GE Jenbacher Goes Big With J920The Austrian power generation gas engine manufacturer introduced the new 9.5 MW J920
by roberta prandi
GE Jenbacher has introduced the J920 gas engine, the largest offering in its gas engine product range. This engine represents a step forward in GE Jenbacher’s power generation gas engine range. With its 9.5 MW output power (for the 50 Hz version), it more than doubles the company’s current upper power limit, represented so far by the J624 gas engine with 4.4 MW in its twostage turbocharged version, launched earlier this year.
Steve Bolze, president and CEO of GE Power and Water for GE Energy, said, “Four years ago I was part of the meeting that started this project. With investment of US$100 million and a team of 150 GE engineers involved, the J920 engine is another example of our commitment to bringing cleaner, more reliable and more efficient products and services to our customers.”
Electrical efficiency has been calculated to reach 48.7%, said GE. In combined heat and power applications, the overall efficiency is expectproced to rise above 90%, according to the manufacturer’s estimations. Currently, the J920 is fueled by natural gas, but Schulte indicated that the engine will be made fuel flexible. The 20-cylinder J920 is a giant, compared to the closest engine in size from GE, the J624. It required a separate machining area and its own test
bench at GE’s Jenbacher gas engine manufacturing facilities in Austria. ess, a pilot field test will be started in the first quarter of 2011 with customer Stadtwerke Rosenheim, the municipality utility company of Rosenheim, Germany.
The company said that, following this test phase, serial production is scheduled to begin in 2012 for both 50 and 60 Hz versions. The J920 is the first in a new series of power generation gas engines, said the company’s General Manager Engineering, Volker Schulte, “The 9 family of engines is expected to comprise further units in the higher power range.” He said the increase in power output with the new J920 was achieved by working on several engine technologies,
such as break mean effective pressure, port injection, advanced electronic control, new piston design and enhanced Miller cycle.
Pushing for even higher power would mean, according to Schulte, further work on the injection system and valvetrain, as well as a waste heat recovery system. This is where the recent GE acquisition of Calnetix Power Solutions business comes into play. The U.S.-based company offers technology for waste-heat-to-power projects and will be integrated into GE’s Jenbacher
gas engine business in Austria. It will operate under the name Heat Recovery Solutions.
The new engine utilizes elements from the combustion system used in GE’s Jenbacher 6 engine series, and adopts a two-stage turbocharger as well. “The J920 has a very compact design and employs an innovative concept, based on three main modules composing the generator set,” said Schulte. “The engine itself, the generator and an auxiliary module, produced in Jenbach [Austria].” The company is maintaining its strategy of in-house assembly of the complete generator set, without the contribution of external packagers.
Schulte said the new Jenbacher power generation gas engine family of GE will target the market of decentralized IPPS in the global arena, as well as combined heat and power plants, where it can reach its best efficiency. The start-up time of only five minutes, as reported by GE Jenbacher, makes the J920 applicable in power grid stabilization, as well as for backup power installations in wind farms, for example. The new engine currently reaches a NOx emission level of 200 to 250 mg/kWh without an exhaust aftertreatment, but Schulte said a catalyst
and an SCR system are already available to meet even lower emission requirements.