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Covering basic theory, components, installation, maintenance, manufacturing, regulation and industry developments, Gas Turbines: A Handbook of Air, Sea and Land Applications is a broad-based introductory reference designed to give you the knowledge needed to succeed in the gas turbine industry, land, sea and air applications.

Providing the big picture view that other detailed, data-focused resources lack, this book has a strong focus on the information needed to effectively decision-make and plan gas turbine system use for particular applications, taking into consideration not only operational requirements but long-term life-cycle costs in upkeep, repair and future use.

With concise, easily digestible overviews of all important theoretical bases and a practical focus throughout, Gas Turbines is an ideal handbook for those new to the field or in the early stages of their career, as well as more experienced engineers looking for a reliable, one-stop reference that covers the breadth of the field.

Covers installation, maintenance, manufacturer's specifications, performance criteria and future trends, offering a rounded view of the area that takes in technical detail as well as well as industry economics and outlook Updated with the latest industry developments, including new emission and efficiency regulations and their impact on gas turbine technology Over 300 pages of new/revised content, including new sections on microturbines, non-conventional fuel sources for microturbines, emissions, major developments in aircraft engines, use of coal gas and superheated steam, and new case histories throughout highlighting component improvements in all systems and sub-systems. 
Published: Elsevier Science an imprint of Elsevier Books Reference on
ISBN: 9780124104853
List price: $149.95
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Gas Turbines

A Handbook of Air, Land and Sea Applications

Second Edition

Claire Soares

Table of Contents

Cover image

Title page



Preface 2014

Preface 2008

Introduction, 2nd Edition

Introduction, 1st Edition


Notes to the Reader

About the Author

Chapter 1. Gas Turbines: An Introduction and Applications


Gas Turbines on Land

Aeroengine Gas Turbines

Gas Turbines at Sea

Gas Turbines: Details of Individual Applications

Chapter 2. Historical Development of the Gas Turbine


Early History of the Gas Turbines

Principles of Jet Propulsion

The Gas Turbine Global Fleet: Model Designation and Production Prognosis as of 2013–2022

Gas Turbine Global Fleet: Model Designation and Production as of May 2006

Chapter 3. Gas Turbine Configurations and Heat Cycles


Gas Turbine Configurations

Gas Turbine Cycles: Summarized Theory and Economics

Case Study 1: An End-User/EPC Contractor’s Experience with Some of the OEMs’ Latest Gas Turbine Models in Power Generation Service

Case Study 2: An OEM's Development of a Gas Turbine The SGT6-5000F (Formerly Known as W501F) Engine

Case Study 3: Operational Experience with Large Advanced Gas Turbines in Variable Load Conditions

Appendix 3A: Steam Turbine Power Plant Theory Applicable to Combined Cycle and ‘Solo’ (as Competition to Gas Turbine Cycle) Operation

Chapter 4. Gas Turbine Major Components and Modules


Economics Dictates Design

Gas Turbine Engine Modules

Chapter 5. Cooling and Load Bearing Systems


Internal Air System


An Operator’s Perspective on Turbine Oil Selection

Chapter 6. Inlets, Exhausts, and Noise Suppression


Gas Turbine Inlet Air Filtration

Case Study 1: A Test Case of Two- vs. Three-Phase Filtration

Gas Turbine Exhausts

Gas Turbine Noise Suppression

Sound Fundamental Concepts

Measuring Tonal Noise Sources

Case Study 2: The Use of Sound Intensity Measurement

Case Study 3: Comparison of Noise on Two Nominally Identical Production Machines

Acoustic Design of Lightweight Gas Turbine Enclosures

Chapter 7. Gas Turbine Fuel Systems and Fuels


Basic Gas Turbine Fuel System

Gas Turbine Fuels

Fuel and Fuel Oil Properties

Unconventional Fuels

Fuel Treatment Hardware

Case Study 1: A Residual Bunker Fuel Case Study (Metro Manila, Limay Bataan Combined Cycle)

Case Study 2: Autoignition Characteristics of Gaseous Fuels at Representative Gas Turbine Conditions

Case Study 3: From Concept to Commercial Operation—Tri-Fuel Injector Used for LPG and Naphtha Applications

Case Study 4: Multi-Fuel Concept of the Siemens 3A-Gas Turbine Series

Case Study 5: Use of Blast Furnace Gas to Fuel 300 MW CC Plant

Case Study 6: Biodiesel as an Alternative Fuel in Siemens Dle Combustors - Atmospheric and High Pressure Rig Testing

Chapter 8. Accessory Systems


Accessory Drives

Starting and Ignition Systems

Ice Protection Systems

Hot Air System

Fire Protection Systems

Water Injection Systems

Systems Unique to Aircraft Engine Applications

Systems Unique to Land or Marine Applications

Chapter 9. Controls, Instrumentation, and Diagnostics (CID)


System Scope and Selection for Gas Turbines

Which Parameters on What Applications

Basic Controls and Instrumentation (C&I) on GT Systems

Principles and Functions of a Control System

Components of a Control System

Aeroengine Control Systems

Marine C&I Systems

Typical C&I System, Land-Based (Power Generation)

Significant Advances in Controls Instrumentation and Diagnostics Technology

Case Study 1: A Survey of New Technologies Used by Siemens Energy for the Monitoring and Diagnosis of a Global Fleet of Power Generation Systems

Case Study 2: Pulsation Analysis: New Techniques and Their Limitations

Case Study 3: Performance and C&I System Verification with Modeling

Chapter 10. Performance, Performance Testing, and Performance Optimization



Case Study 1: The W501G Testing and Validation in the Siemens Westinghouse Advanced Turbine Systems Program

Case Study 2: A Systems Approach to Hot Section Component Life Management

Case Study 3: Strategies for Integration of Advanced Gas and Steam Turbines in Power Generation Applications

Case Study 4: A Study on the Life Cycle Impact of Steam Injection

Case Study 5: Augmentation of Gas Turbine Power Output by Steam Injection

Case Study 6: Integrating Gas Turbines in Power and Cogeneration Applications

Case Study 7: An Integrated Combined-Cycle Plant Design that Provides Fast Start Capability at Base-Load

Case Study 8: Challenges in the Design of High Load Cycling Operation for Combined-Cycle Power Plants

