Supporting a wide range of applications

Water cooled condenser features and benefits

The surface condenser in a gas power plant is located directly downstream of the steam turbine. The steam flow from the turbine exhaust condenses on the outer surface of the condenser cooling tubes, while the cooling water flowing through the tubes absorbs the rejected heat. Being the cold end of the water steam cycle, the condenser directly influences the plant's overall heat rate.

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Surface condenser features

GE offers high-performance deaerating surface condensers for once-through and for cooling tower heat rejection systems. These water-cooled condensers support a wide range of steam turbine applications from small industrial scale to large utility scale units. As an experienced manufacturer of both steam turbines and condensers, we understand how assets must harmonize to achieve sustained high performance of the power plant cold end. Our water-cooled condensers are customized for each individual project and feature uncomplicated and robust construction in pre-assembled modules for ease of transport and installation at site.

In addition to heat rejection and deaeration of condensate and make-up water, our condensers provide numerous critical safety functions. A noteworthy example occurs in bypass mode operation, when full-flow desuperheated steam is admitted directly into the condenser, bypassing the steam turbines. This is a particularly demanding operational mode for any condenser, but GE’s surface condenser construction handles this case safely and efficiently, without operational or lifetime restrictions.

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Benefits of GE’s water-cooled condensers

Proven performance, high reliability: GE’s tube bundle has a 50-year track record of outstanding performance and reliability in both original installations and retrofits.

Highly efficient: The standardized tube bundles are scaled to help meet the needs of any combined-cycle gas power plant, regardless of size. Each bundle contains between 870 and 7,300 tubes.

Reduced costs: Floor-mounted axial or lateral condensers simplify construction of the turbine foundation and shorten civil work and erection durations. The condenser arrives on site in hydrotested and assembled modules for straightforward installation, with reduced on-site welding and clear and concise instructions.

Robust: Our condensers are built to handle turbine and steam generator overloads and variations in cooling water temperature. They are resistant to impingement erosion and tube vibration. GE engineers also carefully select tube and tubesheet material based on cooling water specifications.

Integration and interfaces: Every GE condenser is supported by accurate thermal and 3D models to facilitate engineering integration into the power plant of choice. We aim to ensure industry standard interfaces for piping, instrumentation and foundation supports. There are no proprietary or non-standard interfaces to contend with. The condenser is easily adapted for connection to any type of steam turbine.

Deaerating performance: GE’s condensers reach extremely low oxygen content in the condensate by efficiently deaerating make-up water without the need of external steam sources.

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Specifications

Performance, safety, and reliability

Take a closer look at our surface condensers.

  Cylindrical shell condensers Rectangular shell condensers
Power Range Up to approximately 50 MWe steam turbine output. From 50 MWe up to the largest steam turbine output.
Arrangement Downward, lateral or axial turbine exhaust Downward, lateral or axial turbine exhaust
Surface area 1,000 m2 (10,0800 ft2) up to 6,000 m2 (640,6000 ft2) 3,000 m2 (32,3000 ft2) up to 35,000 m2 (380,000 ft2) with single shell
Tube length Typical 5 to 14 m (16-46 ft) Up to 18 m (60 ft)