The energy landscape is changing. Rising fuel costs and a growing demand for power means greater efficiencies are needed, and an increase in intermittent renewables creates a need for greater flexibility. Using advanced data analytics and design innovation, GE’s FlexEfficiency Advantage Gas Path (AGP) solution allows existing GE heavy-duty gas turbines to generate more power with less emissions and greater flexibility.
This week at the POWER-GEN International 2012 trade conference in Orlando, GE announced the AGP solution is the newest member of the company’s ecomagination portfolio. The AGP solution improves performance of installed gas turbines by up to a 4.8 percent, and fuel efficiency as much as 1 percent in combined-cycle operation.
To put that in perspective, using the technology, a typical combined-cycle plant powered by a GE 7F 3-Series gas turbine generating a net output of 525.2 megawatts can reduce its CO2 emissions by 11,400 tons per year – equivalent to the annual CO2 emissions of approximately 2,200 cars on U.S. roads. Under these same operating conditions, the site could also see annual fuel savings of over $790,000 at a natural gas price of $3.75 per MMBtu.
The AGP solution is increasing efficiency and power availability worldwide. GE recently announced the 100th installation of the AGP upgrade in Incheon, South Korea. With Korea’s growing economy driving higher power demand, this project is helping ensure grid stability while providing a higher margin of reserve power, which had previously dipped as low as 4 percent during peak demand periods. The upgrade on six 7F GE gas turbines by Korea Southern Power Company, Ltd. at its Shinincheon plant will generate 130 MW of additional power and reduce the plant’s NOx emissions from 20 ppm to 9 ppm.
The lowered emissions and increased flexibility of the AGP solution is key as environmental regulations change and the need for power grows.
“Our customers are challenged on a daily basis to operate their existing assets under ever-changing market conditions while remaining compliant with evolving environmental regulations,” said Fintan Tuffy, general manager, fleet analytics and performance management, GE’s Power Generation Services business. “The Advanced Gas Path solution enables energy producers to generate more power when it’s needed and, at the same time, strengthens our customers’ position as environmental stewards in the communities that they serve.”
The AGP solution harnesses the data and knowledge that comes from over sixty years of GE research and experience in the industry. Since installing its first heavy-duty gas turbine in 1949, GE has gathered over 25 terabytes of engineering data from the installed gas turbines, and over 93 million hours of real-world operating data. This data is being used through the AGP solution to optimize performance and reduce emissions. Every day, GE’s team of thermal engineers analyzes this data to extract the fundamental, systems-based understandings needed to optimize performance.