Chapter 11. Gaseous Emissions and the Environment


Gaseous Emissions

Effects of Emissions on Aircraft Gas Turbine Engines

Carbon Dioxide Sequestration

Case Study 1: The Capture, Storage, and Utilization of Carbon Dioxide by Statoil

Appendix 11A: Emissions Legislation

References for Section 3.1

Emissions Permits [11-1]

Chapter 12. Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul


Operating and Maintenance Strategies


Maintenance Information Systems

Audits of and Retrofits with GT Components and Systems

Changing Legislative Requirements

Retrofits Aimed at Operational Optimization

Performance Analysis

Assessing Audit Findings

Major Repair and Overhaul Case Studies

Chapter 13. Installation


Installation of Aircraft Engines

Energy, (Power Generation), and Marine Installations

Installation of Land-Based and Marine Engines

Chapter 14. The Business of Gas Turbines


Contemporary Business Climate



Shifting Target Data during Project Development, Negotiation, and New Model Introduction

Market Assessment Risk

Plant Siting

Design Development and Operational Assessment by Both OEMs and End Users

Case Study 1: Enhancing Reliability and Reducing O&M Expenditures in Advanced Combined Cycle Gas Turbine Power Plants

Case Study 2: How Close Is the Measured Performance to the True Output and Heat Rate? The Proof Is in the Testing!

Case Study 3: Comparative Evaluation of Power Plants with Regard to Technical, Ecological and Economical Aspects

Chapter 15. Manufacturing, Materials, and Metallurgy


Basic Manufacture


Optimizing Gas Turbines with Manufacturing Technology

Chapter 16. Microturbines, Fuel Cells, and Hybrid Systems



Fuel Cells

Applications and Case Studies

Case Study 1: Microbial Fuel Cells (MFC)

Case Study 2: PEM Fuel Cells (FCs) on Naval Submarines

Case Study 3: Microturbine in a CHP Application

Case Study 4: A Fuel Cell Application

Case Study 5: Tubular Solid Oxide Fuel Cell/Gas Turbine Hybrid Cycle Power Systems

Case Study 6: A Turbogenerator for a Fuel Cell/Gas Turbine Hybrid Power Plant

Chapter 17. Training and Education


Industry Training

Case Study 1: OEM Project Application Engineers Training

Training Programs within Academia

Case Study 2: Industry Supported Multimedia Aeroengine Design Case

Case Study 3: Theoretical Calculations Compared with Actual Cogeneration Plant

Case Study 4: Undergraduate Engine Design Program

Mission Analysis

Case Study 5: Gas Turbine University Laboratory Study

Case Study 6: OEM Working with Several Universities on Gas Turbine Prototype Development

Chapter 18. Future Trends in the Gas Turbine Industry


Some Newer Technologies

Future Business Trends

Positioning with Respect to Technology

Using Technology to Advantage

Environmental International Caucuses

OEM Changing Fortunes

End-User Associations

Distributed Power: How Large Does a Power Plant Need to Be?

The Power Mix

Chapter 19. Basic Design Theory


Operational Envelope

Properties and Charts for Dry Air, Combustion Products, and Other Working Fluids

Case Study 1: Prediction Effects of Mass-Transfer Cooling on the Blade-Row Efficiency of Turbine Airfoils

Case Study 2: Advanced Technology Engine Supportability: Preliminary Designer’s Challenge

Chapter 20. Additional References and Appendix for Unit Conversion

Additional General References

Some Specific References

Pressure and Stress




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To all my engineering friends, including but not limited to: the late Jim Hartsel, Dave Wisler, Dick Greenland, Stan Nathanson, the late Jim Pugh, John Russell, Peter McDermott, Graham Reynolds, Bob Kobierski, John Allingham, Roy Cleaver, and Fred Geitner. You taught and encouraged me.

To the dozens of men who appeared on the annual ASME IGTI conference panel sessions (1985 through 2003) on Engine Condition Monitoring Systems as They Relate to Life Extension of Gas Turbine Components. The vision I gained from working with all of you is the basis for much of this book.

To Dr. D. Brian Spalding who got my career started. A better start, no engineer could have.

To Heinz Bloch who asked me to coauthor my first book.

To my family and friends, for all your patience. Thank you for just being there.

To the gas turbine engines in my life, especially IAE’s V2500 My lady V.

The measure of a man is the friends he keeps.


Preface 2014

In the years since I assembled the first edition of this book, gas turbine hardware remains, in principle, as it was then. True, a few major manufacturers have developed and released their J-category technology and with this come the refinements in metallurgy and design that help the J machines achieve their rating. OEMs get cleverer with exploring waste fluids for fuel, substituting fluids in case of disasters like earthquakes (air instead of water for cooling), and a myriad of other adaptations. With aviation and marine applications, there are refinements and improvements as always, but the gas turbine itself stays the same in operating principles.

It’s the world in which the gas turbines operate that has changed, not always for the better. I made scant if any mention of the two wars that the United States waged in the 2008 first edition preface, the consequences on the world of that activity and the abysmal economy that started during the 43rd president of the United States’ tenure, thinking all that couldn’t last much longer. Clearly, I’m an optimist. Clearly, I was wrong.

Even the major original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) that were smart enough to survive years of a bad economy and emerge relatively unscathed, had to lose valuable people and expertise in the process. Some OEMs are still reorganizing and acquiring divisions of smaller competitors. Many smaller players and even related industries have gone under. For instance, about ten years ago, the turboexpander was a small but thriving turbomachinery category. Due to the specialized metallurgy it had to develop to handle corrosive or cryogenic fluids, it could have contributed much to gas turbine systems technology. Besides, a turboexpander often used what would have otherwise been a wasted stream of by-product fluid to develop power. Today the few remaining players in the turboexpander business have had to amalgamate and/or downsize to stay alive.

The wars in the Middle East breathed new life into the excess and used machinery business. When restructuring Iraq, for instance, the U.S. development teams would buy out-of-date gas turbine packages that may have had layers of dust on them to put them to use. This was more expedient than ordering new systems.

The wars also shifted attention and development funds to the development of weaponry, surveillance, and other defense electronic systems. World Wars I and II had seen the emergence of the jet engine because of necessity. This then led to the establishment of the peacetime gas turbine business. No similar steep development curve for gas turbine engines came with the Iraq (2003 to 2011) and the Afghanistan (2001 to -) wars.

