by Staff Writers
New York (UPI) Jun 10, 2010
World energy leader GE Thursday launched the world's first two-stage turbocharged gas engine -- a response to the growing profile of natural gas amid concerns over linkages between hydrocarbon use and climate change.
GE said its new Jenbacher J624 offers major efficiency and output increases and would increase energy output by 10 percent and electrical efficiency by 1 percentage point.
Amid predictions that gas usage worldwide would increase in the coming decades, with new discoveries coming on stream and crude oil substitutes on the rise, GE's announcement positioned the company ahead of others who have yet to reveal matching products.
The J624 is the world's first 24-cylinder gas engine for commercial power generation.
Industry analysts said energy scientists believed there was room for continuing improvement in the way gas was applied and used in energy production.
Most recent gas discoveries in the Falklands and Brazil were driven by investors' expectation of high returns on costs incurred in exploration and development.
GE said the "game-changing technology" in the new engine offers customers greater efficiency and flexibility, especially for projects in hot, humid environments and for combined heat and power applications.
Compared with the single turbocharged engine, the new device marks several departures.
"The advanced boost pressure allows us to significantly push the gas engine operating range and maintain full output and efficiency at high ambient temperatures and high elevations. We view this enabling technology as a key for future success in the gas engine business," GE said in news statement from its gas engine headquarters in Jenbach, Austria. GE developed the system with specialists from ABB Turbo Systems Ltd.
The engine was unveiled at an official product launch event at Jenbach, with more than 35 customers and distributors taking part. Representatives from the pilot customer for the first new engine, Red Harvest, a large Dutch greenhouse plant operator, also attended the event.
Jaap Noordam, owner of Red Harvest, cited the engine's flexibility for combined heat and power operations.
The J624 achieves approximately 10 percent higher output, increasing from 4 megawatts to 4.4 megawatts and offers an electrical efficiency of 46.5 percent, an increase of about 1 percentage point. Improved efficiency is critical for the competitive cost of electricity and for the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions.
The new technology will be applied to the J624 and eventually will be offered with other GE engines, said Prady Iyyanki, chief executive officer gas engines for GE Power and Water.
GE is a diversified infrastructure, finance and media company and employs about 300,000 people worldwide.
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