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Steam Turbine Efficiency

Steam Turbine Efficiency

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Published by: maidul.islam on Apr 16, 2012
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Improve Steam Turbine Efficiency 
Understand the factors that affect steam consumption
Steam are a major energy consumer. Optimising process operating conditions canconsiderably improve turbine water rate, which in turn will significantly reduceenergy requirement.
Various operating parameters affect condensing and backpressure turbine steam consumption and efficiency.
Why Important
The industrial sector is the largest energy consumer, accounting for about 30 % oftotal energy used. Fuel and energy prices are continuously rising.With the present trend of energy prices and scarcity of hydrocarbon resourceslowering energy requirement is a top priority. Energy conservation benefitsdepend on the adopting minor or major modifications and using the latesttechnology. Energy conservation does not mean curtailing energy use at the costof industrial and economic growth. In the large process industries, steam turbinesare the main energy consumers. Savings achieved here will be significant, with abetter return on investment than for most other equipment.
Effect of operating conditions on steam turbines
A condensing turbine system is shown in figure 1. Turbine exhaust operatingbelow atmosphere, is condensed in a shell and tube exchanger called surfacecondenser. Condensate flows in the shell side of the condenser and steam iscondensed by the cooling water. Vacuum in the surface condenser i.e. turbineexhaust vacuum is controlled/ maintained by vacuum ejector system of thesurface condenser.
 Turbine VentCondenserCWR CWRCWS CWSInter/after condenserBoiler Motive SteamBFW Pump
Figure 1 : Diagrammatic details of a condensing type turbineContd..2/-
-2-Turbines are designed for a particular operating conditions like steam inletpressure, steam inlet temperature and turbine exhaust pressure/ exhaust vacuum,which affects the performance of the turbines in a significant way. Variations inthese parameters affects the steam consumption in the turbines and also theturbine efficiency. Theoretical turbine efficiency is calculated as workdone by theturbine to the heat supplied to generate the steam. Efforts are made to show theimpact of various operating conditions by considering the following steamconditions as illustration.
Condensing Type turbineBack pressure type turbinSteam inlet pressure 
40 kg/cm2aSteam inlet pressure40 kg/cm2a
Steam inlet temperature 
350 deg CSteam inlettemperature350 deg C
Exhaust vacuum 
657 mm HgExhaust pressure4.5 kg/cm2a
Turbine rated BHP 
10000 HPTurbine rated BHP10000 HP
Steam consumption 
27785Steam consumption57960In the above referred turbines, 1 % reduction in steam consumption saves around$ 47000 annually for condensing turbines and around $ 84000 annually in backpressure turbine. LHV of the fuel for generating steam is considered as 10500kcal/kg and boiler efficiency is taken as 87 %. Effect of various operatingparameters is illustrated in the succeeding paragraphs.
2.1 Effect of Steam inlet pressure
Steam inlet pressure of the turbine also effects the turbine performance. All theturbines are designed for a specified steam inlet pressure. For obtaining thedesign efficiency, steam inlet pressure shall be maintained at design level.Lowering the steam inlet pressure will hampers the turbine efficiency and steamconsumption in the turbine will increase. Similarly at higher steam inlet pressureenergy available to run the turbine will be high, which in turn will reduce the steamconsumption in the turbine. Figure - 2a & 2b represents the effects of steam inletpressure on steam consumption and turbine efficiency respectively, keeping allother factors constant for the condensing type turbine.Contd..3/-
Steam pressure, kg/cm2
   S   t  e  a  m  c  o  n  s  u  m  p   t   i  o  n ,   %
Steam pressure, kg/cm2
   T  u  r   b   i  n  e  e   f   f   i  c   i  e  n  c  y ,   %
Fig 2a : Effect of steam pressure onsteam consumption in condensingtype turbineFig 2b : Effect of steam pressure onturbine efficiency
in condensingtype turbineFigure - 2a & 2b indicates that increase in steam inlet pressure by 1 kg/cm2 incondensing type turbine reduces the steam consumption in the turbine by about0.3 % and improves the turbine efficiency by about 0.1 % respectively.In case of back pressure type turbine increase in steam inlet pressure by 1 kg/cm2reduces the steam consumption in the turbine by about 0.7 % and improves theturbine efficiency by about 0.16 % as shown in figure - 3a & 3b . Improvement inback pressure type turbine is more than the condensing type turbine.
Steam pressure, kg/cm2a
   S   t  e  a  m  c  o  n  s  u  m  p   t   i  o  n ,   %
Steam pressure, kg/cm2a
   T  u  r   b   i  n  e  e   f   f   i  c   i  e  n  c  y ,   %
Fig 3a : Effect of steam pressure onsteam consumption in back pressuretype turbineFig 3b : Effect of steam pressureon turbine efficiency
in backpressure type turbineContd..4/-

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