GE’s 9EMax GT upgrade achieves first fire

5 May 2017

GE’s Power Services has claimed an important milestone in the development of its 9EMax upgrade solution. The upgrade has completed initial validation testing and is now commercially available to all 9E gas turbine customers. During the testing, the first-ever installed unit achieved full-speed, no-load operation as well as plant-rated baseload. The validation testing demonstrated that the upgrade can operate as it was configured.
“March and April have been full of milestones for the 9EMax solution, as we put the first-ever installed unit to the test at a utility customer’s site in Asia,” said Eric Gray, general manager of Gas Plant Solutions for GE’s Power Services. “We completed the ‘first fire’ milestone at the customer’s site with the unit successfully reaching full speed at no load, and it proved to deliver significantly more power and efficiency compared to current 9E gas turbine operations.”
The validation test monitored and mapped the unit’s behaviour at typical operating parameters. During the tests, over 1000 points of instrumentations were used to collect data and improve the performance of the machine. The sensors collected over 14 terabytes of data, confirming that 9EMax is able to increase turbine output to 145 MW in simple-cycle operation and up to 210 MW in a combined-cycle configuration, achieve up to 37% efficiency in simple cycle and up to 53.5% efficiency in combined-cycle, deliver maintenance intervals of up to 32,000 hours or 900 starts, and offset as much as 2-3% of normal performance degradation between maintenance intervals in extreme ambient operating conditions.
9EMax can operate at partial loads, and includes an array of digital solutions to increase operational reliability, improve combustion operations and manage emissions. 
The new four-stage 9E, designated 9E.04, is available in solutions for older units, when a flange-to flange solution is available, while for for younger units, the module represents a new alternative to F2F replacements, boosting efficiency approximately 4 percentage points and output up to 145 MW compared to the 9E.03 module. 



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