A Short Flight for a Jet, A Giant Leap for a Jet Engine
GE – Over the last several weeks, crews at GE Aviation’s flight test base in Victorville, CA, at the edge of the Mojave Desert, installed a next-generation jet engine with ceramic components and 3-D printed parts to the wing of a modified Boeing 747, and readied it for its maiden flight.
The engine, called LEAP, successfully took to the skies on Monday (Oct 6).
There are three versions of the jet engine: the LEAP-1A for the new Airbus 320neo passenger jets, the LEAP-1B for Boeing’s 737MAX aircraft, and the LEAP-1C for China’s COMAC C919 planes.
The LEAP is the bestselling family of jet engines in GE history. CFM has received more than $100 billion in orders (U.S. list price) from airlines like United, Air Asia, American Airlines and easyJet. They will use them on single-aisle aircraft, the fastest growing market in commercial aviation. more> http://tinyurl.com/qzqsbqj
Posted in Business, Economy, Energy & emissions, Science, Technology, Transportation
Tagged Aviation, Business, Efficiency, GE, Jet engine, LEAP, Technology
Everything is Bigger in Texas, but These New Gas Turbines Up the Ante
GE – Harriet, whose real name is the 9HA, is the largest and most efficient gas turbine in the world.
GE spent more than $1 billion to develop the turbines. The company built a special testing center in Greenville, where engineers are currently putting the first Harriet through tests.
The turbine, which was manufactured at a GE plant in Belfort, France, is equipped with more than 3,000 sensors. They collect mechanical, temperature and exhaust data, and feed it to a brand new data-crunching center next door.
Under the hood, Harriet combines designs and materials originally developed by GE scientists for supersonic jet engines and other advanced technology. They include aerodynamic blades made from single-crystal alloys, thermal barrier coatings and ceramic matrix composites. Later generations of the turbine will also include 3D-printed parts. more> http://tinyurl.com/m2np8km
Posted in Business, Economy, Energy & emissions, Science, Technology, Transportation
Tagged Construction, Electrical equipment, Gas turbine, GE, Industrial economy, Manufacturing
The Century-Old Panama Canal is Opening Up to a Busy Future
GE – The Panama Canal is a full century old, but that doesn’t mean it still can’t grow. The 48-mile-long landmark that cuts across “the backbone of the Western Hemisphere” is going through the final year of a massive expansion. When work is completed in 2015, new locks will allow giant “New Panamax” class of container ships and supertankers through and boost the canal’s capacity by half.
In 1914, the canal used 500 GE motors to operate the locks, with 500 more installed elsewhere in the system. GE also built the power plants that provided the canal with electricity and designed the centralized control equipment for the locks.
One historian noted that GE “produced about half the electrical equipment needed during construction and virtually all of the permanent motors, relays, switches, wiring and generating equipment. They also built the original locks towing locomotives and all of the lighting.”
Those 40 electric towing locomotives were made in Schenectady, NY. Since ships were not permitted to pass through the locks under their own power, these “lock mules” rode on rails next to the canal and pulled them through the locks. Custom gears and electrical design allowed them to run as slow as 1 mph, the speed required for gently tugging large vessels. more> http://tinyurl.com/kuvm694
Posted in Business, Construction, Economic development, Economy, History, Nature, Science, Technology, Transportation
Tagged Construction, Electrical equipment, GE, History, Industrial economy, Manufacturing, Panama Canal
This Deconstructed Locomotive Will Power Nigeria’s Economy
GE – Nigeria has fast become Africa’s largest economy, but its infrastructure is still lagging.
The electrical grid is so unpredictable that many businesses use natural gas to produce their own power. That’s why GE engineers recently converted a powerful diesel engine from a locomotive into an efficient stationary power plant that can produce enough electricity to supply a factory, or 6,600 Nigerian homes.
The project was also an exercise in FastWorks, a set of tools and principles currently transforming GE culture into a leaner and faster company working close to customers. more> http://tinyurl.com/l9zvfj9
Posted in Business, Economic development, Economy, History, Science, Technology, Transportation
Tagged Diesel generator, Electrical grid, GE, Industrial economy, Locomotive, Manufacturing, Nigeria
Honey, I Shrunk the World: How Materials Scientists Made the Globe Smaller
GE – Composites are made from alternating layers of fiber and sheets of carbon, plastic or ceramics, kind of like industrial-grade baklava.
