The efficiency of gas turbines is increasing rapidly via more refined modeling of precise aerodynamic “super finish” design, greater firing temperatures, and better capabilities of heat transfer. In combined cycle mode, the net efficiency offered by H-class gas turbines to the power plants is no less than 61%. This has also marked the huge amount of rising inefficiency from the older E-class versions. The level of efficiency offered by E-class gas turbines is 50% and for F-class it’s 55%. To know why H-class gas turbines are more flexible and efficient in operation, visit – mdaturbines.com.
Higher efficiency requires more sophisticated filtration
The H-class gas turbines offer a speedy ramp rate and start-up capabilities. They ensure greater turndown and a much more affordable spinning reserve. They offer lower operating costs and greater fuel efficiency. However, all these features can be availed and enjoyed long-only via careful protection. Therefore, rudimentary filtration is mandatory. This will protect these gas turbines from the damage created by large particles of the inlet airflow. Also, for most of the turbines, filtration is enough for lifelong protection.
However, higher is the efficiency of the gas turbine, higher will be the necessity of undergoing a sophisticated filtration procedure because this will not only protect the performance of the gas turbine, but also its power output, and life. Therefore, a new extraordinary level of protection is necessary to maintain their excellent efficiency.
The 3D printing methods allow more optimized and elaborate blades with true 3D profiles, changed the placement of the cooling passages, and also advance aerodynamics. There are some other advanced design features such as the enhanced design of the components of the hot gas path. This would help to reduce stress gradients and temperature. Also, improved coatings of thermal barrier, and upgraded air cooling flow. The superalloys and the fine-tuning of these gas turbines ask for more rigorous protection from the damage and fouling that the finer contaminants and particulates in the inlet airflow can result in.
Gas turbines produce a much higher amount of power than the previous turbines. Therefore, a small compromise in the effectiveness of filtration can cause huge expenses. If only pressure drop is considered as damage, for a 300 MW gas turbine, this can cause $150,000 dollars of yearly revenue. For 510 MW gas turbines, the revenue loss can be $255,000 dollar.
Moreover, improper filtration reduces the power outputs of the gas turbines as the contaminants alter the aerodynamics of the turbine as they adhere to the rotator blades. Therefore, having the proper filtration solution is mandatory for the better performance of the turbine. It would also result in optimized profitability, lowered maintenance cost, reduced requirement of offline washes, and improved availability. All these features would ensure an increased return on the investments.
Actions required for sophisticated maintenance of the advanced gas turbines
For the proper maintenance of the advanced gas turbines unique installation is mandatory. Moreover, advanced filtration designs should be implemented considering the environmental factors associated with the plant. These factors include –
- Where the installation is taking place
- If the area experiences regular fog events or high humidity.
- The levels of sand or dust in the area
- If there are any nearby building works or industrial settings because that can increase the amount of dust in the airflow.
The air consumed by the large gas turbines is huge in volume. Therefore, contaminants like sand, salt, and dust can result in corrosion, pitting, and fouling of the stators, buckets, and blades, which in turn would cause lowered efficiency of the gas turbine. Also, for the appropriate filter selection and filter house design, some weather conditions such as fog, snow, rain, and mist are also required to be considered.
Moreover, the filters must be cleaned and changed when required to ensure the uninterrupted function of the gas turbine. However, this process will depend on the stage of filtration, installed filter elements, and design of the filter house.
Methods of measuring the performance of filtration
The measuring is done on the basis of heart rate and level of output of the gas turbine. The filtration solution is worth its expenses because of its ability to protect the efficiency of the gas turbine, reduce its maintenance overheads, and also prolong the turbine life.
Filters are particularly designed to protect the advanced performance of the gas turbine. These lab-tested procedures have affordable installation costs and would ensure an optimized life of the gas turbines by removing all categories of contaminants. Therefore, the filters ensure proper maintenance and efficient availability of the gas turbines.
With the rapid increase in efficiencies, the necessity of installing an advanced filtration system is also reaching new levels. However, fitting the wring filtration system may result in a reduced lifecycle of the gas turbine and may lead to higher power output losses. Hence, well-planned measures are necessary while installing a filtration system.