Since money has been short, gas turbine owners are keener to keep what they already own. This is responsible for some of this second edition’s updates, but relatively little material has been removed from the first edition. The latter’s information is all still relevant. Even in cases where there has been development (like with the J size gas turbines), it is still useful to note the development work that preceded earlier developments. An engine fleet’s history is often a major clue in determining overhaul and fleet management strategy. Consider as well, that in the developing world, many countries still keep the archaic models that came with communism’s or colonialism’s original overlords.

Global evidence of climate change has increased dramatically in the last decade, causing the United States to step up its drive to promote renewables and increase efficiency in fossil-fueled power plants. It is clear that fossil fuels will be around for another half century at least. The smart grid that promotes the integration of renewables into the power mix is now being constructed in some locations and then the rest of the world will have to catch up. While still not bending a knee to emissions protocols that were accepted globally, the United States is clearly keen on reducing its emissions and is stepping up incentives and legislation in that vein. Repowering (replacing steam turbines with gas turbine combined cycles or even replacing steam turbine coal fuel with gas fuel) is on the increase. The increased availability of gas due to the fracking movement is in part responsible. Since fracking may sometimes be handled by small, ruthless contractors who cut corners and create environmental hazards, fracking has a bad name with the public. If properly regulated and using the technology as it was designed, fracking need not be a nuisance. Further mass increases in drilling will cause seismic unrest below ground that can have consequences of its own, outside of the fracking process.

As a result, gas turbine and gas turbine system developments that favor component life extension, repairability, increased efficiency, fuel flexibility, derating and uprating, working in a hybrid system, better grid distribution, and a host of other items that affect cost of ownership, feature prominently in this second edition. It is clearly a different world than that in which the first edition emerged less than a decade ago. We ought to consider adapting.

The good news is that the gas turbine itself, fuel variations (with different IGCC cycles and experiments with new fuels) notwithstanding, is now a well-developed and relatively predictable beast. When OEMs develop newer models (like the J machines and their CC packages), they do so around a reliable core, albeit with refinements in design, manufacturing, and sometimes performance testing. Some of my OEM friends chuckle at the reduced level of gas turbine expertise among end-users (although there are always exceptions), but quite apart from the growth of power-by-the-hour and similar contracts, the end-user engineer can often get by with knowing less than one had to, two or more decades ago. One friend who retired from a major OEM went back to teach young gas turbine design engineers there and commented that the new engineer workforce would never get to do work as challenging and interesting as those who started their careers anywhere between 1965 and 1985. When I teach courses in industry, I observe that he is frequently right. I also see a trend among engineers and their management wanting material presented in more visual, easier to assimilate teaching formats. My media hobby skills have grown into a set of media resources in case the client requests animations, and digital videos versus static displays, in courses they order.

Does the gas turbine still offer the potential for reduced costs per fired hour? Certainly. Fossil fuels are alive and well and will be in use (although the renewable mix will increase thanks to smart grids and other factors) past the life span of anyone alive today. Refinements with respect to fuel technologies, repair and overhaul, metallurgy, environmental strategy, and emissions economies shall all continue. Emissions taxation and credits will increasingly affect our lives. Coal as syngas will continue to be refined as a gas turbine fuel. Hence this second edition.

Preface 2008

The current models of aviation engines on transpacific flights develop about 90,000 pounds of thrust, power generation gas turbines have broken the 450 megawatt gas turbine barrier, and gas turbines are now being used on cruise ships. Gas turbines have come a long way since my first meeting with them. At that point over thirty years ago, we waited a day for the casing on an old 20 kilowatt Brown Boveri to cool sufficiently for us to be lowered by rope harness into the intake for an inspection.

Most end users do not part easily with their old workhorses, so many of them are still around. The Rolls Royce Avon fleet on the Alaska pipeline, the huge number of globally installed General Electric Frame 5s (the original version, not the newly introduced model), the myriad of Solar Centaurs and Saturns everywhere in the world that needed just about 3,000 or 1,000 horses for a pipeline or oil and gas application, the many models of Pratt and Whitney’s JT8D that still make up one of the world’s largest commercial aircraft engine fleet. They work reliably, if inefficiently by today’s standards, surrounded by a work force that can often hear the slightest whimper of distress from their machine—often because they rarely hear one. To some extent, these turbines owe their longevity to the continual design development in the form of service bulletins, decreed mandatory or optional by their manufacturers. I use quotation marks, as sometimes there are manufacturers who have used the mandatory label as a means of upgrading end-user fleets for their own revenue extension. Rather than actual end-user power requirements, the OEM’s motivation was to lower the number of configurations that required a stock of spares, and other profit-motivated objectives. And then other times, as with the JT8D, the bulletins developed took a generic 9,000 pound thrust engine, born in the 1950s to just under 20,000 pounds thrust by the 1980s with one of the most enviable safety records for a gas turbine fleet. Many land based gas turbines, like the old GE Frame 5 have a proven record of specific steam injection designs raising their power output by 20–25%.

There are many types of basic applications of gas turbines. There are land, sea, and air gas turbines. On land, there are power generation and mechanical drive gas turbines. In aviation, there are large commercial, high-performance military, mid-range commercial, small fixed-wing, and helicopter engines, maintained to commercial or military specifications. At sea, there are large vessel turbines and smaller ferry turbines. There are offshore applications that must incorporate the sturdiness associated with land use turbines, with the light weight associated with aviation applications, with the corrosion resistance associated with marine applications.

There are many types of engineers who are fortunate enough to work with gas turbines. There are end users and OEMs (original equipment manufacturers). Gas turbine specialists and turbomachinery specialists who work on all rotating machinery. Overall systems and project engineers. And manufacturer design specialists who will work on one major turbine component all of their working lives.

There is an indefinable quality about gas turbines that favors those that who somehow develop an instinct for them, regardless of working years spent or formal education accumulated. I have watched humble mechanics point the way for befuddled technical gurus. There are brilliant design engineers who can miss a misalignment source that a millwright can spot blindfolded. There are some engineers who can actually troubleshoot a practical problem, and others who can’t.

