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GE Research was awarded a $1.6 million project through ARPA-E’s ULtrahigh Temperature Impervious Materials Advancing Turbine Efficiency (ULTIMATE) program, funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, to develop material solutions that enable new thresholds in turbine efficiency.
The company is developing Refractory Alloy Innovations for Superior Efficiency (RAISE) – an ultra-high temperature material system that would enable gas turbine blades to operate at 1,700 °C (3,092°F). The company said the project will help drive efforts to push turbine efficiency beyond 65% and accelerate decarbonization of the energy sector.
Advanced materials research has long been a critical piece of GE Research’s technology portfolio. Steady improvements have been made in both the temperature tolerance and durability of superalloys that in turn have enabled advances in power generation turbine and jet engine technologies.
As part of this project, GE researchers will demonstrate proof of concept for its alloy composition, coatings, and manufacturing processes through modeling and lab scale testing. If successful, the team could receive additional funding to continue develop and further scale the development of their technology platform. GE said it hopes to set new records in gas turbine efficiency and accelerate efforts to decarbonize the energy sector.