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GE has announced a second order for its GT26 HE (high efficiency) gas turbine upgrade with Drax, for Shoreham power station near Brighton, U.K. GE announced its first order with Uniper earlier this year. GE will also provide digital solutions and plant improvement services to help Drax increase the plant’s flexibility and ultimately increase its competitiveness in the United Kingdom.
GE will perform an enablement inspection in 2019 to allow operation through 2021, which is when the new HE will be implemented on the gas turbine. The upgrade would increase combined-cycle efficiency by about 2.5% and add more than 40 megawatts of power at baseload.
“Our new HE product is the most advanced solution we’ve ever introduced on a GT26 gas turbine, and it provides significant performance improvements for an F-class combined-cycle gas turbine upgrade,” said Amit Kulkarni, General Manager of H/F-Class turbines for GE’s Power Services business. “Not only will this upgrade help Drax improve its efficiency and output, but it will also improve its competitive position in the U.K. energy marketplace. The power increase will be rewarded in the event of a successful bid in the U.K.’s capacity auction, and the lifetime improvement will reduce maintenance costs.”
The GT26 HE upgrade, introduced earlier this year, provides a leap forward in efficiency, output and maintenance interval extensions. It’s powered partly through advanced technology from GE’s flagship HA gas turbine, the largest and most efficient in the industry, with additive manufactured parts and innovations in aerodynamics, material science and combustion dynamics. It embeds technology breakthroughs across every major component of the GT26 frame—turbine, compressor and combustor—to take turbine performance to a new level, significantly decreasing fuel costs while increasing full-load output and extending maintenance intervals.
In addition, GE will implement digital solutions to help Drax take its first step toward a digital industrial transformation and reinvent how the utility operates its assets. GE’s Asset Performance Management solution is expected to improve Drax’s predictive maintenance capabilities and the availability and reliability of the power station, while GE’s Operations Performance Management software will deliver enterprise data visibility across the power plant, providing a holistic understanding of the operational decisions that can expand capabilities and lower production costs.