With gas turbines, there are systems design and specification, commissioning, troubleshooting, failure analysis, retrofit and reengineering, training, technical writing, design development, repair and overhaul, fleet management, and regular operations functions. I have been singularly fortunate in that I have run that entire gauntlet back and forth in power generation, oil and gas, process, military aviation, and commercial aviation on three different continents. No credit to my astuteness: the state of the world kept moving me on (politics is a good thing sometimes).

One flash of discernment, however, did make it possible for me to hold all of that exposure together not just as a cohesive whole, but one where all sectors could gain from each other. Then in the Canadian Air Force, I was about to take on all the six helicopter engine fleets the Canadian military branches flew. The presentation before me at the 1984 annual American Society of Mechanical Engineers International Gas Turbine Institute meeting (ASME IGTI’s TurboExpo) featured an offshore oil and gas man who was displaying the control panel that ruled a platform. In Canada, we had just piggybacked on the US F-18 fighter program with a few of the same. The F-18’s F-404 General Electric engine had a condition monitoring system that was, to say the least, intriguing. It occurred to me that the panel displayed on the screen was very similar to the one on the HUD (head up display) of the F-18.

And so a joint ASME IGTI session that I ran annually from 1985 through 2003, patiently assisted by luminaries like Jim Hartsel (one of the General Electric turbine engineers most responsible for the superior performance of the F-404 and the T700), was born. The committee sponsors included the Aircraft Engine, Controls, Instrumentation & Diagnostics; Materials, Metallurgy & Manufacturing; Marine, and Electric Utilities committees. The idea is to get land, sea, and air people to learn from each others’ experiences. It works. The panel has hosted some of the best brains from commercial and military aviation, power generation, oil and gas, manufacturing, process and petrochemical, performance analysis, marine applications, metallurgical development, and controls instrumentation and diagnostics. Those attendees who are fortunate enough to show up have benefited enormously. It has given aspects of my work a rare flair that is attributable to the company I have been blessed to keep.

This book represents much of the expertise in the gas turbine field available today. It is 80–90% adapted and edited from many brilliant sources and about 10% is original writing. That latter portion serves to give the reader a point of reference that they can measure the extent of their agreement—or disagreement—against. It’s practice for when you have to make decisions that your underwriters, insurance company, and mechanics may challenge. The book avoids the just-one-application bias (say, just mechanical drive or just power generation or just aviation or just plain theory) that all other gas turbine books I know of adopt.

Gas turbine engineers in all sectors, disciplines, and specialties, who looked at the draft, have told me they found its contents useful. Just as importantly, they gleaned information from others’ applications. So besides imparting applications and basic design knowledge, this book is meant to get readers to think across disciplines, across land, sea, and air to the heart of this demanding, powerful, and infinitely variable mistress—the gas turbine.

Introduction, 2nd Edition

In this second edition, the single largest factor that is responsible for added material is technology that accommodates a wider range of fuels and fuel parameters in gas turbines (GTs) and gas turbine (including steam turbine) cycles. GTs are now on the verge of adopting coal as a fuel, as syngas in an integrated gasification combustion cycle (IGCC). Novel fuel technology has been around for decades, sometimes out of sheer necessity (as far back as the RAF using bunker fuel instead of light diesel during the Falklands war), but it’s the degree of expanding success in this vein that is noteworthy. Some GTs can handle biomass. Others have been modified to burn low BTU process gas or waste fuels.

The size of the GT powerplant has been steadily growing. A GTCC is not quite in the size league of the largest steam plants yet, but it’s growing.

The world has been on a roller coaster economy for about two decades now. The aviation business has been hard hit. GT owners are keener to keep their GT components for longer than their stated lives and their GTs for even longer. Overhaul and repair, as well as performance optimization, continue to develop.

In the last decade, the gas industry forges ahead with fracking. This drops the price of gas dramatically, making the development of IGCC technologies less vital, but politics, labor markets, and low gas resources in many poorer countries insist that coal as a fuel (in GTs or otherwise) must continue to develop. Emissions concerns prompt the development of carbon capture and sequestration. Carbon emissions can be turned around as carbon credits and then traded or taxed.

Technology is now accessible enough that power can be made in ever smaller distributed packages: microturbines, with or without fuel cells, solar, wind, wave, tide generators, hybrids of all of them, some of which include small (micro) gas turbines. Ironically, even as small users develop options with respect to their own energy independence, large power continues to grow. Metallurgy improves to accommodate ultra supercritical steam, not just supercritical steam, helping coal rich countries with no gas, to avoid paying heavy premiums for imported oil and LNG: thus the steam turbine business continues to rival the gas turbine sector.

Support technologies like smart grids and smart materials play their part. New grid technology helps renewables become a contender, albeit smaller than fossil fuel plants. Smart materials will slowly transform manufacture.

At last, there is widespread recognition, even among stubborn politicians, that emissions need to be mitigated, so carbon-capture and sequestration updates are a larger part of this second edition. This is one of the strongest areas of international cooperation, within the EU, in the Americas and Asia and increasingly, across everyone’s oceans. Reduced emissions generally also mean not just maximized fuel efficiency, but longer times between overhauls. That was not always a connection made by all.

Introduction, 1st Edition

In the gas turbine world, it is essential for all industry sectors to learn from each other. Despite how expensive reinventing the wheel might be, this does not happen enough or sufficiently.

The extent to which it does happen, however, is owed largely to the inception of the aeroderivative gas turbine engine. In part fostered by the offshore industry’s need for a lighter-than-industrial-engine-frame, OEMs (original engine manufacturers) took specific aircraft engines and placed them on a light, strong, and flexible base. Some of industry’s largest fleets are aeroderivative. The land-based Rolls Royce RB211, Trent, and Avon all had mothers who fly (or flew). A General Electric CF6-80C2 eventually produced an LM2500 on the ground. In fact the metallurgy of contemporary General Electric Frame 7 and 9 engines is quite similar to that used for the CF6 mature models. The Rolls Royce Olympus and Spey that are used so effectively in marine, offshore, and conventional land-based applications have aero roots.

The logic for the panel that I discussed in the Preface continues. When the General Electric first released their F404 engine triple redundancy architecture was relatively new to industrial users. It is now commonplace in modern power plants.

