Siemens’ SGT5-8000H breaks 60 per cent efficiency barrier

Siemens has announced it has achieved a new world record in power plant efficiency with its advanced SGT5-8000H gas turbine at the Irsching 4 plant in Germany, achieving a net efficiency level of 60.75 per cent.

The SGT5-8000H gas turbine is designed for 400 MW in simple cycle duty and for 600 MW in combined-cycle duty.

The new H class plant can quickly react to the demands for additional or reduced output. Siemens tested a number of corresponding load gradients for this - more than 500 MW can come online in the space of 30 minutes and stable load gradients of 35 MW/minute can be run.

The SGT5-8000H’s performance is made possible through the interaction of advanced gas turbine technology and the key components of the overall plant, which are optimized for high temperatures and pressure.

According to Michael Suess, CEO of Siemens Energy Sector: “The new generation of our combined-cycle power plants, for example, consumes one-third less natural gas per kWh generated than the average for the combined-cycle plants currently installed worldwide. At the same time, carbon dioxide emissions also drop by a third.”

“The Irsching 4 power plant is a prime example of eco-friendly, flexible power supply for the future,” said Klaus Hammer, COO of E.ON, with responsibility for combined cycle power plants.

“High-efficiency, flexible gas turbine power plants like Irsching 4 and the Irsching 5 plant, which went online in 2010, significantly help to compensate the increasingly pronounced fluctuations in the feed-in of renewables-based power.”

The SGT5-8000H gas turbine was ten years in the making and, according to Siemens, 750 employees, including 250 engineers, were involved in development of the new gas turbine and the new combined cycle plant.

According to a company statement, it invested more than EUR500m ($m) in turbine development and in the construction and operation of a prototype plant in Irsching, in the state of Bavaria.

For 18 months the gas turbine was put through its paces, and as of mid-2009, following successful trial operation the gas turbine plant was extended to form a combined-cycle facility by adding a bottoming steam cycle featuring an innovative heat-recovery steam generator and a high-temperature steam turbine operating at 600 °C.

Upon completion of the trial operation phase that is now underway, E.ON will take over commercial operation of Irsching 4 this summer.

In June last year, six of the new gas turbines as 60-Hz versions were sold to US utility, Florida Light & Power. The first machines are already in production and will be dispatched to in 2012.

While in January, Siemens received an order from GS Electric Power of South Korea to build a further turnkey single-shaft combined-cycle power plant featuring the 60-Hz version the new gas turbine. This plant is scheduled to go online in 2013.

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