Raising the bar on coal plant efficiency

Can GE deliver the highest efficiency for my coal power plant?

YES. From the smallest, most compact USC technologies to the most advanced ultra super-critical (AUSC) technologies available, GE has efficient solutions for your steam power plant—all supported with the latest digital capabilities to help deliver better performance, greater efficiencies, and improved reliability, all at a lower cost.

When it comes to the efficiency of a coal power plant, it all comes down to the pressure and temperature of the steam entering the turbine: The higher the pressure and temperature, the higher the efficiency and the lower the CO2 emissions. At GE Steam Power, we have been continuing to push the limits of our steam technologies to make them even more efficient.

Pioneering ultra-supercritical steam technology


High efficiency

The most efficient USC technology in the world today can help plants deliver up to 47.5% net efficiency rates—significantly higher than the global average of 34%. Each percentage point improvement in efficiency significantly reduces CO2 emissions from coal power plants by over 2 percentage points, resulting in 26% less CO2 per MW than the average coal plant. Combined with advanced emission controls equipment that can remove local pollutants such as NOx, SO2, and particulate matter, GE’s USC coal power plant can deliver more power with a lower environmental impact.

For the past 100 years GE has been a leader in cleaner coal technology, driving the industry from supercritical to ultra-supercritical technologies. GE's Steam Power has installed 30% of the world’s steam turbine capacity, 30% of the world’s coal and oil-fired boilers. As a leader in USC coal-fired plants, GE continues to push the limits of our best-in-class steam technology.

Advanced ultra-supercritical technology (SteamH)

GE is first-to-market with advanced ultra-supercritical (AUSC) technology, and we’re calling it SteamH. GE’s SteamH combines the world’s leading steam plant technology operating at advanced ultra-supercritical conditions with digital power plant software powered by Predix. The result? Our customers are achieving the highest possible efficiency, lowest emissions, and most value over the life of their steam plant.


The SteamH portfolio

The SteamH scope of supply covers a broad range of capacity and configurations to meet customer needs, from individual components to full turnkey plants, between 600 - 1,100 MW in size. This advanced steam plant technology is based on GE's proven ultra-supercritical design with key components upgraded. The SteamH portfolio also includes a complete air quality control systems offerings.


Driving towards 50% efficiency

With the advanced ultra-supercritical power of SteamH, GE can deliver more than 15 percentage points of additional efficiency beyond the global average installed base–driving customers towards 50% efficiency. SteamH pushes the physical limits of GE’s proven advanced USC technology with higher steam parameters (reaching 650 ºC), higher efficiency rates, and the best materials that have been proven through more than 30,000 hours of testing in operational ultra-supercritical power plants.

Real-time data

Bringing together the physical and digital

When steam plants are operating in grid demand mode, they are required to ramp-up faster and more often than they were originally designed to—making real-time monitoring especially important. We have paired our industry-leading USC and AUSC steam technology with GE’s digital capabilities powered by Predix to deliver better performance, greater efficiencies, and improved reliability—all at a lower cost.

By monitoring and analyzing data from more than 10,000 sensor inputs across the plant, GE’s Digital Power Plant for Steam helps plant operators make smarter decisions about how to run their plants. When our digital steam plant solutions are added, the numbers only get more impressive. You can increase operational efficiency up to 1.5% over the life of the plant, reduce CO2 emissions by 3%, and allow for 5% less unplanned downtime … adding up to $50M in net present value over the life of the plant.

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Customer stories

RDK8 (Germany): The world’s most efficient coal power plant

EnBW, a German electricity company, needed more power generation capacity to replace existing older fossil-fired power plants and nuclear power plants that are scheduled to be shut down in the coming years. To provide the best value to its customers and minimize the environmental impact of its activity, EnBW needed the most efficient solution, and that is exactly what GE delivered. The RDK8 steam power plant at the Rheinhafen-Dampfkraftwerk electrical generation facility in Karlsruhe, Germany, has achieved a 47.5% net thermal efficiency while producing 919 MW of electricity. Today, RDK8 is the world’s most efficient coal-fired steam power plant.

47.5% net

thermal efficiency


Pingshan II by Huaibei Shenergy Power Generation

Huaibei Shenergy Power Generation Co. Ltd. is the first company to select the most efficient steam boiler technology in the world with steam temperature operating at advanced ultra-supercritical level (630 °Celsius) for their power plant Pingshan II. In partnership with Shanghai Electric, GE will manufacture the key components of the boiler including burner, water wall, superheaters and reheaters, directly from its largest and world’s most advanced manufacturing technologies boiler factory—Wuhan Boiler.

630 °Celsius

advanced ultra-supercritical level


Manjung 4 (Malaysia): Rising to the challenge

Malaysia’s energy demand will almost double by 2040, with coal becoming the primary fuel in the country’s energy mix. TNB Janamanjung is leading the way as the operator of the region’s first ultra-supercritical power plant. GE answered TNB’s call by taking the lead on the construction of Manjung 4, as well as its power equipment. GE supplied the full EPC for the 1,010 MW net ultra-supercritical coal power plant, including its boiler, steam turbine, generator, and complete set of Air Quality Control Systems.

1,010 MW net

ultra-supercritical coal power plant

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