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GE’s Super-Efficient Jenbacher Gas Engines Bring Energy Independence and Economic Opportunities to French Greenhouses


08 Jun 2011



-GE’s Two-Stage Turbocharged J624 Jenbacher Gas Engine is Ideal for Combined Heat and Power Applications such as Needed in Greenhouses Providing More Than 90 Percent Overall Efficiency

 -Grower Serres Vinet Installs the First Jenbacher Two-Stage Turbocharged Units in France, Gains Flexibility in Fuel Sources and the Opportunity to Generate Revenue in the Winter Months

 -Another Greenhouse Operator Adopts the Technology as Well

MILAN, ITALY—June 8, 2011—Since the beginning of the year, two of GE’s (NYSE: GE) flexible, high-output and efficient Jenbacher J624 two-stage turbocharged gas engines have enabled French grower Serres Vinet to generate all of the hot water and electricity required for its extensive tomato and lettuce greenhouse operations in Machecoul, in the Loire-Atlantique region. These are the first two-stage turbocharged gas engines in France, and they are the heart of two cogeneration plants powering Serres Vinet’s existing greenhouse operations plus a recent 17-hectare (42-acre) expansion. GE presented the innovative installation this week at the POWER-GEN Europe show in Milan.

The units with GE’s ecomagination-approved combined heat and power solution complement a 13-megawatt (MW) wood biomass-fired boiler and a 20-MW gas boiler and give Serres Vinet the flexibility to switch among electrical energy, thermal energy and fuel sources as economics dictate. Thereby, this allows the customer to generate revenue during the winter months by selling electricity into the public power grid.

Their performance has been so impressive that Forclum, GE’s customer on this project and a unit of Eiffage S.A. involved with engineering, procurement and construction, has purchased two additional units from GE and distributor and service provider Clarke Energy France. They will be delivered to another French grower’s greenhouse operations.

“The efficiency, flexibility and reliability of these two-stage turbocharged gas engines since they were commissioned in January are outstanding,” said Gilles Marguerat, director of the power production department at Forclum. “We view GE’s Jenbacher gas engines as a powerful tool we can offer our customers to help them gain energy independence and flexibility in operations.”

No other gas engine manufacturer currently offers such a super-efficient two-stage turbocharged unit. Each Jenbacher J624 engine offers about 4.4 MW of electrical output and 4,014-kilowatts (kW) of thermal output at 44.4 percent el efficiency and 47 percent thermal efficiency. The units at Serres Vinet operate on natural gas and are key to the ability to configure Serres Vinet’s cogeneration plants to achieve an overall energy efficiency of more than 90 percent, with NOx emissions continuously below 350mg/Nm³. GE also has provided the control systems.

“At GE, we view our job as supplying customers with the tools and solutions they need to solve problems while capitalizing on opportunities,” said Rafael Santana, president and CEO—gas engines for GE Power & Water. “Agriculture is one of the most competitive industries in the world, and these engines are a powerful enhancement of Forclum’s ability to give Serres Vinet, other French growers and other types of customers leading-edge solutions that will serve them well into the future.”

Many of GE’s Jenbacher products are ecomagination approved, providing customers with products that improve their operating performance and reduce environmental impact. Ecomagination is GE’s business strategy to help meet customers’ demand for products that improve their bottom line and reduce their impact on the environment. This also will drive growth for GE that delivers for its investors. Ecomagination reflects GE’s commitment to invest in a future that creates innovative solutions to environmental challenges. From 2010 to 2015, GE has committed to: doubling R&D to $ 10 billion; growing ecomagination revenues twice as fast as overall company revenue; reducing GE’s energy intensity 50 percent; reducing water consumption 25 percent; and inspiring a competitive energy future.


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