GE Jenbacher

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GE Jenbacher GmbH & Co. OHG
Type GmbH & Co. OHG
Industry Cogeneration, peaking power plants, biogas energy, mine gas management
Predecessor(s) Jenbacher Werke AG
Founded 1959
Headquarters Jenbach, Austria
Products Reciprocating engines, generator sets
Website jenbacher.com

GE Power & Water manufactures Jenbacher gas engines and cogeneration modules in the Austrian town of Jenbach in the Tyrol. It is part of their Distributed Energy portfolio of products and is one of their gas engine technologies; the other being Waukesha Engines. Jenbacher emerged from the former Jenbacher Werke, which was founded in 1959 and manufactured gas and diesel engines, and locomotives. The company was bought out by General Electric in 2003 and was renamed GE Jenbacher GmbH & Co. OHG.

History[edit]

Company building in Jenbach.

Although the company itself has a relatively short history, its origins go far back. In 1487, a mine and foundry was founded by the Fugger family. In 1657, all Fugger properties in Tyrol were taken over by the state. Due to exhaustion of the copper- and silver deposits, the mine changed focus to iron. In 1909, the mine ran out of iron as well, and after a boom during the First World War only the foundry was left. The company was acquired by Julius and Theodor Reitlinger in 1881. At the beginning of World War II, all of Tyrol was seized and Aryanized, and the company was to 'work for the benefit of the country'. The plant made brake pads for the Deutsche Reichsbahn, and from 1939 they made aeroplane parts and rocket motors for Heinkel. After the collapse at the end of the Second World War the factory was placed under public administration. It had to be converted to civilian production, and started out with cookware, but also started with the repair of railway wagons.

Because of the availability of appropriate specialists and skilled workers, it was decided to concentrate on the production of diesel engines. The first product was a 15 hp two-stroke engine, which was very successful and was manufactured in large quantities. This was followed by more two-stroke and four stroke models of engine. The JW 15, 8 TO 15 Hp; the JW20, 15 to 20 Hp; and the JW20M, the same engine,but with inertial mass damping to counteract the vibrations of the single cylinder. The company was now pushed to develop generators, compressors and pumps of the same quality.

In 1959 the company was constituted as Jenbacher Werke AG, the main shareholders being CA with 35% and Mannesmann with 26%, the rest being free float. The CA increased its share steadily and after the purchase of Mannesmann's share through the CA-controlled Andritz AG they acquired a vast majority of the share capital. In 1979 1,550 people were employed at the plant.In 1988 the majority of the company was acquired by Auricon Beteiligungs AG.[1] In 1991 it was organized into the Jenbacher Energy Systems AG (JES) and the Jenbacher Transport Systems Ltd. (JTS) divisions. In the same year, JTS acquired 29.9% of the British company Telfos Holding, which gave the company an influence on Ganz-Hunslet, the former Hungarian locomotive works Ganz-MÁVAG.[2] On December 12, 1991, JTS attained majority share capital of Telfos,[3] and bought out General Electric's remaining share in 1993.[4] In 1997, Jenbacher attempted to enter the tram market with help from AEG through a Jenbacher daughter company called Integral Verkehrstechnik AG Jenbach. Integral lost over 22 million Euros from 1997 to 2001, and led to the sale of the Jenbacher rail car division to Connex.[5] In 1998 Jenbacher started its successful relationship with Clarke Energy which is now one of its largest gas engine distributors,[6] The remaining gas engine-energy division was acquired by General Electric in 2003.[7]

Rail cars[edit]

Jenbacher's railway activities started in 1945, when they started performing repairs of rolling stock for the French occupation forces.[8] In 1949, they started making diesel engines, power cars, trucks and compressors powered by the aforementioned engines.[8] In addition, they made rail cars for the Austrian Federal Railways and other railroad companies.

Jenbacher Werke designated their locomotives according to a system derived from the type of power transmission, approximate performance, wheel arrangement or application and the operating weight. The ÖBB series 2060 was therefore the work designation DH200B28. The other models carried the name JW.[8] The Railway engineering department was taken over by Molinari Rail.

Company profile and products[edit]

A Jenbacher gas engine running on biogas (bio-methane) in Güssing, Austria

GE Jenbacher currently specializes in lean burn gas engines, including cogeneration plants and containerized power generator sets utilizing said gas engines. Jenbacher began producing gas engines in 1957.

Jenbacher's main facility still resides in Jenbach in Austria, and employs over 1400 workers. Jenbacher manufactures the gas engines from the ground-up at this facility, including in-house crankshafts. Jenbacher also maintains regional engine assembly plants in Hangzhou, China, and Veresegyház in Hungary.

Jenbacher gas engines are exclusively Otto cycle units with industrial grade spark plugs providing ignition. Smaller models utilize stoichiometric combustion, while the larger engines are lean burn engines with prechamber ignition.

Jenbacher engines run on natural gas, landfill gas, sewage gas, biogas, mine gas, coal gas and syngas. Due to this flexibility they are often used in applications where gas would normally be flared off or released into the atmosphere, to turn waste into energy. Methane has a much higher global warming potential than CO2,[9] and it is therefore interesting for operators to burn gas in engines instead of releasing it into the atmosphere.

Jenbacher J920[edit]

The Jenbacher J920 is Jenbacher's newest product, a V20 gas engine delivering up to 9.5MW.[10] When it is put into production it will be the most efficient gas engine available with an electrical efficiency of 48.7%,[11] and a combined heat and power thermal efficiency of over 90%.

The J920 uses Miller cycle valve timing and two-stage turbocharging, along with a 'three-module' construction consisting of the engine itself, the electrical generator and the turbocharging unit consisting of both turbochargers and charge air coolers along with intake and exhaust piping and bypass valves. In common with most current marine diesel engines, the J920 has a segmented camshaft, along with combining individual cylinder heads, the cylinder liner, piston and connecting rod into one easily removable modular 'power unit' for ease of maintenance and overhaul.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Literature[edit]

  • Franz Mathis: Big Business in Österreich. Verlag für Geschicht und Politik, Wien 1986, ISBN 3-7028-0256-8
  • Sepp Tezak: Die Jenbacher Werke. In: Schienenverkehr aktuell. 1988/4, S. 12
  • Helmut Petrovitsch: Lokomotiven aus Tirol. Chronik des Schienenfahrzeugbaues der Jenbacher Werke AG. In: Schienenverkehr aktuell. 1987/12 – 1990/6 (20 Teile)

External links[edit]