March 16, 2004
MIAMI, FLA. -- The natural progression is underway from installation, design and commissioning of GE gas turbines aboard cruise ships to cooperation with users to further enhance operations. GE is focusing its efforts on optimizing maintenance and improved system reliability, the company reported today at the Seatrade Cruise Shipping Convention.
"The use of gas turbines to power cruise ships was long in coming, so it seems fitting that the four years since the world's first gas turbine-powered cruise ship set out on its maiden voyage have gone by quickly," said Karl Matson, general manager of GE Marine. "Seventeen ships and 26 engines later, we have shifted from the newbuild phase to working with our customers to optimize overall system reliability and maintainability."
Celebrity Cruises' Millennium is the first cruise ship to use gas turbines. The ship made its maiden voyage in July 2000, powered by two GE LM2500+ gas turbine-generator sets in a COmbined Gas turbine and steam turbine integrated Electric drive System (COGES) configuration. This efficient and reliable system fulfills all propulsion and onboard power requirements for this 1,950-passenger vessel.
Since that time, an additional three Royal Caribbean International and three Celebrity Cruises ships, respectively -- Radiance of the Seas, Brilliance of the Seas, Serenade of the Seas, Infinity, Summit and Constellation -- have been operating using the same COGES arrangement (see Table 1 for an overview of the operating hours on each of these vessels).
Operating Hours For GE Gas Turbines Royal Caribbean International/Celebrity Cruises Ships
(as of December 2003)
Royal Caribbean International
Radiance of the Seas 32,000 hours
Brilliance of the Seas 18,000 hours
Serenade of the Seas 5,000 hours
Total for Royal Caribbean International Ships 55,000 hours
Millennium 46,000 hours
Infinity 36,000 hours
Summit 30,000 hours
Constellation 20,000 hours
Total for Celebrity Ships 132,000 hours
Grand Total 187,000
Reliability Fleet Data
As witnessed by the operating hours accumulated on this fleet of cruise ships, GE has moved from the new-build phase to operational optimization of the reliability and maintainability of these gas turbines and their packages.
Through a comprehensive program with Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises, GE monitored various components of the gas turbine packages over a 16-month period (August 2002 through November 2003) to plot fleet reliability data. Fourteen gas turbine-generator sets that had accumulated a total of approximately 91,000 operating hours were monitored.
Improvements made to date as a result of the monitoring efforts have substantially increased subsystems' reliability. They include:
- Replacement of miscellaneous oil hoses;
- Additional instrumented monitoring to provide increased real-time system health verification;
- Replacement of miscellaneous cabling installations to increase open-circuit, short-circuit and earth-fault protection; and
- Validation and enhancement of software tunable settings to improve plant operation and reliability.
Further reliability improvements for these installations are being considered. In addition, process improvements are under consideration (e.g. frequency of fuel metering valve calibration and on-line fuel filter change-out procedures).
GE, Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises will continue to act on lessons learned to optimize operation and maintenance.
Other Cruise Projects
What follows is a summary of other cruise projects that use GE gas turbines for propulsion and onboard power generation.
- Cunard Line: The Queen Mary 2 -- the world's largest transatlantic liner -- made its maiden voyage in mid-January 2004 powered by two GE LM2500+ aeroderivative gas turbine-generator sets used in a COmbined Diesel And Gas (CODAG) propulsion system with four diesel generator-sets. This project also marks a milestone for GE, as the LM2500+ gensets are being used for the first time in a 'dual gas turbine' installation on a cruise ship in a CODAG arrangement. The powerful LM2500+ gas turbine engines enable the ship to meet its maximum speed of 30 knots. Each gas turbine-generator set contributes 25 megawatts to the ship's overall 118 megawatts of installed power. Power produced in this electric drive configuration is used for propulsion as well as onboard power.
- Holland America: One LM2500 gas turbine-generator set, used in a CODAG configuration with five diesel-generator sets, is operating aboard three Holland America ships - Zuiderdam (December 2002), Oosterdam (June 2003) and Westerdam (April 2004). A fourth ship is under construction at Fincantieri in Italy. The gas turbines on the Zuiderdam and Oosterdam have accumulated a total of 700 operating hours.
- Princess Cruises: One GE LM2500+ gas turbine-generator set in a CODAG configuration with either two or four diesel-generator sets are operating aboard three new ships, Coral Princess (January 2003), Island Princess (July 2003) and Diamond Princess (February 2004). The Sapphire Princess, which also uses GE gas turbines in a CODAG arrangement, will make her maiden voyage in May 2004. The gas turbines aboard the Coral Princess and Island Princess have accumulated more than 10,000 hours in operation.
The aeroderivative gas turbines for all the cruise ship applications mentioned above were manufactured at GE Marine's Evendale, Ohio facility; the generator sets were packaged by GE Energy in Houston, Texas.
GE Energy is one of the world's leading suppliers of power generation technology, energy services and management systems with 2002 revenues of nearly $23 billion. Based in Atlanta, Georgia, GE Energy provides equipment, service and management solutions across the power generation, oil and gas, distributed power and energy rental industries.
GE Marine is a division of GE Transportation of the General Electric Company (NYSE: GE). GE Marine -- one of the world's leading manufacturers of marine products -- manufactures gas turbines (6,000 to 57,300 shaft horsepower), medium speed diesels (1,600 to 4,000 shaft horsepower), and main reduction gearing for marine and diesel-electric industrial applications.