German Power Plant Using 3D-Printed Parts

Published by , December 30, 2016 1:40 am

(  3D printed components by GE have been behind production of the Berlin-Mitte facility, a large power plant in Germany operated by Vattenfall. The plant is using 3D printed first-stage heat shields and first-stage vanes inside a single GE natural gas turbine. The parts each weigh around nine pounds, and according to information in GE Reports, they are the size of a laptop and allow the turbine to use less fuel and operate with greater efficiency.
Although many benefits are offered over traditional metal casting, the use of 3D printing is very important in that it means more complex geometries can be created with air passages for cooling. With nearly all 50 heat shields being made via 3D printing, Muller points out that they can reduce cooling by over 40 percent. 3D printed parts in the turbine’s first-stage vane also mean that the need for cooling air is reduced by 15 percent.

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