Skip to Content
Uncategorized

General Electric Sets a Record for Gas Turbine Efficiency, Giving Natural Gas Another Win

December 5, 2017

GE announced Monday that it set a new record with its HA gas turbine, and it has 3-D printing to thank. The record of 64 percent efficiency in a combined-cycle installation beats out the previous official record of 62.22 percent, set by GE in 2016.

While this might not seem like a huge jump in numbers, for gas turbine technology small increases mean big savings and increased power output. Turbine efficiency indicates how much of the energy produced by burning a given amount of natural gas is usable. GE Power estimates that a single percentage point increase can translate to millions in fuel savings for its customers annually.

One of the major factors in unlocking this additional efficiency was metal 3-D printing, which GE engineers used to create previously unachievable geometries in their turbine parts. The new design leads to better mixing of fuel and air prior to combustion. The company has also demonstrated its investment in 3-D printing as a manufacturing tool through its use of 3-D-printed nozzles in its jet turbines and the announcement of its newest metal 3-D printer (see also: “The 3-D Printer That Could Finally Change Manufacturing”).

In the U.S., natural gas has been on an upswing at the expense of coal. Coal’s usage in the U.S. has declined 30 percent in the last five years. Natural gas is cheap and plentiful, making it hard for the coal industry to compete (see “Trump’s Empty Promise to Coal Country”). As gas turbines like the HA, which can accept gas and liquid fuels, become more energy efficient, it could be yet another nail in coal’s coffin.

Deep Dive

Uncategorized

Our best illustrations of 2022

Our artists’ thought-provoking, playful creations bring our stories to life, often saying more with an image than words ever could.

How CRISPR is making farmed animals bigger, stronger, and healthier

These gene-edited fish, pigs, and other animals could soon be on the menu.

The Download: the Saudi sci-fi megacity, and sleeping babies’ brains

This is today’s edition of The Download, our weekday newsletter that provides a daily dose of what’s going on in the world of technology. These exclusive satellite images show Saudi Arabia’s sci-fi megacity is well underway In early 2021, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia announced The Line: a “civilizational revolution” that would house up…

10 Breakthrough Technologies 2023

Every year, we pick the 10 technologies that matter the most right now. We look for advances that will have a big impact on our lives and break down why they matter.

Stay connected

Illustration by Rose Wong

Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review

Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.

Thank you for submitting your email!

Explore more newsletters

It looks like something went wrong.

We’re having trouble saving your preferences. Try refreshing this page and updating them one more time. If you continue to get this message, reach out to us at customer-service@technologyreview.com with a list of newsletters you’d like to receive.