational speed.

Applications for the new gas engine include independent power producers, CHP, trigeneration, and special applications using natural gas fuel—as well as a range of non-natural gas fuels, said GE. The new engine will be available around the world by the summer of 2011.