GE announces the development of a new, larger, power-generation gas engine—the J920 engine. With electrical efficiency of 48.7 percent and an output of 9.51 megawatts (MW), the new J920 engine is the most efficient in its class and it extends GE’s technical leadership in power generation gas engines. The J920 gas engine provides enough energy for 18,500 average European households. It was introduced at a ceremony held at GE’s facility in Jenbach, Austria.
The new, power-dense engine is highly attractive from both a customer and environmental perspective as its higher efficiency not only reduces lifecycle costs due to lower fuel consumption, but also simultaneously cuts greenhouse gas emissions. In comparison with commercially available gas engines in the same output range, the operation of one J920 can prevent about 1,500t of CO2 emissions annually. This corresponds with the emissions from about 800 average European cars. In the same period, fuel savings of more than €217,000 can be achieved due to lower gas consumption.
The J920 is especially suitable for decentralized, independent power supply in remote, hot or high-altitude regions for use in combined heat and power applications and the stabilization of power grids. The prototype of the engine has been undergoing successful testing on a purpose-built test bench at GE’s Jenbacher manufacturing facilities in Austria since late summer.
“The Jenbacher business has been a great acquisition for GE, growing four-fold since being part of our portfolio,” said Steve Bolze, president and CEO of GE Power & Water. “As part of our ongoing technical investment strategy, the J920 engine represents our latest differentiated solution which offers decentralized power and top-of-its-class efficiency, reduced carbon emissions and a small, power-dense footprint. This latest announcement, coupled with our continuing investments in distribution relationships, supply chain and services, positions us well to meet the evolving needs of our global customers.”
A large-scale pilot program is next, during which the new engine will be put into operation for the first time at the “Stadtwerke” (the municipal utility company) of the town of Rosenheim, Germany. Following this test phase, serial production is scheduled to begin, and the new engine should be available for use in applications in 50 and 60 Hz countries in 2012.
“We are proud to be the first company to test the new engine under practical conditions. Up to now, GE’s Jenbacher gas engines have stood out due to their durability, power density and excellent efficiency levels, which number among the best in the world,” said G?tz Brühl, the CEO of the Stadtwerke Rosenheim in Germany, which is running the pilot plant. “The J920 exceeds other engines, thus setting a new benchmark for economics, resource conservation and environmental protection. I am convinced that this new engine will quickly establish itself, boosting to the extension of combined heat and power plants and thus our most important energy efficiency technology.”
The electrical efficiency of the J920, which is an important indicator of the economic and environmental impacts of an engine, has been raised by more than 2 percentage points to 48.7 percent. Thus, the new 20-cylinder engines attain the highest value of all the engines that are commercially available worldwide in this class.
Through this innovative gas engine, GE is set to continue its successful technological run, which is based on more than 50 years of experience in the design and manufacture of power generation gas engines in tandem with systematic innovation. In June of this year, GE achieved another technological advancement with the world’s first gas engine with two-stage turbocharging. This new technology has been used to raise the output of the J624, which to date was the largest Jenbacher gas engine, from 4 MW to 4.4 MW and to increase its electrical efficiency to a notable 46.5 percent.
“Our new engine represents a response to the constant increase in the demands of our customers for higher output and efficiency and, at the same time, constitutes an important strategic step with regard to the long-term expansion of our company,” said Prady Iyyanki, CEO-gas engines for GE Power & Water. “GE is now the world’s only power generation gas engine specialist with a complete portfolio in the 0.25 to 9.5-MW output range. We have once again confirmed our technological and innovative leadership.”
From a technical standpoint, the pioneering design of the J920 is based on proven core elements from the combustion systems used in Jenbacher 6 series. Moreover, the J920 employs an innovative three-module concept, which results in a top quality, standardized generator-set comprised of the engine itself, a generator and an auxiliary module produced at GE’s Jenbacher plant. In addition, like the recently presented J624 engine, the new J920 is equipped with the innovative two-stage turbocharging system.
Particularly high efficiency levels of 90 percent and more can be achieved when the J920 is utilized for combined heat and power. In this case, the J920 module provides fuel savings of more than 130 million kWh of primary energy (76,000 barrels of oil), while preventing more than 7,800t of CO2 emissions2. Therefore, the J920 corresponds precisely with the objectives of GE’s global ecomagination initiative, within the scope of which, the company promotes innovative technologies for the reduction of all types of emissions.
Another benefit for customers is the high power density of the new engine in ratio to comparatively low investment costs. As a result of the use of the new GE two-stage turbocharging concept, the J920 also is suitable for operations in hot and humid environments, as well as high-altitude regions. This means that a stable, reliable and decentralized power supply can be ensured even under extreme conditions.
The fact that the engine reaches full output in only five minutes also increases its attractiveness for use as cover for demand peaks. Short delivery times, fast and easy installation, simple servicing and maintenance and high levels of operational flexibility represent further advantages. The latter relates to the fact that any number of J920 modules can be combined with a powerhouse concept in standardized power plant solutions. Highly standardized interfaces and the proven Jenbacher DIA.NE® XT 3 control system provide additional benefits.