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South African Projects Highlight Onsite Power

Posted on March 31, 2011

GE has received two power plant orders from South African companies. MTN Group, a multinational telecommunications group, is using GE Jenabcher engines for a self-sustaining power plant, and ABSA Bank’s Tower West complex has installed GE’s natural gas technology.

MTN’s self-sustaining natural gas-driven, trigeneration plant features two of GE’s Jenbacher J320 gas-powered generating sets, with an electrical output of 1063 kW and a thermal output of about 1.2 MW each. Trigeneration refers to the burning of a fuel for electricity, heating and cooling. GE’s generating sets achieve approximately 40% efficiency for electricity generation by using the methane-rich natural gas. The waste exhaust gas energy is transferred to water via a heat exchanger and then through lithium bromide absorption chillers, providing the chilled water to the air-handling units. Those units then supply the cool air for the IT equipment, offering up to 85% overall combined electrical and thermal efficiency on fuel, said GE. Hot water also is sent via a second pass heat exchanger to provide general hot water for the remainder of the building, which brings the total efficiency of the plant up to 85.1%.

ABSA’s cogeneration plant is powered by four of GE’s Jenbacher J620 natural gas powered generating sets, with an overall electrical output of about 12 MW and thermal output of about 5.5 MW. The gas power generation and heat recovery station is designed to operate in parallel with the city power grid to reduce the demand of the ABSA Towers Complex during peak periods, as well as to provide standby power during power outages.

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