With European utilities modernizing their existing power plants to become more responsive to changing grid demands and boost competitiveness, power producers are turning to GE Power Generation Services to help reduce the startup times of their gas combined-cycle power plants. GE announced an OpFlex* Controls Software project implementation during the POWER-GEN Europe 2015 trade conference in Amsterdam.
GE’s OpFlex Steam Turbine Agility technology is a comprehensive solution, within its OpFlex Suite, which improves start times of legacy combined-cycle plants featuring GE gas and steam turbines. It includes a combination of controls upgrades with expert plant-level operational analysis and recommendations to deliver significant improvements in combined-cycle start performance.
Benefits of installing GE’s OpFlex Steam Turbine Agility software system include:
• Up to a 50 percent reduction in steam turbine start times.
• Reduced startup fuel costs and emissions.
• More predictable and repeatable combined-cycle start times.
• Reduced potential for missed dispatch commitments.
“The greater influence of renewable energy increased the need for power plants to become more flexible to balance the grid and ensure that sufficient frequency and voltage is in place when the grid experiences sudden fluctuations from wind and solar generation,” said Ramon Paramio, Europe general manager for GE Power Generation Services GE Power & Water. “We are pleased to deploy our OpFlex• software and showcase robust operational flexibility and control over plant operations.”
OpFlex solutions are powered by an enterprise GE platform called the Predix* platform. Representing an industrial cloud-based platform, this fully connected and secure cloud environment unifies the flow of data across all plant and fleet assets, delivering the enterprise visibility and insights needed to help optimize power plant, fleet and business operations. OpFlex solutions are part of GE’s new Software Solutions portfolio, a suite of breakthrough power generation software capabilities that bridge both GE and non-GE equipment to deliver turnkey solutions.
One of the examples discussed at POWER-GEN Europe 2015 regards ENGIE’s 435-megawatt (MW) Montoir de Bretagne power plant in western France. The 4-year-old Montoir de Bretagne power plant features a GE 109FB combined-cycle system, including a 9FB gas turbine, a high-efficiency A-15 (HEAT*) steam turbine and associated generators.
GE’s team installed its OpFlex Steam Turbine Agility software solution to reduce the plant startup times which corresponded to fuel cost reductions. OpFlex technologies enabled Montoir’s plant to reduce startup time and startup fuel costs by 20 to 30 percent.
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GE Power & Water provides customers with a broad array of power generation, energy delivery and water process technologies to solve their challenges locally. Power & Water works in all areas of the energy industry including renewable resources such as wind and solar, biogas and alternative fuels; and coal, oil, natural gas and nuclear energy. The business also develops advanced technologies to help solve the world’s most complex challenges related to water availability and quality. Power & Water’s six business units include Distributed Power, Nuclear Energy, Power Generation Products, Power Generation Services, Renewable Energy and Water & Process Technologies. Headquartered in Schenectady, N.Y., Power & Water is GE’s largest industrial business.
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