Comment on what is GE's source of competitive advantage in the large turbine industry.
Early history[ edit ] Westinghouse has a long history in the industrial and electric power steam turbine industry dating back to the late s and early s. The steam turbine manufacturing plant in Lester, PA   was built in greatly expanding the company's manufacturing capacity.
Westinghouse history with gas turbines began in the early s with the contract signed in with the US Navy Bureau of Aeronautics to develop the first US-designed jet engine.
An outcome of this was the establishment in of the Aviation Gas Turbine Divisionwith headquarters in Kansas City, Kansas, until it closed in During the late s, Westinghouse began applying its gas turbine technology to industrial land-based prime movers.
It is entitled "Evolution of Heavy-Duty Power Generation and Industrial Gas Turbines in the United States"   and it also provides good summary of the Westinghouse gas turbine technology development through the mids.
The following compilation is based on information in that ASME paper as well as other sources as cited, and upon personal accounts of Westinghouse engineers who had direct experience or close connections to the material presented. The first application of the W21 in an industrial setting was in as a gas-compressor drive installed at the Mississippi River Fuel Corp.
Initial operation was on the Union Pacific Railroad burning distillate fuel oil. Later, operation was on the Pittsburgh and Lake Eire Railroad using residual oil fuel. The vast majority of the early applications of Westinghouse land-based gas turbines were for industrial mechanical drives in the petro-chemical industry, both in the US and abroad.
Large multiple orders were placed by pipeline companies looking for compressor drives to be placed at remote locations. But by the mids gas turbine power plants were becoming recognized as a practical alternative to steam turbine generators for certain applications, first for industry and later for electric utilities.
For industrial "total energy" applications, the important factor was that gas turbines, combined with heat recovery boilers, offered a higher power-to-steam ratio than the traditional back-pressure steam turbines used to supply both power and process steam.
So, gas turbines were put to use for combined heat and power by the petrochemical industry, working hand-in-hand with companies like Westinghouse, well before the word "cogeneration" entered the modern lingo some 30 years later.
Note is added here to acknowledge the pioneering work by Westinghouse in the unique application of a W installed at U. Steel works in Chicago The engine was used to drive a 12, scfm fan to blow air into a blast furnace, and the design requirement was to use blast furnace exhaust gas as its fuel.
The engine was modified so that all compressor discharge could be removed and fed to an external burner, from which products of combustion were returned to drive the turbine.
Pioneering power generation applications[ edit ] Westinghouse sought application of its gas turbine technology in the power generation industry, which, after all, was the primary focus of its business. If the gas-turbine side of the business was to grow and thrive, it had to find its way into the power generation sector.
That was followed by a second W81 in possibly based on a second source. Both units were used in continuous base load operation and the exhaust heat from the second unit was used to heat feed water for a steam boiler at the site. Init was integrated with a fired boiler to form a "combined cycle" gas and steam power generating system.
G.E. had a large competitive advantage in the large turbine industry for three primary reasons: better r&d and hence improved technology, a clear focus on larger, more technologically sophisticated units, and its status as a price leader in the market.
(Note the use F vs. WF, in deference to MHI, which to this day uses the Westinghouse model nomenclature for its large gas turbine products). The prototype F engine was built by MHI at its Takasago manufacturing and testing facilities. Describes the U.S. large turbine generator industry in early , a period of severe price cutting and depressed industry conditions.
Presents data to allow a structural analysis of the industry and an analysis of the strategies of the major players since The major teaching issue is the process of competitive rivalry in an oligopoly market, particularly the problems of deescalating in a.
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