New Component Manufacturing Furthers Efficiency Improvement for Siemens Gas Turbines

Mon May 13, 2013 9:15am EDT

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New Component Manufacturing Furthers Efficiency Improvement for Siemens Gas Turbines

  • New facility for manufacturing innovative airfoil components in the U.S.
  • Increased efficiency possible e.g. in F- and H-performance classes
  • License agreement with Mikro Systems Inc. for advanced technology

Siemens Energy has recently opened a facility in Charlottesville, Virginia for the innovative commercial production of airfoil ceramic cores for gas turbine blades and vanes using the TOMOSM technology, initially developed by Mikro Systems, Inc. The advancements are expected to improve the cooling capability of gas turbine blading, thus enabling higher levels of engine performance and efficiency for future Siemens Gas Turbines. This technology is available to Siemens as a part of the Technology License agreement with Mikro Systems.

With support from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), Mikro Systems was funded via Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grants. Mikro Systems and Siemens Energy partnered to develop the application of its patented Tomo-Lithographic Molding (TOMOSM) manufacturing technology to a range of gas turbine components.

“Through our licensing agreement with Mikro Systems, we are developing for commercial application the TOMOSM technology that is good for the environment as well as for our customers’ budgets,” said Randy Zwirn, president and CEO of Siemens Energy, Inc. and CEO of the Energy Service Division. “It provides us with a game changing enabling technology to further boost our current world record for combined cycle efficiency of almost 61 percent to even higher levels.” Through retrofitting, the new technology can also be applied for improving the efficiency of power plants already in operation.

“Over the past few years, we’ve begun developing advanced components based on our TOMOSM technology. Through our successful collaboration with Siemens, our technology will be responsible for tremendous progress in blade manufacturing,” states Mike Appleby, CEO and founder of Mikro Systems.

“Fundamentally, this manufacturing technology opens the airfoil design space in ways thought unfeasible only a few years ago,” said Thierry Toupin, CEO of the Products Business Unit of the Fossil Power Generation Division of Siemens Energy. “As such, it represents a critical tool in Siemens’ clean energy product development efforts.”

Gas turbines, which are used to produce power for industrial, utility, and aerospace applications, consist sequentially of compressor, combustor, and turbine sections. Incoming air is compressed to a high pressure state in the compressor section, and heated to high temperature via the combustion of fuel in the combustor section. The high-temperature, high-pressure gas is then expanded through a series of rotor-mounted airfoils in the turbine section, converting the gas’ energy into mechanical work. Therefore, improved airfoil designs which can tolerate higher gas temperatures and use less cooling air, result in the highest level of efficiency in natural gas turbine energy production.

For further information on Siemens H-Class gas turbine, please see www.siemens.com/gasturbines
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The Siemens Energy Sector is the world’s leading supplier of a broad spectrum of products, services and solutions for power generation in thermal power plants and using renewables, power transmission in grids and for the extraction, processing and transport of oil and gas. In fiscal 2012 (ended September 30), the Energy Sector had revenues of EUR27.5 billion and received new orders totaling approximately EUR26.9 billion and posted a profit of EUR2.2 billion. On September 30, 2012, the Energy Sector had a work force of almost 86,000. Further information is available at: www.siemens.com/energy.

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