GE awarded world record for most efficient combined-cycle power plant

GE workers in Belfort, France, are assembling the record-breaking 9HA gas turbine for Bouchain which set the GE World Record - image courtesy of GE Power.
GE workers in Belfort, France, are assembling the record-breaking 9HA gas turbine for Bouchain which set the GE World Record - image courtesy of GE Power.

General Electric (GE) has been recognised by the Guinness Book of Records for powering the world’s most efficient combined-cycle power plant.

GE took the Guinness World Records title for most efficient power plant based on an achieved efficiency rate of up to 62.22% at its Bouchain power plant in France.

GE and EDF Energy officially began operation this month of the first ever combined-cycle power plant equipped with GE’s HA turbine in Bouchain. The launch brings about a new era of power generation technology and digital integration used in a power plant.

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President and CEO of GE Power Steve Bolze said being recognised for the world-leading efficiency of its Bouchain plant was a thrill and honour for the company.

“Today we are making history with this power plant for the future,” he said.

“We are thrilled to be acknowledged by Guinness World Records for powering the world’s most efficient combined-cycle power plant, and we are also very proud of the industry-leading flexibility and reliability this turbine provides to our customers.

“We look forward to continuing to work with EDF and providing services to ensure the ongoing high performance of the Bouchain plant in the years to come.”

GE’s Bouchain power plant was verified as the most efficient combined cycle power plant by Bureau Veritas on April 28, 2016.

The efficiency figure which set the Guinness World Record signifies the amount of energy extracted from the total combustive energy contained in the fuel.

The Bouchain power plant comprises of a General Electric 9HA.01 gas turbine, D650 steam turbine and W86 generator working in tandem.

In addition to the world record levels of efficiency, GE’s HA gas turbine delivers more flexibility than ever before and is capable of reaching full power in less than 30 minutes. This helps pave the way for greater use of renewable energy by allowing partners to respond quickly to fluctuations in grid demand, integrate renewables onto the grid and adapt quickly to weather changes.

The Bouchain plant will generate the equivalent power need to supply more than 680,000 homes by using its generating capacity of more than 650 MW.

The GE world record turbine is also green

It’s also very clean. GE calculated that when the turbine burns 3.3 tons of natural gas mixed with air – equivalent to 23 tanker trucks – out comes just 6.3 fluid ounces of pollution, a volume slightly larger than a half-can of soda.

That’s in part because the turbine operates at temperatures approaching the melting point of steel. GE engineers modeled the heat flows inside on a powerful supercomputer and used designs, materials and special thermal barrier coatings developed for jet engines to handle the temperature. The hot air comes out at a speed approaching a Category 5 hurricane – so fast it could fill the Goodyear Blimp in 10 seconds.

The world-record setting Bouchain plant is an important demonstration of GE’s Digital power Plant capabilities, including the digital control system, use real-time date to deliver plant outcomes with stable and efficient operations, while providing valuable predictive insights for higher reliability and optimization.

The advances by GE in the greater use and efficiency of renewable energy support the recent Paris COP21 agreement in which 195 countries pledged to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, thereby placing more emphasis on cleaner electric power opportunities.