GE Jenbacher launches 9.5 MW, 48.7 per cent efficient J920 gas engine scheduled for installation from 2012

GE Jenbacher has launched the J920 gas engine, a 9.5 MW unit with an electrical efficiency of 48.7 per cent, which the Austrian-based firm claims is the most efficient in its class.

GE Jenbacher says the 20-cylinder J920 engine’s electrical efficiency has been raised by 1.5 percentage points from the “industry standard” up to 48.7 per cent largely through a two-stage turbocharging system. This technology was first used to raise the output of the J624, previously the largest Jenbacher gas engine, from 4 MW to 4.4 MW and to increase its electrical efficiency to 46.5 per cent.

The Austria-based company says it is targeting three main applications for the J920: independent power production; peak shaving/grid balancing for renewables; and combined heat and power, for which it claims the J920 could achieve efficiency of around 90 per cent.

Speaking to Power Engineering International at the launch of the engine in Jenbach, GE Power & Water CEO Steve Bolze said GE invested $100m on developing the J920. He said: “In 2006 we decided to invest more than $100m on a new, large gas engine with no return on investment for at least five years in testing market condition and, four years later, here it is. We see great potential for the engine in emerging economies like Brazil and Indonesia.”

A prototype of the engine has been undergoing successful testing on a purpose-built test bench at GE’s Jenbacher manufacturing facilities in Austria since late summer.

A large-scale pilot programme will be putting the new engine into operation for the first time at the “Stadtwerke” (the municipal utility company) of the town of Rosenheim, Germany during the first quarter of 2011. Following this test phase, serial production is scheduled to begin, and the new engine should be available for use in applications in 50 and 60 Hz countries in 2012.

The J920 is based on proven core elements from the combustion systems used in Jenbacher 6 series. The new engine also employs an innovative three-module concept, which results in a standardized generator-set comprised of the engine itself, a generator and an auxiliary module produced at GE’s Jenbacher plant. In addition, like the recently presented J624 engine, the new J920 is equipped with the innovative two-stage turbocharging system.

The engine reaches full output in only five minutes, which GE Jenbacher says increases its attractiveness for use as cover for demand peaks.

Meanwhile, Mexico’s largest steel galvanizing plant, owned by POSCO-Mexico, will save $6m per year in electrical power costs and achieve power independence by using GE’s Jenbacher technology. The 9 MW power generation project will use natural gas to produce onsite power that POSCO-Mexico would otherwise have to purchase from the grid.

The galvanized steel produced will be shipped to the automotive industry in North and South America, which depends heavily on this type of steel to produce many components that are used in car manufacturing.

“This new plant provides power for POSCO-Mexico’s galvanized steel, allowing the company to better serve the needs of the automotive industry in North and South America,” said Gwandeung An, project manager, Daewoo Engineering, POSCO-Mexico’s partner in the project. “The savings POSCO-Mexico realizes from producing its own power, all day, every day, using GE’s proven Jenbacher technology will allow the company to be in a position to explore expansion of its current facilities.”

The power plant, located in Altamira, Mexico, features three of GE’s natural gas fueled JMS 620 Jenbacher gas engines, each rated at 3 MW. It was designed and built for POSCO-Mexico by its partner company, Daewoo Engineering Company of South Korea, and will enter commercial operation by the end of 2010. The gas engines were sold to Daewoo Engineering through GE’s Jenbacher authorized distributor, Smith Power Products of Salt Lake City, Utah.

“POSCO-Mexico benefits from the higher efficiency, reliability, durability, low fuel consumption and long life of our Jenbacher gas engines,” said Prady Iyyanki, CEO-gas engines for GE Power & Water. “This project strengthens our support of business growth in this developing industrial area of Mexico.”

Continuously refined through GE’s extensive experience, the JMS 620 Jenbacher engines are reliable, advanced products serving the 1.8 to 3 MW power range. Engine speed of 1500 rpm results in a high power density and low installation costs. The pre-combustion chamber achieves maximum efficiency with low emissions. Proven design and optimized components enable a service life of 60 000 operating hours before the first major overhaul.à‚ 


Wärtsilä to supply “world’s largest” gas powered engine for extension of the Aksa Samsun power plant in Turkey

Wärtsilä has won an engineering and equipment contract for extending of the Aksa Samsun power plant in Samsun, Turkey, with the first installation of the Wärtsilä 18V50SG gas engine.

The engine’s electrical output of 18 321 kW, makes it the largest gas powered generating set in the world, according to Wärtsilä. The 18V50SG unit also has an exceptional efficiency rating of over 50 per cent in combined cycle mode. The contract covers the controls, automation and auxiliary equipment related to the fuel gas, charge air, cooling and exhaust gas systems.

The Aksa Samsun combined-cycle plant, owned by Aksa Enerji, currently operates using seven Wärtsilä 18V46 engines running on heavy fuel oil (HFO), six of which will be converted to Wärtsilä 18V46GD engines for gas fired operation. When the Wärtsilä 18V50SG engine has been commissioned in 2011, the power plant’s electrical output in combined-cycle mode will total about 130 MW, which will be fed to the national grid.

Christer Strandvall, regional director, West Europe, Wärtsilä Power Plants, said: “In converting the Aksa Samsun facility from HFO to gas fired operation, we are providing added environmental sustainability, while the efficiency level of the new Wärtsilä 50SG engine sets a new benchmark for the industry.”

Wärtsilä expects to have delivered close to 3 GW of power generating capacity in Turkey by the end of 2011. Some 85 per cent of these power plants will be running on natural gas.

The new Wärtsilä 18V50SG spark-ignited gas engine has been developed to meet a market need for larger gas engines for power plants with outputs of up to 500 MW. It has the same proven gas technology as the smaller Wärtsilä 34SG engine, with substantial improvements to maximize the power potential of the engine block.

Meanwhile, Wärtsilä won a contract in September to supply engineering and equipment for the Lea County Electric Co-operative, Inc. (LCEC) Generation Plant in Lovington, New Mexico.

Wärtsilä is to supply five Wärtsilä 20V34SG generating sets, together with associated equipment including selective catalytic reduction (SCR) units. The plant is scheduled to be fully operational by June 2012, providing over 40 MW of electricity to the LCEC Members and the Southwest Power Pool. The Wärtsilä engines are sized to accommodate an increase with only minor modifications.

Dennis Finn, business development manager, Wärtsilä Power Plants in North America, said: “The suitability of Wärtsilä’s power plant technology to the needs of the American co-operative utilities is now well established. The LCEC project is the fifth such co-operative to select our power generating solution. It is critical for these plants to reach full plant output within five minutes from warm stand-by mode, and Wärtsilä has this capability. The outstanding simple cycle heat rate was another critical factor in the client’s choice of Wärtsilä equipment as was the fact that the Wärtsilä equipment does not consume process water.”

With this new order, Wärtsilä has more than 1500 MW of flexible power plant capacity, either installed or on order in the USA. Wärtsilä’s natural gas fuelled technology has the capability to operate efficiently at low loads; a capability that can be used for providing ‘spinning reserve’. Wärtsilä’s flexible power plants can also supply all commercially traded ancillary services, including black start capabilities.

In addition, the firm’s flexible power plants allow customers to meet increasingly stringent air quality requirements. A closed loop cooling system also prevents the engines from consuming process water or requiring significant wastewater treatment or disposal, which helps address growing concern over water supply.


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