New GE platforms unlock full performance, value of installed gas turbines (Video)


Two new GE (NYSE: GE) solutions platforms are applying the collective power of hardware innovations, advanced software and data analytics in ways that enable GE customers to unleash the full performance and value of their existing gas turbine assets. GE's LifeMax™ Advantage (LMA) and FlexEfficiency™ Advantage (FEA) portfolios deliver technologies blended through a collaborative process between GE and its customers to identify the solutions that best help them achieve their desired outcomes. GE made the announcement today at its Powering Efficiency Forum, a thought leadership summit focused on meeting future energy efficiency needs in the Middle East. Attendees included key power generation representatives, industry leaders and government officials from across the Gulf region.

“Through our LMA and FEA platforms we’re really tapping into a three-way collaboration among our customers, connected machines around the world and our dedicated team at work,” said Steve Hartman, general manager of life cycle engineering for GE’s Power Generation Services business. “This powerful combination of experience and information can lead our energy industry into a new era of efficiency, cost savings, environmental responsibility and smarter decision-making. The solutions we continue to introduce to our customers are demonstrating how information really can be transformed into tremendous power.”

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LMA solutions help GE customers with installed B/E-Class gas turbines reset the clock on their aging assets with custom-fit upgrade packages. The installation of GE’s most advanced hardware and software offerings on this fleet of units, which averages more than 17 years in operation, can significantly extend their life cycle of operation. GE customers also can realize improvements in output, efficiency and reliability with a suite of upgrades that enable B/E-Class units to recapture lost performance and lower operating costs.

GE’s Advanced Gas Path (AGP) solution exemplifies the LifeMax™ Advantage in action. This upgrade blends advancements in hot gas path components with OpFlex™ model-based control software to deliver industry-leading increases in megawatt (MW) output, fuel efficiency and maintenance intervals. GE’s LMA portfolio also includes a Dry Low NOx1+ (DLN1+) combustion solution, which allows operators to run their gas turbines up to 32,000 hours between scheduled maintenance intervals; a broader suite of OpFlex advanced controls, which help expand operating profiles across all modes of power plant operation; and Flange-to-Flange replacements of core engine components including the compressor and combustion systems to rejuvenate installed gas turbine assets.

Dubai Aluminium (DUBAL), which powers one of the world’s largest aluminium smelters with a 2,350-MW power station, marks the first GE customer to integrate AGP technology into its installed 9E gas turbines (See video below). In April 2013, DUBAL installed AGP, along with DLN1+ and OpFlex advanced controls solutions on one GE 9E unit to help expand the performance of its power station’s output, efficiency and maintenance intervals. Since completion of the upgrades, the gas turbine’s output has increased by 3.4 percent, generating an additional 5.88 MW while improving fuel efficiency by approximately 1.5 percent.

Under the same order with GE, DUBAL will upgrade two additional 9E units with these LMA technologies. Across all three units, the site expects to increase its output capacity by 17.64 MW, reduce its fuel use by 1.5 percent and extend its maintenance intervals out to 32,000 hours, the equivalent of approximately an additional year of operation. These performance advancements will help DUBAL increase its aluminium production while also reducing its operating costs.

“Incorporating these new technologies into our power station is central to our long-term strategy of producing aluminium products as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible for our customers,” said Tayeb Al Awadhi, vice president, Power & Desalination. “With a global oversupply of aluminium leading to nearly 20 percent of the industry’s total production sold for little or no profit, our success going forward will depend on increasing our production levels while lowering our operational costs. The solutions GE has customized for our unique power demands will allow us to achieve such levels of efficiency.”

DUBAL also ordered software upgrades including GE’s OpFlex AutoRecover and Peak Fire technologies, along with a Mark™ VIe controls upgrade, to drive further output and efficiency improvements while holding down the site’s overall maintenance costs. Installation of all five LMA solutions on DUBAL’s second 9E gas turbine is scheduled for November 2013, with installations on the remaining unit scheduled for 2014.

DUBAL produces more than 1 million metric tons of aluminium products per year in three main forms, namely, foundry alloy for automotive applications, extrusion billet for construction, industrial, forging and transportation and high purity aluminium for the electronics and aerospace industries. The company delivers products to more than 300 customers in at least 57 countries.

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