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Industry News

Siemens and Duke Energy Commence Testing of the First SGT6-9000HL Gas Turbine

LCG, April 9, 2020--Siemens Energy and Duke Energy have commenced the testing of the first SGT6-9000HL gas turbine to kick off the long-term, four-year testing phase at Duke Energy's Lincoln Combustion Turbine Station near Denver, North Carolina. Duke will operate the 402-MW unit in simple-cycle mode to assess and modify new technologies in real time.

Siemens states that the HL-class engine design includes an air-cooled four-stage power turbine, hydraulic clearance optimization for higher efficiency at full load while facilitating immediate restart, a steel rotor design with Hirth serrations and a central single tie rod and a "can annular" combustion system.

According to the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of the Division Power and Gas at Siemens, "In order to increase efficiency and improve performance, gas turbines have to be operated at even higher combustion temperatures - that's the key. We identified five levers to make higher firing temperatures possible."

The advanced can-annular combustion system with dual fuel capability allows for higher firing temperatures and more operational flexibility. Twenty-five premix burners improve the fuel/oxygen mixing, and the ACE combustion system allows for gas turbine (GT) turn-down to 30 percent GT load.

The new line of GT's can be adapted to burn 30-percent zero-carbon hydrogen in its fuel mix. Furthermore, by using selective catalyst reduction (SCR) technology, the nitrogen oxide emissions can be reduced to only two parts per million, according to Siemens.

The recent startup at the Duke facility confirms the systems are all working together as designed. During first fire, the SGT6-9000HL ramped up to a pre-determined test speed and the combustion system ignited.

Siemens delivered the unit from its manufacturing plant in Charlotte, North Carolina to the Lincoln Station in November. Duke Energy started construction on its Lincoln expansion project in September 2018. The 16-unit power plant site allowed room for expansion.

The unit will provide Siemens the operating experience to evaluate, tune and optimize the unit performance.

Duke Energy customers will receive the energy during the four-year testing period while only paying some fuel costs. After the test phase is completed in 2024, Duke Energy will begin operating the unit.

The GT's ramp-up rate is approximately 85 MW per minute. This ramp rate and other operational flexibility will be valuable to Duke as it adjusts to the rapidly growing, intermittent renewable generation in North and South Carolina.

Siemens expects increased inspection intervals of 33,000 equivalent base-hours and 1,250 equivalent starts, which should lower life-cycle costs.
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