SGT5-8000H – Product Validation at Irsching 4 Test Center
Dr. Roland Fischer, Phil Ratliff, Willibald Fischer Siemens AG, Energy Sector Germany / USA

The new SGT5-8000H gas turbine is the result of years of research and development within Siemens Energy to evolve an efficient and flexible engine with low life-cycle costs. Built on the collective development and technology expertise of Siemens and Westinghouse, the SGT5-8000H is the first gas turbine design developed by Siemens after the Westinghouse acquisition. It combines the best features of the existing product lines and advanced technology. The new turbine was developed in strict compliance with the Product Development Process (PDP). The design effort incorporated previous lessons learned, applied proven design features wherever possible and utilized Design for Six Sigma (DfSS)tools to deliver a competitive product focused on life-cycle-costs, performance, serviceability, flexibility, reliability and emissions.

Customer needs and benefits are the main drivers for the development of the new SGT5-8000H engine. The air-cooled SGT5-8000H concept offers added value through higher operational flexibility required in deregulated market environment.

The SGT5-8000H turbine development team involved more than 250 engineers, working in Erlangen, Berlin and Mülheim in Germany, as well as in Orlando and Jupiter in Florida, USA. An additional 500 employees were involved in the manufacturing, assembly and testpreparation of the prototype engine. Single gas turbine components are already tested and verified with success. The complete SGT5-8000H gas turbine is now under comprehensive validation in a real power plant environment at Irsching 4 in a hosting agreement with E.ON.

In 2005, Siemens announced the development of the world’s largest, most powerful gas
turbine. Two-years later, on-schedule, the prototype of the SGT5-8000H was installed at the Irsching 4 gas turbine power plant. Therefore, December 20, 2007, marked a major milestone in the development of the world’s most powerful gas turbine – its first firing. This was the start of an 18-month trial operation at the Irsching 4 power plant, near Ingolstadt. After successful testing of the turbine, the gas turbine power plant will be rebuilt to a full combined cycle power plant. The high-efficiency combined cycle power plant (CCPP) will have a total output of 530 megawatts and an efficiency of over 60%. The gas turbine supplies enough energy to serve the electricity demands of a city of the size of Hamburg or Barcelona; the combined cycle power plant with the SGT5-8000H will meet electricity demands for a city the size of Madrid or Berlin.

The increase of efficiency by 2-percentage points, compared to a state-of-the-art combined cycle power plant, will result in approximately 40,000 tons less CO2 per year. Handover of the CCPP to E.ON Kraftwerke, a subsidiary of E.ON Energy, is expected in 2011. The paper will cover:

  • Overview next generation development program
  • Key features of new gas turbine and cc-plant
  • Field validation approach
  • Prototype project Irsching 4
  • Test and Validation Status

The development of gas turbines is sensitive to market, technical innovation and environmental requirements. The customer expects an economic, competitive product with a high efficiency, great reliability, high flexibility and service kindness at low life time costs. He judges this more and more with the present value (NPV, net present value) determined over the life time of a power station. With a steady technical innovation in development, technologies, materials, and manufacturing, we as manufacturers take these requirements into account.

During the development of a new gas turbine, attention must be paid to meet or even exceed
the high environmental standards with regard to emissions. Considering all of these influences, a gas turbine can be produced, which increases the customer benefit optimally with regard to efficiency, reliability, flexibility in load ranges and use of fuel as well as in service costs. The new SGT5-8000H gas turbine is the result of years of research and development within Siemens Power Generation. An extremely efficient and flexible, purely air-cooled engine was produced which will be highly competitive against the steam cooled products of the competitors with its low life cycle costs. This is the first new frame developed after the merger of Siemens and Westinghouse and combines the best features of the existing product lines and advanced technology. Interpretation and design of the new engine was built on the experiences of the predecessor 50Hz and 60Hz engines. Proven design features were applied wherever possible, and “Design for-Six Sigma” tools were used consistently, to deliver a competitive product which fulfils the features described at the beginning.

8000H Program Overview (Overall Duration)
Development & Validation Testing                         2001 – 2010
Program Launch – Concept Phase                            01. Oct. 2000
Gate 1: Product Strategy                                                  21. Mar. 2001
Gate 2: Start Basic Design (GT)                                  05. Nov. 2001
Gate 3: Product Release (GT)                                       17. Aug. 2004
P-Type GT ex Works                                                           30. April 2007
P-Type 1st Fire                                                                        18. Dec. 2007
Gate 4:                                                                    Series Release later in 2008

Figure 1: 8000H program overview

The customer requirements, and with that their advantages were the essential drivers for the development of the new SGT5-8000H. The following key requirements have to be met:

  • Combined cycle net efficiency over 60%
  • Fast start capability and high operational flexibility
  • Lowest life cycle costs
  • High reliability and availability
  • Low Emissions
  • Turn down capability with high efficiency and low emissions

With these boundary conditions we started in the year 2000 with the strategic product
planning. The engine development was conducted according to a strict milestone plan. In
addition to approx. 500 design reviews for individual components, several Gate Releases on Management level were conducted (Figure 1).

Engine design and features
The engine concept has been selected out of a variety of air cooled engine designs and out of several gas turbine cycle models after a comprehensive feasibility analysis during the conceptual design phase. The selected air-cooled concept offers best added value through higher operational flexibility required in deregulated market environment (Figure 2).

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