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GE Power has announced the MXL2, an upgrade solution for the company’s GT13E2 gas turbines. The MXL2 features Additive Manufactured Performance (AMP), with key components manufactured using additive technology, also known as 3D printing.

3D printed components for GE gas turbine upgrade solution

The new MXL2 includes two components produced by GE’s Additive Manufacturing Works (AMW) teams in Birr, Switzerland, and Greenville, South Carolina in the USA: The first-stage turbine vanes and heat shields. These parts are among the turbine’s hottest-running components, and the significant amount of cooling air they traditionally require impacts the engine’s performance. Additive printing allows GE to use advanced cooling designs that considerably reduce the amount of cooling air the parts need, improving the turbine’s performance.

“We’re continuing to invest in new technologies to keep our installed base competitive: the new MXL2 with AMP upgrade could not be manufactured with conventional methods and marks the first-of-its kind solution with the injection of components manufactured by additive technologies,” says Scott Strazik, president and CEO of GE’s Power Services business.

“Because these components are made with a lightweight configuration and can be engineered to include advanced cooling channels, they help the gas turbine run more efficiently, representing a new frontier in turbine engineering and production. These savings translate directly into increased performance and provide turbine operators with greater fuel efficiency and more capacity. We’re excited to bring this technology to our GT13E2 fleet, which we acquired from Alstom in 2015.”

The new technology can significantly elevate the output and efficiency of existing GT13E2 gas turbine, he adds. It reduces component cooling requirements by up to 25% and increases output up to 21MW in combined-cycle configuration. The MXL2 achieves efficiency improvements of up to 1.6% in combined-cycle configuration, and has maintenance intervals of up to 48 000 hours.

The MXL2 with AMP upgrade is a direct result of GE’s long-term commitment to additive manufacturing technology, the company said in a statement, adding that the addition of additive manufactured parts into the MXL2 solution represents a turning point in the global power generation industry. According to GE, the new technology can help gas plant power producers save up to $2 million in fuel annually, while opening up the potential for additional revenue of up to $3 million annually in new power capacity.

Image: https://www.ge.com/power/services/gas-turbines/upgrades/gt13e2-mxl2

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