GE Power, headquartered in Schenectady, New York, USA, and Vattenfall Wärme Berlin AG, Berlin, Germany, have announced the launch of an upgrade for GE’s GT13E2 gas turbines. Marketed as the ‘MXL2 with Additive Manufactured Performance’ (MXL2 AMP), the new upgrade uses key components manufactured using metal AM.
Using the opportunities for lightweighting and advanced cooling channel integration offered by metal AM, this upgrade is said to be able to significantly elevate the output and efficiency of existing GT13E2 gas turbines. GE Power stated that the performance upgrade is capable of reducing component cooling requirements by up to 25%, increasing turbine output by up to 21 MW in a combined-cycle configuration, achieving additional efficiency up to 1.6% in a combined-cycle configuration, and delivering maintenance intervals of up to 48,000 hours.
These improvements have the potential to save gas plant power producers up to $2 million in fuel annually, while opening up the potential for additional annual revenue of up to $3 million in new power capacity. The upgrade is said to underline GE’s commitment to keeping its mature fleets competitive in the fast-changing energy market.
In December 2017, GE Power announced that its largest gas turbine – the 9HA.02 – had broken efficiency records thanks to a redesign using metal AM. The complex geometries made possible using metal Additive Manufacturing enabled the company to optimise the turbine’s combustion system for better premixing of fuel and air, resulting in a reported 64% efficiency in combined-cycle power plants.