GE president and CEO refers to teething troubles in the HA gas turbine

In an article posted on LinkedIn, Russell Stokes , President and CEO of GE Power, has referred to an oxidation problems that has cropped up on the blade of the air-cooled HA. He said: "Obviously, this was a frustrating development, for us, as well as for our customers. But we have identified a fix and have been working proactively with HA operators to address impacted turbines. The minor adjustments that we need to make do not make the HA any less of a record setting turbine – they are meeting – and in many cases exceeding – their performance goals at every customer site today."

The first HA turbine gas turbine started working inside a new French combined cycle power plant in June 2016. He continued in the article: "Just over two years later, we have received orders for more than 80 HA turbines, more than half of which we have already shipped to our customers in the U.S, Europe and Asia. Today, 30 HA gas turbines like the one in France are producing electricity. As of August 2018, they have accumulated more than 175,000 fired hours of operation.

"In this short time, our HA turbines have already helped deliver not one, but two world records. The French plant was recognized in 2016 as the world’s most efficient combined-cycle power station in the 50 Hertz configuration used in Europe, delivering a 62.22 percent net efficiency. And this year, a Japanese plant scored 63.08 percent gross combined cycle efficiency inside a 60 Hertz plant – the power frequency common in the U.S. and parts of Asia. We believe that we will break the 64 percent efficiency mark – the power generation equivalent of running a sub-2-hour marathon — sometime around 2020.

"Launching the HA fleet wasn’t easy. We drew on decades of our engineering expertise in materials science, thermodynamics, physics and other scientific disciplines. We also built a unique test stand at our state of the art manufacturing facility in Greenville, South Carolina, to validate our design. Unlike any such a facility in the world, the test stand has its own natural gas plant, thousands of sensors connected to powerful computers and other features that allowed us to simulate more than 70 million test hours on the turbine. The result is the world’s most reliable, lowest cost of electricity gas turbine, and one of the industry’s most successful new products to date. Still, even the world’s best testing facility cannot simulate everything real life brings. This is the same for all industries and new technologies, whether it’s a piece of new software, an electric car or the Mars rover. Teething problems inevitably, and almost necessarily, occur, and our engineers and technicians are working closely with our customers to solve them. Every new product introduction includes a period after its launch where experts fine-tune and adjust the technology. This is normal. What counts is how one works and communicates with customers. We strive to always stay transparent, open to joint problem solving, and committed to delivering on our promises.

The HA is no exception. For example, we had some project delays affecting the completion of the three HA-equipped power plants in Pakistan. These delays were caused by a mix of factors – some in our control and others that were out of our hands. However, through close cooperation with our customers, suppliers and government stakeholders, we were able to deliver, and the plants are expected to supply up to 3,600 megawatts for 30 plus years – the equivalent amount of electricity needed to power up to 7.3 million Pakistani homes. "