Efficiency drive

The World’s largest gas turbine is being built by Siemens in its Berlin factory to become the heart of a high-efficiency combined cycle power plant.


The world’s largest gas turbine is being built by Siemens in its Berlin factory to become the heart of a high-efficiency combined cycle power plant.

When completed after 14 months, the 440-tonne turbine – the SGT5-8000H – will have a capacity of 340MW and operate at 50Hz. At 13m long and 5m high it will be tested in a prototype plant at Irsching, Bavaria, operated by E.ON Energie, for two years.

If the tests are successful the combined cycle plant will be extended and have a capacity of approximately 530MW with an expected efficiency of more than 60 per cent. The most efficient existing plant in Germany has an efficiency of 58 per cent.

Siemens is investing €500m (£163m) in the plant. ‘Our intention is to prove the technology,’ said Dr Wolf-Dietrich Krueger, head of gas turbines at Siemens Power Generation. ‘It’s very important to test a whole machine and the process behind it before we introduce a new family of turbines. If it’s OK then we will go to find other customers.’

The turbine is the first of it s kind developed following the merger of Siemens and Westinghouse. ‘It’s the result of years of R&D in the quest to develop a plant that offers operational flexibility at lower life-cycle costs than competitors’ comparable units,’ said a spokesperson.

It is air cooled and has a new compressor with advanced blading design. In the combined cycle plant it will drive a water-cooled generator. The single turbine will produce the same power as 13 Boeing 747 engines.

‘Supplying the world’s growing population with electricity is a gigantic challenge – especially if it has to be done in an economically, ecologically and socially compatible manner,’ said Siemens’ chief executive Dr Klaus Kleinfeld. In the next 15 years, experts are anticipating an approximate doubling of the world’s energy demand. ‘To meet that demand, we need a balanced energy mix and especially innovation. This turbine will set new benchmarks in Germany for environmentally- compatible, economic power generation,’ said Kleinfeld.