Dual-turbocharged GE engine cuts costs

1 min read

GE Energy has launched the world’s first double-turbocharged gas engine, which could save companies in developing countries millions of euros in fuel bills.

The Jenbacher J624 combined heat and power (CHP) generator can produce 4.4MW of electricity − an increase of 10 per cent on the previous model and enough to power 10,000 European households.

Jenbacher J624 could save companies €100,000 a year

The old version used a turbocharger powered by exhaust gas to increase air pressure and so improve the engine’s output. This exhaust is now reused in a second turbocharger to increase the pressure further.

Through an increase of electrical efficiency by one per cent in ambient temperatures to 46.5 per cent, the new engine can save €50,000 (£41,000) a year in fuel costs.

In the hot and humid climates typically found in developing countries, this rises to 2.5 per cent increased efficiency and so could save companies who upgrade over €100,000 a year.

Two of GE Jenbacher’s biggest markets are Pakistan and Bangladesh, where textile factories often use multi-engine power plants in place of the countries’ unreliable energy infrastructure, so a company using 20 engines could save over €2m a year in fuel costs.

‘Developing markets are looking for higher efficiency and lower fuel costs so by default this [engine] helps open up these markets,’ GE Jenbacher’s chief executive officer, Prady Iyyanki, told The Engineer at the engine’s launch in Austria yesterday.

The engine also produces heat, taking total energy efficiency up to nearly 90 per cent, and can be powered by natural gas or alternative fuels such as biogas or landfill fumes. The company’s first customer for the J624 is Dutch greenhouse operator Red Harvest.

‘The engine is a perfect fit for the move towards decarbonised energy production because of its applications using alternative fuel sources and we have a list two pages long of these,’ said Iyyanki.

The engine was developed in partnership with ABB in a multi-million-euro programme aided by non-project-specific funding from the Austrian government and EU.

GE Jenbacher also claims to be testing its biggest-ever product and plans to unveil it in the fourth quarter of the year.