The combined cycle power plant Irsching 4 near Ingolstadt, Bavaria, achieves a world-record efficiency of more than 60 per cent. This top-notch performance is made possible by the perfect interaction of the innovative gas turbine with the key components of the overall plant, which are optimized for operation at high temperatures and pressure.
The picture shows the SGT 5-8000H gas turbine in the foreground, the SGen5-3000W generator and the SST 5-5000 steam turbine, all of which are arranged on a single shaf
Siemens gas turbine operated in a combined cycle with a steam turbine in Irsching, Bavaria, has set a world record for efficiency, making it an outstanding example of green technology. The net efficiency of 60.75 percent achieved during the test run even surpassed the target value of 60 percent; the previous generation of the turbine had an efficiency of 58.5 percent. The new turbine is designed to generate 400 megawatts (MW) alone and 600 MW when combined with a steam turbine.
The new facility is also much more economical than previous plants. The new generation of Siemens combined cycle power plants consumes one-third less natural gas per generated kilowatt-hour than what is used on average by other such facilities currently in use worldwide. And their CO2 emissions are also one-third lower.
This outstanding performance is made possible by the perfect interplay of innovative gas turbine technology and the plant’s key components, which are optimized for high temperatures and pressures. Each turbine consists of more than 7,000 individual parts. The 50-hertz version weighs 440 tons, as much as a fully fueled Airbus A380. Temperatures within the combustion chamber can be as high as 1,500 degrees Celsius, and the turbine blade tips can rotate at over 1,700 kilometers per hour (km/h), which is much faster than the speed of sound.
General electric is working on pulsed detonation turbines to try and achieve 65% efficiency but have not been successful yet.
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