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World first upgrade increases power efficiency in Queensland

A recent modernisation and world first implementation of new blading on a Siemens gas turbine at the Yabulu power plant in Townsville, North Queensland, has increased capacity by 12.7 megawatts for the owner, Transfield Services Infrastructure Fund, Siemens says.

The increased capacity will assist the 234 MW combined cycle power station to meet growing energy needs in Queensland.

A shutdown in operations late last year for a major outage inspection provided Siemens with a world first opportunity to equip the gas turbine which powers the plant, with a complete new set of rotating and static turbine blades, known as Si3D blades, the company says.

Siemens vice president — energy, David Pryke, said the upgrade increased energy output by 12.7 MW, which is equivalent to powering approximately 2,300 homes.

“We also increased the efficiency of the gas turbine by 1.49 percent which will reduce the level of greenhouse emissions, as the more efficient a power plant is the greater the reduction in emissions,” he said.

“During the outage, Siemens removed the gas turbine rotor, casings and combustion system from the building, debladed four rows of rotating and stationary power turbine blades and replaced them with new Si3D blades.

“Si3D blades offer greater power output and efficiency due to improved blade geometry, cooling, thermal barrier coatings and the use of an improved nickel-based super alloy.

“The increase in energy output and turbine efficiency clearly exceeded Siemens guaranteed performance values.

“With such positive results for Siemens and Transfield Services Infrastructure Fund, this modernisation solution can be rolled out to customers with SGT5-2000E gas turbines around the world.”

The Siemens team which performed the blade replacement included eight members from Siemens AG, led by Siemens testing development’s Dr Norbert Knuewer, along with seven local site team members led by Siemens project manager, Peter Gregory.

The outage and upgrade program was performed in 44 working days. In addition, no loss time injuries were recorded, emphasising the importance of safety for Siemens, the company said.

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