by investments in new power plants as well in upgrading exist-ing power infrastructures.In 2008, the electric utility company in Saudi Arabia (SEC)produced 178 430 GWh of energy, of which 79 130 GWh (44.3%)was produced by simple cycle combustion turbines, 15 131 GWh(8.5%) was produced by combined cycle combustion turbines, 81770 GWh (45.8%) was produced by steam turbines, and 2399 GWh(1.3%) was produced by diesel engines. The ef
ciency of combustion turbines (CT) decreases with increased inlet-airtemperature, which means that as air-conditioning demandincreases, the abilityof the turbines tomeetthe demanddecreases.Experience with simple cycle CT in the central Qaseem region of Saudi Arabia showed that high midday ambient temperaturesduringthesummercancausea24%decreaseinsystemcapacity.Toovercomethisproblem,SEChastwomajoroptions;theymayeither continue along the expensive route of installing new CT thatare only used during peak periods, or they may take an alternativerouteandcooltheairpriortoenteringtheCT.Throughanextensivereview of relevant literature, this paper examines the variouscombustion turbine inlet air cooling technology (CTIAC) optionsopen to SEC, and identi
es their key bene
ts and drawbacks inrelation to the environmental conditions and generational require-ments of Saudi Arabia.
2. Combustion turbine technologies
Combustion turbines used for electric power production aremanufactured in two basic sizes: industrial turbines and aero-derivative turbines. Industrial CT, usually referred to as single-shaftheavy-duty CT, have typical generating capacities ranging from 20MW to at least 130 MW, and operate with dual-fuel units usingnatural gasordistillate oil. A schematicof an industrialCT is showninFig. 2. Aero-derivative turbines (sometimes referred to asmediumCT)aremodi
edaircraftengineturbines,typicallyrangingfrom 500 kW to at least 40 MW, normally operate with natural gasfuel only, and serve the needs of pipelines and industrial markets. Production capacities of both types of turbines are rated by theInternational Standards Organization (ISO), who specify thefollowingairinletconditions:airtemperature15
F),relativehumidity 60%, and absolute pressure (sea-level) 101.325 kPa (14.7psia) at a power factorof0.9.However, conditionssuch asthese arerarely experienced in Saudi Arabia, especially during the summer.Combustion turbines operate in the open
thermody-namic cycle. As the ambient fresh air enters the CT chamber, itpasses through a compressor which causes its pressure to increaserapidly. Fuel is then injected into the high-pressure air and ignited.The combustion products
ow into the turbine and produce thework that is used to drive the generator shaft and so generateelectricity.Partofthegeneratedworkisalsousedtodrivetheinitialstage compressor. Usually, as the hot mixture (
C) leaves theturbine,it passes througha heat-recoverygenerator to recover partof its wasted heat; it is then released to the atmosphere.Combustion turbines are constant-volume engines for whichshaft power output is nearly proportional to the combustion airmass
ow at base load.At base load, the magnitude of mass
ow rateof airentering theCT determines its production capacity. Higher combustion air mass
ow rates increase the capacity of the turbines while alsoincreasing the fuel mass
ow rate. However, the increase in fuelmass
ow rate is smaller than the increase in power output, andheat rates (the ratio of fuel input rate to power produced) decreaseat the higher air mass
ow rates. Newly designed CT operate atlower air
ow rates per unit of power produced. The lower
owrates decrease the cooling requirement for CTIAC systems andtherefore increase the net bene
t. Capacity increases, however,may be restricted by the maximum capacity of the CT, themaximum generator kVA rating, or lube oil cooling limitations.Fig. 3depicts the theoretical relation between the temperatureof the inlet air, and CT power, heat rate and exhaust temperature.The difference between the ISO standard conditions of 15
C,mayresultina20%dropinCToutput power, whereas, if the inlet air to the CT was cooled to 4
C during these peak periods, a 27% increase may be observed.A decrease in air temperature entering the CT, may lead not only toa capacity enhancement, but an improvement in heat rate, anextension in turbine life, an increase in combustion turbine ef
-ciency, and a delay in requiring additional generation capacity.
3. Review of combustion turbine inlet air-cooling technologies
rst application of combustion turbine inlet air cooling(CTIAC) was a direct air conditioning system for a plant in BattleCreek, Michigan (USA) in 1987
88, and the second was an off-peakice harvester system in Lincoln, Nebraska (USA) in 1992.Although it is theoretically possible for gas turbines to reach ef
-ciencies as high as 65%, open-cycle, most simple open-cycleturbines are about 40% ef
cient. Increases in ef
ciency can beachieved in a number ways including reducing internal losses,increasing inlet temperatures, recycling waste heat from gas
Schematic drawing of an industrial combustion turbine and its major compo-nents.
Electric power consumption for the King Abdulaziz City for Science and Tech-nology complex for Aug 22nd, 1998.
A.M. Al-Ibrahim, A. Varnham / Applied Thermal Engineering 30 (2010) 1879