Contaminants Cause Complications on Gas Turbines

Use of fuels outside the advised specifications can result in increased maintenance requirements or premature component failure.

By Mike Welch and Brian Igoe, Siemens, for our sister publication Plant Services

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Modern highly efficient gas turbines rely on high-quality alloys to allow increased firing temperatures to be achieved, while still maintaining acceptable product life. To ensure this is achieved, far more attention on the composition of the fluids, from all sources, entering the gas turbine is necessary, including air, lubricating oil, and fuels. Gas turbines can and do use a wide range of gaseous and liquid fuels. Fuel quality and storage both have fundamental requirements that must be addressed.

All gas-turbine OEMs provide comprehensive specifications covering the fuel quality permitted for use in the gas turbine. These are used to ensure fuel quality is defined at the onset of a project and throughout the lifetime of the turbine and are prepared for good reason — to ensure acceptable turbine operation is achieved with little or no impact on major turbine component life. It is necessary therefore to understand the fuel composition and the supply conditions in more detail so that measures can be taken to minimize the impact of any constituents of the fuel gas or the contaminants contained within it. Identification of contamination has become particularly necessary as this can have a detrimental impact on exotic materials used in turbine blading. In some instances, constituents of and contaminants within the fuel can impact combustion emissions, whether the turbine is fitted with a diffusion flame or a dry low emissions combustor.

Read the rest of this article from our sister publication Plant Services.

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