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GE Gas Power announced $4.2 million in federal funding for two projects aimed at supporting the development of new gas turbine technologies.

The funding comes from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) OPEN 2021 program to promote new approaches to clean energy challenges. In February 2022, ARPA-E announced $175 million for 68 OPEN 2021 research and development projects.

GE’s two projects are “Lifted-flame combustion for high-hydrogen reheat gas turbines” and “Manufacturing high-yield investment castings with minimal energy.” Both initiatives will be conducted at GE’s Global Technology Center in Greenville, South Carolina.

As part of these projects, GE will conduct cutting-edge research for gas turbine decarbonization in close collaboration with industrial companies and educational institutions.

Lifted-flame combustion for high-hydrogen reheat gas turbines

In this project GE would investigate a lifted-flame combustion approach for advanced gas turbine engines powered by mixtures of natural gas and hydrogen. The company says further gains in combined cycle efficiency are likely to be incremental without game-changing technical and operating cycle advances.

GE says the new technology and research aim to break the current, materials-limited upper bound efficiency barrier for new gas turbines, targeting net plant efficiencies of 67% or greater on a wide range of fuel compositions.

“Our goal of increasing gas turbine combined cycle plant efficiency by 5 or more percentage points in the next decade will position GE’s technology to help lead the energy transition,” said Jeffrey Goldmeer, Emergent Technologies Director for Decarbonization at GE Gas Power.

The foundational testing of the technology would be conducted at the Atlanta-based Georgia Institute for Technology. The project would be executed in South Carolina.

Manufacturing high-yield investment castings with minimal energy

This project would develop and combine key elements of casting technology, including an innovative furnace development and 3D printed additive ceramic mold technologies the company says would fundamentally change the production of high-value metal components for gas turbines.

The new system could produce cast parts using up to 90% less energy than traditional methods, as well as provide improved quality, consistency, and yield, all at lower cost.

GE plans to develop this solution along with DDM Systems, a company known for the precision investment castings of complex engineered components.

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