When joined together, composites can be tougher and lighter than steel or titanium. “This was a huge, expensive and risky project,” says Shridhar Nath, who leads the composites lab at GE Global Research. “We planned to replace titanium with what is essentially plastic. We were starting from scratch and we did not know how carbon fiber blades would respond to rain, hail, snow and sand, and the large forces inside the engine.”
The bet paid off and GE has, over time, invested billions more in materials science. The composites research delivered a new line of large, fuel efficient jet engines like the GE90 and GEnx, that changed the economics of aviation forever. “The engines essentially opened the globe up to incredibly efficient, twin-powered, wide-body planes,” says David Joyce, president and CEO of GE Aviation.
The latest engine in that family, the GE9X, will power Boeing’s next-generation 777X long-haul jets. Light-weight carbon composites allowed engineers to design an 11-foot fan that can suck a maelstrom of 8,000 pounds of air per second inside the engine. The air will flows into the combustor, where it meets parts made from ceramic matrix composites (CMCs), another breakthrough material developed by GE scientists.
Carbon fiber composites work with cold air at the front of the engine. But CMCs operate in the engine’s hot section, at temperatures where even metals grow soft. The extra heat gained by the ceramics gives the engine more energy to work with and makes it more efficient.
CMCs also have twice the strength and just a third of the weight of their metal counterparts. This allows designers to make parts from them thinner and much lighter, further reducing the weight of the engine. more> http://tinyurl.com/lt5wlnn
Posted in Business, Economic development, Economy, History, Product, Science, Technology, Transportation
Tagged Ceramic matrix composite, CMC, Composite material, GE, GEnx, Industrial economy, LEAP, Manufacturing, NASA
Das Instant Auto: Say Hallo to a Hot Rod Powered by Water
GE – The intriguingly named Quant e-Sportlimousine has been making a splash in Europe, where it was just approved for road use. The electric vehicle can go from 0 to 62 miles per hour in a ridiculous 2.8 seconds, reach a projected top speed of 217 mph, and has a range of 370 miles for one charge, according to its manufacturer, Liechtenstein-based NanoFlowCell AG. Oh, and it’s powered by a saltwater-filled battery.
Unlike traditional batteries, which use solid materials to store and release electricity, flow batteries use charged liquids kept in separate tanks. The charged liquids come into close proximity only during power generation, greatly reducing the possibility of fire. “The safety is much higher and the electrode materials degrade much less during service,” Dr. Grigorii Soloveichik says. “You can re-use them many, many times.”
Soloveichik says flow batteries could hold “tens of kilowatt-hours and up” of energy, since it is the size of the tanks that determines how much power the batteries can store. Besides cars, flow batteries could be used as backup power for commercial and residential systems, store electricity from renewable sources of energy, and also support the power grid. “They can store energy from wind, for example, so power companies can use it when they need it,” Soloveichik says. more> http://tinyurl.com/l5cuos2
Posted in Business, Economic development, Economy, Energy & emissions, Nature, Product, Regulations, Science, Technology, Transportation
Tagged Electric vehicle, Flow battery, GE, Industrial economy, Manufacturing, Quant e-Sportlimousine
Industrial Businesses Will Energize GE Brand’s Future Growth
GE – GE executives are saying that the company’s future brand value will be driven almost entirely by technology and industrial products. Units like the Appliances business, which GE just agreed to sell to Sweden’s Electrolux, already contribute only a small share to the company’s brand.
Distributed Power, which GE launched earlier this year, is helping electrify rapidly developing countries in Asia and Africa and transform the energy landscape by developing localized power generation and distribution systems. The quickly growing unit is already earning three times more money than GE’s entire Appliances unit.
The focus on technology, the Industrial Internet and “brilliant machines” represents return to GE’s industrial roots, but one on a global scale. It started out as an U.S. industrial company manufacturing everything from electric elevators, street cars,and power plants capable of producing power for entire neighborhoods to engine superchargers for the nascent aviation industry. It even electrified the Panama Canal, when it first opened for traffic in 1914.
GE’s century old Appliances business evolved in tandem with the spread of electricity and the electrical grid that GE pioneered. For many decades, GE was making both big dynamos for power plants as well as little motors for dishwashers and washing machines.
With growing global demand for power, clean water and energy, however, GE is quickly becoming a pure-play infrastructure and technology company with a financial arm focusing on financing big industrial projects. more> http://tinyurl.com/kcxfmx5