In February 2011 Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI) will begin test operation of a "J-Series" gas turbine, a system featuring the world's largest power generation capacity and highest thermal efficiency in the 1,600 degrees Celsius (°C) turbine inlet temperature class. In preparation MHI has started conversion work on the combined-cycle power plant for verification testing at its Takasago Machinery Works in Hyogo Prefecture, which until now has conducted verification testing of the company's G-Series gas turbines, and began installation of the J-Series gas turbine on November 13.
MHI completed development of the J-Series gas turbine, incorporating proprietary technologies, in the spring of 2009 and has subsequently worked on its commercialization. The new turbine is able to withstand 100 degrees higher temperature than the 1,500°C-class G-Series gas turbine, the top-of-the-line until now. The 60 hertz J-Series gas turbine achieves a rated power output of about 320 megawatts (MW) (ISO basis) and an unprecedented 460 MW in gas turbine combined-cycle (GTCC) power generation applications, in which heat recovery steam generators and steam turbines are also used. MHI has also achieved over 60% gross thermal efficiency - the world's highest level in GTCC applications.
The new gas turbine will significantly contribute to easing environmental burdens. With GTCC type power generation, gas and steam turbines are used in combination to generate electricity in two stages, utilizing high-temperature exhaust gas from the gas turbine. This configuration enables GTCC power plants to achieve considerably higher thermal efficiency and reduce CO2 emissions, consuming less fuel relative to electricity output. With the J-Series gas turbine, GTCC power generation will be able to achieve CO2 emissions approximately 50% lower than with conventional coal-fired power generation (comparison with MHI's power plants). In the J-Series, nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions, which usually increase as combustion temperature rises, are suppressed to a level equivalent to that of current models, in order to address global environmental issues.
MHI's Takasago Machinery Works handles the development of gas turbines integrally, from development and design to manufacturing and testing. The combined-cycle power plant for verification testing, where the J-Series gas turbine has been installed, is located at the Takasago Machinery Works. It has been playing an important role in commercialization of new gas turbines, as well as development and verification of technologies to enable higher temperature applications and further enhancement of power generation efficiency, including verification of large-size gas turbines and their core technologies.
The G-Series gas turbines, the most advanced offerings until now, today are in operation around the world. To date, MHI has received orders for 66 units for use in Japan and abroad. The cumulative operating time of G-Series units exceeds 700,000 hours.
MHI has already started working on projects that call for delivery of the J-Series commencing in 2011. The company is also energetically conducting marketing activities of the new-generation gas turbine to the global market.
MHI aims to apply the results from long-term verification operation of the J-Series at Takasago to further development of technologies that will enable even higher temperature gas turbines. It also continues toward development of high-efficiency gas turbines yet another generation ahead, as its way of contributing to the realization of tomorrow's low-carbon society.