The concept of a cycle of gas turbine life used versus a calendar hour evolved from realizing that the leader of an aerobatics squadron might only develop 1/20 of the wear on his engines, as compared with the engines of his followers who have to hunt and follow a specific distance from his wings. Algorithm development uses the parameters of time, temperature, and speed essentially, to calculate cycles. Unless the engine is among specific models of Rolls Royce that can use just time and speed parameters for the most part. Additional cooling may cost in some ways but pays off in others. Land based users slowly caught on with experimental work on how much a stop and start to a conventional industrial machine (such as an original General Electric Frame 5) versus a much smaller workhorse (such as a Solar Centaur) was worth.

Profit margins are directly affected by how quickly different sectors can learn from each other. The sheer size of GE’s aviation CF680C2 fleet and their land-based LM2500 fleet (the stimulus of GE’s unparalleled financing program notwithstanding) can attest to that. As can the sizes of the Rolls Royce RB211 (land and air fleets). As can the success of the Alstom (once ABB) GT35 both on land and at sea.

Note also that as personnel and technology travel across national boundaries, proprietary technical innovations follow them. The wide chord fan blade is an acknowledged Rolls Royce first. It was an enviable one as its performance attributes, both in terms of aerodynamic performance and bird (FOD or foreign object damage) chopping ability, verified. The latter rang the bell at 24 pounds of bird (a vulture over the Indian Air approach in Calcutta). In fairly short order, the wide chord fan blade has appeared on other OEM’s models, albeit with different internals.

Gas turbines and their development are plagued with the whims and dips of global finance and politics. Rarely do all sectors have the development money required for their progress at the same time. Military aviation engines may have large budgets at a time when funds in the land-based sector are scarce. In times of peace, certain military engine development programs may be totally suspended. In more recent wars, the priority with military engines may shift from performance to longevity.

The end-user parameter throws the OEM a variable and sometimes exasperating curve. Not all end users are as astute as they’d like to believe. Many of them shoot from the hip with unfortunate brainwaves. Even when OEMs phase out a model by refusing to service it, some less affluent user generally salvages it, illegally or otherwise. The fact that they might not know the meaning of terms like not under the stress endurance curve or hydrogen embrittlement does not stop some from midnight raids on the scrap heaps of legitimate shops.

That brings us to the buyer beware issue. I have spent a little space discussing cases that books rarely touch, such as the case where 5 JT8Ds were sold to a hapless U.S. courier service by a trusted U.S. ally that claimed the engines had undergone ESV2 (major overhaul complete status). The engines were missing significant components such as inner air seals on the low-pressure turbine. The diffuser cases (that have to hold significant pressure) had cracks long enough in them that they should have been scrapped. Zero-timed overhaul may thus be a function of who’s making that claim.

One way the end user can get leverage with OEMs is by joining an end-user group: a lobby of sorts. This is discussed in some detail in Chapters 14 and 17. In the mechanical drive land-based world, one former group that did this was called the Gas Turbine Users Association. It was the strength of this forum that persuaded a major manufacturer of 3,000 and 1,000 horsepower turbines to back off obliging many end users who had no use for a specific service bulletin to adopt it or void warranty. It was similar users’ strength in numbers that had Rolls Royce developing cycle use algorithms for the major hot section components in their Spey and Olympus models, which gave the end user a hefty additional lease of life.

In the power generation world, each major model has its own end-user group. Alstom’s (formerly ABB) GT11N group will meet separately from the Alstom GT24 group and so forth. Here the division between end user and OEM can get blurred. Many OEMs now own large shares of power stations. Or they may participate in BOOT (build, own, operate, transfer) contracts. Another notable advance is that oil and gas giants are now entering the independent power generation business. Exxon-Mobil, Chevron, and Shell are among those who have moved in a big way on the opportunity to build their own power plants, to whom their refineries and gas fields could then sell their own fuel. I say in a big way. When dictated by demographics, oil companies have always made their own power. I cut my power generation teeth at the first Syncrude tarsands project that has always sold excess power back to the public grid.

In military aviation, there are CIP (component improvement meetings). In my military chopper days, I recall a number of CIPs with the U.S. Coastguard most in attendance. In terms of mandate and mission profile, the Canadian helicopter fleets (Army, Navy, and Air Force) most commonly resemble the U.S. Coast Guard for search and rescue and smuggling/drug enforcement patrols. In fact, some of those profiles might sometimes be more demanding than conventional military operations impose.

And so to get maximum benefit for this book, although you might scour the index for mention of your model, the more useful stuff you learn may be from applications that run 40,000 feet higher—or lower—than yours. Or a wartime pressed version of your aeroengine at sea that had to use heavier fuel than the manufacturer specified. Or a power generation version of your mechanical drive application whose end users happen to have a great deal more budget for financing new repair development or performance analysis system development.

OEM design development that also considers the results from these meetings may include optimized controls and diagnostics (Chapter 9), performance methods (Chapter 10), environmental strategy (Chapter 11), repair and overhaul (Chapter 12), improved testing and installation (Chapter 13), business methods (Chapter 14), and manufacture (Chapter 15). Chapter 19 deals with the design and calculation strategy used by OEMs. The chapter on education also deals with OEM and agency participation in gas turbine educational programs.

Hybrid systems (Chapter 16) are taking on a larger profile for energy conservation and other reasons: combined cycle power generation for instance. Fuel cells and microturbines are proving to have their place, independently and in combination with more conventional machinery.

The book contains detailed discussion of all gas turbine components (Chapters 1 and 2) and elements of a gas turbine system including instrumentation, monitors, filters, and other accessories (Chapters 3 through 8). Specific landmark and case histories on interesting contemporary applications in plants have also been included.


