New gas engine signals ABB turbocharging 2-stage success

Industry Database

Following a recent announcement centering on diesel engines, gas engine specialist GE has now reported the results of its joint development program with ABB Turbocharging for the application of two stage turbocharging on 4-stroke engines.

Within weeks of news that the turbocharger specialist headquartered in Baden, Switzerland and engine builder Wärtsilä are co-operating in the development of two stage turbocharging for large diesel engines, GE has announced the first spark ignited gas engine featuring a two stage turbocharging system which has been under joint development with ABB since 2008.

The 24 cylinder GE Jenbacher J624 with two stage turbocharging achieves a rated output of 4.4MW compared to the 4MW of its predecessor version with conventional turbocharging and offers an electrical efficiency of 46.5%, an increase of about 2%. The higher efficiency translates into more competitive electrical power generation and a reduction in CO2 emissions as well as making new engine especially attractive in combined heat and power (CHP) applications, though marine gas-electric installations also look promising .

While the trade-off between fuel consumption and NOx emissions is the focus of two stage turbocharging on diesel engines, on the new gas engine with two stage turbocharging major priorities were increases in efficiency and power density while also decreasing sensitivity to ambient conditions and gas quality.

These priorities are explained on the one hand by the fact that the lean burn technology used by gas engines already represents a robust, economic route to low NOx emissions, on the other hand by the need to maintain performance in unfavourable ambient conditions and when operating on gases with variable calorific values. Accordingly, the level of charge air pressure achieved by the J624’s two stage turbocharging system helps the engine maintain rated outputs in climates with high ambient temperatures and humidity and on gases of variable calorific value.

While the new J624 is the first in the GE portfolio to use two stage turbocharging, the company has confirmed its intention to offer the technology on further engines in its range in the future.


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