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World-first gas turbine upgrade

A new Siemens gas turbine blade system has been installed for the first time globally in the Townsville Yabulu power plant in Queensland, increasing its capacity by 12.7 megawatts to 234 megawatts, adding enough power for 2,300 extra homes.

Siemens installed the blade system on an existing turbine during an operations shutdown for inspection late in 2008. The gas turbine – which is the main driving force behind the plant – was equipped with a new set of rotating and static turbine blades, called Si3D. These offer greater power output and efficiency due to improved blade geometry, cooling, thermal barrier coatings and the use of an updated nickel-based super alloy, according to Siemens vice president of energy, David Pryke, who said they increased the efficiency of the gas turbine by 1.49 per cent which will reduce the level of greenhouse emissions. “With such positive results, this modernisation solution can be rolled out to customers with SGT5-2000E gas turbines around the world,” he said.

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