ABB Asea Brown Boveri

ABRT Accreditation Board of Engineering and Technology

AC ammonium carbonate

ACC active clearance control

ADC adjusted direct cooling

ADH advanced diffusion healing

AI Artificial intelligence

AIC adjusted indirect cooling

AMB active magnetic bearings

AOH Actual Operating Hours

APS Arizona Public Service's

APU Auxiliary Power Units

ARC Albany Research Center

ASME American Society of Mechanical Engineers

ASU air separation unit

ATF Altitude Test Facility

ATS Advanced Turbine System

AVA Aerodynamische Versuchs-Anstalt

AVT All-Volatile Equipment

BAT best available technology

BFO blended fuel oil

BOOT build, own, operate, transfer

BOP balance of plant

BOV blow-off valves

BP booster pump

BPST Back-Pressure Steam Turbine

BVM Blade Vibration Monitor

CAS close air support

CC Combined-Cycle Power Plan

CCPP combined cycle power plant

CDA controlled diffusion airfoils

CE Coulombic efficiency

CEC Community Environmental Council

CEM continuous emission monitoring

CF cycle fatigue

CFCC continuous fiber reinforced ceramic composites

CFD computational fluid dynamic

CHP Combined Heat and Power Plant

CMC ceramic matrix composite

CMM coordinate measurement machine

CMS condition monitoring system

CO carbon monoxide

COD chemical oxygen demand

COG Coke Oven Gas

CP Constant Pressure

CPP captive power plant

CPUC California Public Utilities Commission

CSP concentrating solar power

CV Constant Volume

DCS Distributed Control System

DDA direct drive alternator

DENR Department of Environment and Natural Resources

DLE Dry Low Emissions

DLN dry low NOx

DOE The US Department of Energy

DS directionally solidification

DSS Daily Start and Stop

EAM electronics assembly module

EC engineering criteria

ECMS Engine Condition Monitoring Systems

EEL Exxon Energy Limited

EGAT Electrical Generating Authority of Thailand

EGR Exhaust Gas Recirculation

EGT European Gas Turbine

EIA Energy Information Administration

EOH equivalent operating hours

EOH equivalent operating hours

EPA engine performance analysis

EPC Engineering, Procurement, and Construction

EPDC Electric Power Development Co.

