It gives me great pleasure to introduce the inaugural Power Engineering International Gas & Steam Turbine Directory issue.

Gas and steam turbines are the workhorses of the power industry, providing reliable baseload and peaking power for electrical grids and for distributed energy the world over. As the proliferation of intermittent renewable energy increases, the role of fast-starting, efficient, cost-effective gas and steam turbines has never been so important.

Therefore, the introduction into the Power Engineering International stable of The Gas & Steam Turbine Directory could not be more timely.

Ahead of the launch of this directory, Ricardo Cordoba, President of GE Energy Western Europe & North Africa, said gas turbine technology is set to play a crucial role in securing the world’s long-term energy future.

The key will be in regards to flexibility, says Cordoba. Flexible power generation allows utilities to match electricity supply to demand and flexible technology can reduce total fuel consumption – and carbon emissions – because it allows utilities to turn down power generation when less electricity is needed, and turn it up quickly when more is needed.

Lothar Balling, head of Siemens’ gas turbine division, said that in the absence of adequate energy storage systems the only solution is the increased use of specially designed combined-cycle gas plants in “two-shift operation”, i.e. startup and shutdown on a daily basis, and sometimes several times per day.

Guy Chardon, Alstom Power’s chief technology officer, said steam turbines have also been impacted by the push for more efficiency and flexibility, and not only in combined-cycle applications. Higher efficiency demands that the steam cycle have higher temperatures and pressures.

It is vital, says Chardon, for the steam turbine to accommodate increased steam parameters. Unfortunately, many steam turbine-generator designs for power generation have not proven to be suitable for cycling applications and this presents a challenge for the power industry.

The directory pages starting on p.36 present key performance data of both gas and steam turbines from manufacturers across the globe, while the Products and Services section (p.42) features an extensive list of providers to the gas turbine industry.

The Company A to Z, which begins on p. 52, comprises an alphabetical listing of companies, with their full contact details.

Paul Breeze’s highly informative article starting on p.32 provides an update on the latest advances in gas turbine technology including the new breed of big, high-efficiency gas turbines that edge towards 60 per cent efficiency in combined-cycle operation.

As Paul notes, however, bigger is not always best. Echoing Ricardo Cordoba’s comments, there is an increasing trend towards flexibility. The ever-increasing percentage of renewable energy on the grid brings inherent instability and creates a need for fast-starting generation to compensation for these fluctuations.

Meanwhile, ultra-supercritical coal fired plants mark an important development in coal fired power generation. Such plants consume less coal than conventional plants to create the same amount of electricity, and by using less coal they emit less carbon dioxide per kilowatt generated.

Chris Webb’s article starting on p.24 looks at the challenges this creates for developments in steam turbine technology.

We hope you find our Gas & Steam Turbine Directory a useful and informative tool.

Kind regards,
Dr Heather Johnstone,
Chief Editor

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