TurboTime Podcast: Aeroderivative Gas Turbines with ProEnergy

Published on: 

In this episode of the TurboTime podcast, Paul DiMascio, VP of Engineering at ProEnergy, talks about aeroderivative gas turbines.

In this episode of the TurboTime podcast, Paul DiMascio, VP of Engineering at ProEnergy, talks about aeroderivative gas turbines—what sets them apart from other types of turbines, their repair and maintenance needs, and other points.

DiMascio kicks off the discussion by explaining what makes the aeroderivative LM6000 and LM2500 turbines unique.

“The really great story about those turbines is they were first very successful airplane engines developed for the U.S. military for the C5 Galaxy transport," DiMascio said. "They were originally called the TF39 and then GE decided that the commercial aviation industry, specifically McDonnell Douglas and Boeing, who were building wide-body aircraft, which surprisingly looks similar to the C5 Galaxy because it's the definition of wide-body, that they needed very powerful engines. Also, they were worried about fuel economy. So, what GE did was take the TF39 and redesign it into the CF6-6. That engine was what powered the Douglas DC10—the first wide-body—and the Boeing 747.

“Those initial aircraft were growing as passengers discovered how much more comfortable they were. The number of flights went up dramatically, and the need for bigger engines and bigger aircraft occurred, so they developed the CF6-50 and the CF6-ADC2 for the larger versions of those airplanes. Now, the reason that's important is, for example, the CF6-ADC2 that powers the bigger 747 and also powers the President's Air Force One aircraft, was one of the most reliable engines available at the time, with the best fuel economy. So, over 8,500 ADC2 engines were produced by GE, and they're still in production today.

“What makes them unique is that there were other airplane engines available from other manufacturers like Rolls Royce, etc., but the advantage of the GE engines was they could convert them to land and marine—that's what the LM stands for," he continued. "GE also had divisions of its business that understood marine power plants, which were primarily steam turbines at the time, and power plants for the grid, which were also primarily steam turbines. But they understood the differences between those demands versus what an airplane engine has, and they recognized that they would need to redesign the turbine to focus on those applications.”

DiMascio also talks about the advantages and differences between an aero-turbine used as a peaker, for example, versus a turbine used in marine propulsion.