BMW Group and PSA Peugeot Citroën officially launch vehicle electrification joint venture
New process for manufacturing nano-cellulose powder; applications in novel lightweight composite materials

Siemens reports world record efficiency for combined cycle power plant of 60.75%

A new Siemens gas turbine operated in a combined cycle with a steam turbine in Irsching, Bavaria, has set a world record for efficiency, achieving net efficiency of 60.75% during the test run. The target was 60%; the previous generation of the turbine had an efficiency of 58.5%. The new turbine is designed to generate 400 megawatts (MW) alone and 600 MW when combined with a steam turbine.

In tests conducted under everyday conditions the facility was able to supply more than 500 MW within just one half hour. With the rise of a fluctuating electricity supply from wind turbines and solar power systems, maintaining the power grid’s stability is a job handled by large power plants that can quickly respond and offset changing loads, Siemens noted.

The new facility is also much more economical than previous plants. The new generation of Siemens combined cycle power plants consumes one-third less natural gas per generated kilowatt-hour than what is used on average by other such facilities currently in use worldwide.

Siemens attributed the performance to the interplay of innovative gas turbine technology and the plant’s key components, which are optimized for high temperatures and pressures. Each turbine consists of more than 7,000 individual parts. The 50-hertz version weighs 440 tons, as much as a fully-fueled Airbus A380. Temperatures within the combustion chamber can be as high as 1,500 degrees Celsius, and the turbine blade tips can rotate at more than 1,700 kilometers per hour (km/h).

More than 750 Siemens employees, including 250 engineers, were involved in the development of the turbine and the new combined cycle power plant. The company invested over €500 million (US$695 million) in the development, construction, and operation of the prototype facility in Irsching. Siemens thoroughly tested the gas turbine over a period of one and a half years, and in mid-2009 it began retrofitting the facility for steam turbine operation. After the testing stage is completed, E.ON will begin commercial operation sometime this summer.



This is very good.
a: It is very efficient 60.75% in combined cycle.
b: It can ramp up quickly and so can complement wind or solar power which are very variable.

This + wind would give Europe (or anywhere) a good low carbon Electricity supply.
+ there is loads of gas coming on stream due to fracking.

If you don't like nuclear, this+renewables is probably the best you can do.


@ mahonj:
No! It's not the best that can be done. In the 1960's, AEG developed the sodium-sulphur battery. this battery was intended for mobile applications. Its high operating temperature and subsequent danger rendered it unusable for this purpose. AEG sold all patents to a Japanese company. In Japan, this battery is built with capacities in the GW range and is used to compensate the fluctuations of the grid. It is far more economical than power plants for such purposes. The battery has high efficiency and long life.

Account Deleted

You are spot on. Gas and wind in combination is the future for the grid almost anywhere in the world if we are to save this planet from dangerous levels of global warming.

Even the largest batteries that are economically feasible for the grid can only power it for a few minutes before they run out of electrons. Gas power plants can go on as long as you need them to. For example, until the wind starts blowing again.

Nick Lyons

In the long term, safe and clean molten salt fission reactors (such as LFTRs) will provide baseload power. They can be load-following, making them a good match for the future grid. They are also scalable downwards, making it possible to locate them closer where power is needed and making local grids more robust.


Before we get too enthousiastic about NG.

We all know the dangers of fracking that get swept under the rug surprisingly easy.

Futhermore, quite a lot of leakage occurs during production of gas. Methane is a 25x as powerful greenhouse gas as CO2. This offsets large part of the natural gas advantage.

But any progress is good since we are not yet at the point where we can manage without fossil fuels. And in terms of mercury, arsenic, SOx, NOx and the whole toxic mix spewed out by coal plants, natural gas is still the favourite.

Let's hope this Rossi guy hurries up his cold fusion reactor. Supposedly there is an important demo tomorrow. Won't hold my breath thou, probably another EEStor.


Gas and wind on top of a nuclear baseload should meet all the targets on reliability, security and low carbon.

You can get large savings from switching gas boilers to heat pumps powered by this mix, and its also ideal for charging EV's overnight

Account Deleted

Shale gas is already 23% of all US gas production in 2010. The US produced about 10 million barrels per day of natural gas in oil equivalents from 500000 natural gas wells. That means a rough estimate is that there are over 100,000 wells in operation in the US that are drilled in shale rock using horizontal fracking. If this drilling method is dangerous then we should have thousands of dangerous accidents each year but we don’t because it is not dangerous.

Oil and gas companies are not interested in spilling the gas deliberately. They sell it so they lose money spilling it and take great effort not to spill it. If gas has to be spilled for technical reasons it is burned or flared into CO2 that is not as potent a greenhouse gas as natural gas is as you clearly know. The incentive to flare the gas is very strong because just venting it poses everybody at the drilling site in danger of gas explosions. So it is flared for safety reasons. Farting cows is a bigger problem for global warming than natural gas production because they can’t flare it as they do in the oil industry. I am not kidding. However, some unburned natural gas is accidentally released in the gas industry but it oxidizes in the atmosphere to CO2 in a fairly short time 20 years or so.

Nevertheless, the oil and gas industry should be better monitored and regulated to make it even safer. Also with regard to shale gas franking that I can assure you it is taking over globally in that industry. Suited gas shale rock is found everywhere and it is profitable even at 4 USD per million BTU which compares to 4*5.8 = 23.2 USD per barrel of oil in natural gas equivalents. Wait and see. It can replace oil and coal in the comming decades.

Shale gas 23% of all us gas prod

500000 gas wells in the US

Dave R

Realistically we need all 3:

* Renewables such as wind/solar.
* High efficiency CC gas plants that can quickly ramp up/down as needed.
* Extremely fast reacting, highly efficient grid storage to smooth out the smaller bumps/dips in demand.

I wonder what the efficiency of the plant is when ramping up 500MW in 30 minutes - since the capacity listed is 400-600MW, that pretty much indicates a cold start.

Account Deleted


You may need to add a fourth item: HVDC or high voltage direct current long-distance transmission lines to transfer renewable energy from weather system to weather system. In theory if we could wire the entire planet with HVDC we would almost never need to run the gas power plants. They would still be needed for emergency backup though.



Question: yesterday Henry Gibson suggested direct current all the way to the home. My reading indicates HVDC is cost effective for long distances only. Can that be stepped down to eventually do what HG suggested?

Account Deleted


HG is a fool beyond category. I know, because I once made the mistake of reading one of his posts. HVDC is for long-distance transmission because AC is no good in that case. For short distance you can use both AC and DC but we started using AC many years ago and now the grid infrastructure is looked into that so it is not going to change as it would cost a fortune. It is pointless even to discuss changing it because it is not going to happen.


Hydro/Wind is a better combination, specially if you use wind for base loads and hydro for peak loads. Hydro output can be varied easily. The unused water refills the huge reservoir, just as you would fill a multi-megawatt battery. Over equipment can be installed at each hydro plant as more and more wind turbines are brought on line.


Gas/Hydro/Wind/HVxC is what you really need.
Hydro i greener than gas, but isn't available everywhere, or in large enough quantities.#So you use what hydro you have an fill in the gaps with Gas / interconnects.


NG turbines are OK for peak loads if the ramp up time is decreased to a few minutes and low cost NG is available for more than a few decades.

To make better use of the available hydro one has to limit its use for peak loads (ONLY) and use wind/solar for base loads.

The comments to this entry are closed.