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Industry First: GE Demonstrates More than 50% Electrical Efficiency on its 10-MW Gas Engine Platform

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9 Mar 2015

Demonstrating once again its leadership in the field of reciprocating engine innovation used to meet the rapidly growing demand for reliable on-site power, GE Power & Water’s Distributed Power business (NYSE: GE) is announcing today the technological breakthrough of 50.1 percent electrical efficiency.

GE has achieved 50.1 percent electrical efficiency on its 10-megawatt (MW) gas engine platform in a test environment in Austria. This technology breakthrough follows a long history of technology innovation within GE. GE is investing US$1.4 billion in distributed power technology and has been rapidly expanding its reciprocating engines offerings—particularly its diesel engine technologies—to meet the on-site power, heating and environmental priorities of the oil and gas sector and other key industries. In 2014, GE’s Distributed Power business introduced its new 616 diesel engine and also integrated GE Transportation’s proven 228 and 250 diesel engine technology into its diesel engine portfolio for stationary power generation.

Industry First: GE Demonstrates More than 50% Electrical Efficiency on its 10-MW Gas Engine Platform

“As a technology leader in the distributed power space, GE continues to invest heavily in technology and companies that provide excellent performance, output and efficiency advancements in the reciprocating engines space,” said Karl Wetzlmayer, general manager—reciprocating engines for GE Power & Water’s Distributed Power business. “50.1 percent electrical efficiency is another technology breakthrough in the reciprocating engines innovation. It constitutes a genuine historical milestone and enables us to continue to play a pioneering role in the creation of new technology.”

GE’s 10-MW Jenbacher J920 FleXtra gas engine is designed to achieve the highest electrical efficiency level in its class. Its unique design enables high-power density for a lower investment cost. Two-stage turbocharging technology allows stable power output and efficiency at high ambient conditions. Additionally, the innovative modular design allows fast and seamless installation with easier maintainability in both industrialized zones and remote areas. Featuring a five-minute start-up time, the J920 FleXtra is scalable for any plant size.

Distributed power is becoming increasingly popular in countries seeking more reliable, efficient energy options near the point of use. It is projected to grow 40 percent faster than global electricity demand between 2014 and 2020. GE’s Distributed Power business is comprised of several reciprocating engine and aeroderivative gas turbine product lines, including its multi-fuel gas engine technologies and a growing suite of diesel engine-generators for stationary power generation.

Since acquiring its Jenbacher gas engine product line in 2003 as well as its Waukesha gas engine line and Heat Recovery Solutions in 2010 to address the growing demands for distributed power solutions, GE has focused on innovation as well as strategic acquisitions in the reciprocating engines space, including:

  • Acquisition of Francesconi—In January 2015, GE acquired Austria-based specialist gas engine spark plug supplier Francesconi GmbH, a long-time supplier of spark plugs for GE’s type 2, 3 and 4 gas engines. GE envisions that by developing new application-specific, high-performance spark plugs in the future, additional increases in gas engine efficiency and power output are possible.
  • The launch of the 616 diesel engine—In 2014, GE introduced its 616 diesel stationary power generation product combining and enhancing the cross-business technology of the Type 6 gas engine offered by GE’s Distributed Power and GE Transportation’s P616 diesel engine used in locomotive applications.
  • The introduction of the J920 FleXtra gas engine—In 2013, GE introduced its largest gas engine for 50-hertz countries, the 10-MW J920 FleXtra. In 2014, GE introduced its J920 FleXtra for the 60-hertz North American segment.
  • The deployment of EPA mobile-certified drilling rig power generation equipment —The company’s mobileFLEX* portfolio—including VHP* L7044GSI-EPA and J320 multi-fuel engines—is GE’s latest advancement to deliver lower-cost, lower-emission power to drill rigs, artificial lift enhanced oil recovery and oilfield equipment. An all-gas alternative to diesel units, mobileFLEX is an EPA mobile-certified solution that provides a cost advantage to energy producers and an operational advantage to drilling contractors by using natural gas.
  • The introduction of GE’s 275GL+ lean burn engines—In 2011, GE introduced the 275GL+ gas engine, demonstrating expertise in compression, oilfield power generation and mechanical drive applications and strengthening the position of GE’s Distributed Power business in the emerging unconventional gas spaces.
  • The acquisition of Heat Recovery Solutions—In 2010, GE acquired Heat Recovery Solutions and now offers its Clean Cycle* waste heat-to-power generator technology that can be paired with GE’s reciprocating engines to boost power plant efficiency or operate as standalone generators.
  • The introduction of the J624 gas engine with two-stage turbocharging—In 2007, GE introduced the world’s first 24-cylinder gas engine, the 4-MW J624 gas engine capable of supplying electricity for almost 10,000 typical European households. GE then upgraded the J624 by adding two-stage turbocharging, boosting its output by 10 percent to 4.4 MW and improving its maximum electrical efficiency to 46.5 percent (a 1 percent improvement)—the highest efficiency in its class.
  • Grid Code Certification—To comply with regulations in Europe, GE was one of the first to develop grid code-conforming technologies for new gas engine technologies as well as on engines overhauled in the Overhaul Technology Center in Jenbach, Austria.

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