EPEC Existing Plants, Emissions & Capture

ESR effective structural repair

ESS engine section stator

ETATH Thermal efficiency for shaft power engines

ETN European Turbine network

FADEC full-authority digital engine controls

FBH front bearing housing

FCCU fluid catalytic cracking units

FCFC full coverage film cooling

FGD flue gas desulfurization

FHV fuel heating value

FIC fixed indirect cooling

FOCM Fiber Optic Communication Module

FOG Finex Oven Gas

FOVM Fiber Optic Vibration Monitor

FPA fuel purchase agreement

FT Fischer-Tropsch

GE General Electric's

GEAE General Electric Aircraft Engine

GG gas generator

GM General Motors


GTCU gas turbine change unit

GTUA Gas Turbine Users Association

HAP hazardous air pollutants

HAT humid air turbine

HCF high-cycle fatigue

HEFPP High Efficiency Fossil Power Plants

HFO Heavy Fuel Oil

HGP hot-gas-path

HHV higher heating value

HIP hot isostatic pressing

HMIP Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Pollution

HP High Pressure

HPC high-pressure compressor

HRATE Heat rate for shaft power cycles

HRSG heat recovery steam generator

HTDU high temperature demonstration unit

IAE International Aero Engines

IAEA International Atomic Energy Agency

IBA independent bearing assembly

IEEE Institute of Electronics and Electrical Engineers

IGCC Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle

IGV Inlet Guide Vane

IHPTET Integrated High Performance Turbine Engine Technology

IMO International Maritime Organisation

IOR improved oil recovery

IP Infrared Pyrometry

IP intermediate pressure

IPC Integrated Pollution Control

IPC intermediate pressure compressor

IPG International Power Generation

IPP independent power producers

IR infra-red

IR Ingersoll Rand

ISA International Standard Atmosphere

ITM ion transport membrane

JDF Japan, the DME forum

JSF Joint Strike Fighter

LCA life cycle analysis

LCA life cycle assessment

LCC Life Cycle Cost

LCF low-cycle fatigue

LD liquidated damages

LEED Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design

LHV lower heating value

LLNL Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

LNCFS low NOx concentric firing system

LP Low Pressure

LPG Liquefied petroleum gas

LSB last stage blades

LTSA long-term service agreements

MAT moisture air turbine

MCA multiple circular arc

MCFC molten carbonate fuel cell

MCR maximum continuous rating

MFC Microbial fuel cells

MI Minor inspection

MITI Ministry of International Trade and Industry

MMI man-machine interface

MPI multi-passage injector

MPS Mitsubishi Power Systems

MSF multistage flash

MTU Motoren Turbinen Union

NG Natural Gas

NGTE National Gas Turbine Establishment

NIC newly industrialized country

NO nitrogen oxides

NPC National Power Corporation

NREC Northern Research and Engineering Company

OA overfire air

OEM Original engine manufacturers

OGV outlet guide vanes

OHSU Oregon Health and Science University

OMCR Oil Movements Control Room

ORNL Oak Ridge National Laboratory

OTM oxygen transport membrane

PA performance analysis

PA performance assessment

PAE Project application engineers

PAH Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons

PC pressure compressor

PCA parametric cycle analysis

PCC Post-combustion capture

PCFBC pressurized circulating fluidized-bed combustion

PCS Petrochemical Corporation of Singapore

PDI Product Design and Improvement

PDP Siemens Product Development Process

PEM polymer electrolyte membrane

PFBC pressurized fluidized-bed combustion

PHCR Power House Control Room

PI power island

PM Particulate matter

PMG Power Marketing Group

PR pressure ratio

PRDS Pressure Relieving Desuperheating Station

PT personal turbine

PTC Performance Test Code

PTET power turbine entry temperature

PV Paxman Valenta

QC quality control

RAM reliability-availability-maintainability

RBT Resistance Bulb Thermometers

RC Rankine Cycle

RCC Residue Catalytic Cracker

RCT refinery crude train

RFG Refinery Fuel Gas

RFM Radio Frequency Monitor

RFP request for proposal

RH relative humidity

RIC reactive ion coating

ROI return on investment

RPS Renewable Portfolio Standard

RPV Remotely Piloted Vehicle

RR Rolls Royce

SAE scale altitude effect

SAGBO stress assisted grain boundary oxidation

SB service bulletin

SB service bulletins

SCE Southern California Edison

SCR selective catalytic reduction

SEV sequential environmental

SFC specific fuel consumption

SFR steam fuel ratio

SGT Siemens Westinghouse's

SGT Small Gas Turbine

SIL sound intensity level

SMP standard maintenance procedures

SOFC solid oxide fuel cell

SOP standard operating procedures

SPL sound pressure level

SPP small power producers

SPW Specific power or thrust

SRB surface reaction braze

SRI sound reduction index

ST static temperature

ST Steam Turbine

STOL short takeoff and landing

STOVL short/vertical takeoff/landing

SWPC Siemens Westinghouse Power Corporation

T/C Thermocouple

TBA Test Bed Analysis

TBC Thermal Barrier Coating

TCM Test Centre Mongstad

TCP Topologically close-packed

TDS Total Dissolved Solids

TE Temperature Element

TF tangential firing

TFO treated fuel oil

TGA thermo gravimetric analysis

TGO thermally grown oxide

TI Turbulence Intensity

TIT turbo inlet temperature

TMF thermal-mechanical fatigue

TNB Tenaga Nasional Berhad

TOC Total Organic Carbon

TRU thrust reverser unit

TSC Turbine Stress Controller

TSTC Texas State Technical College

TT temperature transmitter

UAE United Arab Emirates

UCG underground coal gasification

USAFA US Air Force Academy

USC ST Ultra Supercritical Steam

VA vibration analysis

VAN variable area nozzles

VCRF Vertical Combustion Research Facility

VDU visual display unit

VGV variable guide vanes

VIS Viscosity

VM vibration monitoring

VOC volatile organic compounds

VPC variable production cost

VR variable reluctance

VTOL Vertical takeoff and landing

VWO valve wide open

WB World Bank

WFO Waste Fuel Oil

WI Wobbe Index

WW World War

Notes to the Reader

From the author:

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1. When I assembled the second edition of this book, I found the material I included in the first edition more relevant today than ever. That’s primarily because most of the updates I have added in the second edition platform on the technology I covered in the first edition. Also gas turbines require massive financial outlay, so no GT owner parts with his older models because there are new ones. The GT field is one where end-users hire consultants to engineer steam injection uprates to their older existing machines to equate to buying a new one. Therefore, for the most part, it made sense to leave the first edition material where it is.

mpslid E1?mpslid S2?

2. For 19 years, I ran a panel session at ASME’s IGTI annual meeting that resulted in attendees considering the gas turbine (GT) experience of end-users in other sectors. My own time in the gas turbine industry has gone from power generation to mechanical drive to aeroengine and back again, so it is second nature to be able to apply the theory, applications, and experience from one sector to another. As this book covers land, sea, and air, my suggestion to the reader is that he or she use this book to do the same, if that’s not already standard.

mpslid E2?mpslid S3?

3. Case studies in this book are generally adapted extracts from academic papers that are included with the authors’ or the authors’ parent companies’ permission. If the reader decides to get the complete original paper, I suggest contacting the originating or originating OEM company or authors (if the authors are independent). The publisher of said work may be an academic society. As such, its technical work may be run by volunteers. Its core staff may be entirely non-technical and would not be as seasoned as the writer of the work or the OEM company involved. The latter may, for instance, point out that there have been more papers on that same subject, which they may have presented at another society’s venue. Academic society or conference/publisher offices, however, can sell overall proceedings of a meeting, generally supplied on a CD Rom. They could also be a source of archived papers that the originating OEM, whether because of new technology and information attrition through joint ventures and acquisitions, has lost. Most OEMs, however, carefully safeguard their old material and one ought to consider contacting them first.

mpslid E3?mpslid S4?

4. The global economy and consequential mergers and acquisitions have complicated the gas turbine sector technically, sometimes for the better. One may note that the cross-section of a Siemens W501 resembles the equivalent Mitsubishi (MHI) turbine. This is logical if one recalls that Siemens acquired Westinghouse (a U.S. company), which prior to its acquisition, had worked on the forerunner to the W501 in a joint venture with MHI. So in considering any engine, one needs to recall who did the original development engineering and of what the system or component most of interest, comprises. This is especially true in joint venture engines. Purchasers of IAE’s V2500 were heard to sigh with relief when they heard that the oil system was a Rolls Royce design. Rolls Royce is known to not skimp on their cooling whether it be via internal air or lubrication.

mpslid E4?mpslid S5?

5. The changing gas turbine world has also created logistical issues. Brown Boveri (BB) became Asea Brown Boveri (ABB), which still exists and very healthily too. ABB now deals with fans, control systems, and many other critical GT system features. The part of ABB that made gas turbines and GT CCs became ABB Alstom, and then later Alstom (Alstom Power). ABB originally had two main branches that made entirely different size ranges of turbines. ABB Stal was in Sweden and built the smaller GTs. ABB Switzerland built the larger machines. Siemens (after it had acquired Westinghouse) acquired parts of Alstom Power that essentially included ABB Stal. Soon thereafter, Siemens developed a standardized numbering system for all its GT models that essentially changed the designations of the acquired engine lines and Siemens existing gas turbine model numbers.

After the content of this edition was final, Siemens bought part of Rolls Royce. So model number changes within engine lines, will continue.

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6. Due to the complexities that come with item 4 above, I have done the following with respect to all case histories included here. If a paper was originally written by ABB for instance, I have left that name as is in the text, even if that engine line now is, for instance, part of the Siemens engine line. This does no disservice to Siemens, as the change over in model numbers key by Siemens is included both in this text¹ and on (potentially updated) the Siemens website. This way, the reader can assess the chronological state of the technology at the time the case was written.

mpslid E6?mpslid S7?

7. Although items 4 and 5 give the reader some responsibility for checking the logistics of the equivalent current model numbers, this avoids the far more serious alternative of confusion on technical issues. If, for instance, in the future, the acquiring OEM were to institute a technical modification to a model that may then change the outcomes noted in the subject case, the reader then understands the chain of technical development custody. This is crucial when making decisions regarding, for instance, independent facility repairs or retrofit engineered systems. Most end-users (provided they are engineers and not accountants or lawyers) would rather wade through logistical records than acquire a technical problem because they did not understand the design development history of their engine.

mpslid E7?mpslid S8?

8. The other reason I favor this approach is it gives credit for the original case study to the individual people who wrote it. The company they worked for at the time may still be their employer or they may have moved to another OEM, via an acquisition. Or they may work for yet another employer or have retired as independent(s). Gas turbine engineers would favor this approach, because they can then read the case about the engine they are interested in, as well as recognize the original authors by name, if they were to meet them at some future date.

mpslid E8?mpslid S9?

9. In the interests of making this book affordable, several source illustrations that were originally in color were adapted to be readable in gray scale. The reader has a choice here; to make future reference easier, I get my students to use colored markers as a learning exercise and for future clarity. The reader can also purchase a copy of all the source documents in which these figures appear in color.

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¹Siemens standardized model numbers (as per Siemens catalogs) are currently as in the tables below. Consult Siemens catalogues for additional model number details.

About the Author

A professional engineer registered in Alberta Canada, and a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), Claire Soares has worked on rotating machinery for over 20 years. Claire's extensive experience includes the specification of new turbomachinery systems, retrofit design, installation, commissioning, troubleshooting, operational optimization, and failure analysis of all types of turbomachinery used in power generation, oil and gas, petrochemical and process plants, and aviation. The turbines (gas, steam, or combined cycle; land or aero applications) in question were typically made by General Electric, Siemens Westinghouse, Rolls, Rolls Allison, Solar, Alstom Power, or the companies they formerly were, before some of them merged.

Her career experience also includes intensive training programs for engineers and technologists employed by heavy industrial clients. Her specialty areas include turbomachinery diagnostic systems, failure analysis and troubleshooting as well as subsequent retrofit and re-engineering.

In her years spent with large aircraft engine overhaul and aircraft engine fleet programs in the United States and Canada, Claire worked on turbine metallurgy and repair procedures, fleet asset management, and aeroengine crash investigation. She also was engineering manager for the first overhaul program in the United States for the V2500 engine (commissioned in 1991).

Gas turbines, land, air, and sea, are Soares’ primary area within the turbomachinery field. Her perspective with respect to gas turbines is that of an operations troubleshooter with extensive design experience in gas turbine component retrofits and repair specification as well as retrofit system design development.

Claire has authored or co-authored six books for Butterworth-Heinemann and McGraw-Hill on rotating machinery. See the links below for book details. She also writes as a freelancer for various technical journals.

Claire has an MBA in International Business (University of Dallas, TX), and a B.Sc.Eng. (University of London, external). She is a commercial pilot. Her scuba diving certification and training were in high altitude conditions. She has lived and worked on four continents. Her non-engineering time is partly spent on cinematography and still photography, both of which have grown to complement her training courses and writing. She develops training packages presented in video or other audio-visual formats. soares&template=&subjectarea=113&search=Go

History will be kind to me for I intend to write it.

Winston Churchill

Chapter 1

Gas Turbines

An Introduction and Applications


The gas turbine is the most versatile item of turbomachinery today. It can be used in several different modes in critical industries such as power generation, oil and gas, process plants, aviation, as well domestic and smaller related industries. A gas turbine essentially brings together air that it compresses in its compressor module, and fuel, which are then ignited. Resulting gases are expanded through a turbine. That turbine’s shaft continues to rotate and drive the compressor, which is on the same shaft, and operation continues. A separate starter unit is used to provide the first rotor motion until the turbine’s rotation is up to design speed and can keep the entire unit running. The compressor module, combustor module, and turbine module connected by one or more shafts are collectively called the gas generator. The first half of this chapter looks at some typical examples of land, air, and sea use. The second half of this chapter deals in more detail with different applications and their subdivisions.


Gas turbine; turbomachinery; oil and gas process plants; gases; land; air; sea applications; shaft power

Chapter Outline

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Gas Turbines on Land  

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Direct Drive and Mechanical Drive  

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Applications Versatility with Land-Based Gas Turbines  

mpslid E3? mpslid E1?mpslid S4?

Aeroengine Gas Turbines  

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Relationships Between Pressure, Volume, and Temperature  

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Changes in Velocity and Pressure  

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mpslid E7? mpslid E4?mpslid S8?

Gas Turbines at Sea  

mpslid E8?mpslid S9?

Gas Turbines: Details of Individual Applications  

mpslid S10?

Major Classes of Power Generation Application  

mpslid S11?

Grid System  

mpslid E11?mpslid S12?

Standby Generators  

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Major Shaft Power Producing Systems  

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Small-Scale Combined Heat and Power—CHP  

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Large-Scale CHP  

mpslid E15?mpslid S16?

Applications that Supply Solely to a Grid System  

mpslid E16? mpslid E13? mpslid E10?mpslid S17?

Closed Cycles  

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Industrial Mechanical Drive Applications  

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The Gas and Oil Pipeline System  

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Engine Requirements  

mpslid E20? mpslid E18?mpslid S21?

Automotive Applications  

mpslid E21?mpslid S22?

Marine Applications  

mpslid S23?

CODAG, CODOG, COGAG, and CODLAG Propulsion Systems  

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mpslid E24? mpslid E22?mpslid S25?

Aircraft Applications—Propulsion Requirements  

mpslid S26?

Shaft-Powered Aircraft—Turboprops and Turboshafts  

mpslid E26?mpslid S27?

Thrust Propelled Aircraft—Turbofans, Turbojets, and Ramjets  

mpslid E27?mpslid S28?

Auxiliary Power Units (APUs)  

mpslid E28? mpslid E25? mpslid E9?

The farther backwards you can look, the farther forward you are likely to see.

—Winston Churchill

The gas turbine is the most versatile item of turbomachinery today. It can be used in several different modes in critical industries such as power generation, oil and gas, process plants, aviation, as well domestic and smaller related industries.

A gas turbine essentially brings together air that it compresses in its compressor module, and fuel, which are then ignited. Resulting gases are expanded through a turbine. That turbine’s shaft continues to rotate and drive the compressor, which is on the same shaft, and operation continues. A separate starter unit is used to provide the first rotor motion until the turbine’s rotation is up to design speed and can keep the entire unit running. The relationship between pressure, volume and temperature is discussed later in this chapter. Note that this relationship is common to gas turbines regardless of the application.

The compressor module, combustor module, and turbine module connected by one or more shafts are collectively called the gas generator. Figure 1–1 illustrates a typical gas generator in schematic format.

FIGURE 1–1 Schematic of gas turbine. (Source: Bloch and Soares, Process Plant Machinery, Second Edition. Boston: Butterworth-Heinemann, 1998.)

The second half of this chapter will deal in more detail with different applications and their subdivisions. At this time, we will look at some typical examples of land, air, and sea use.

Gas Turbines on Land

The gas turbine itself operates essentially in the same manner, regardless of whether it is on land, in the air, or at sea. However, the operating environment and criticality of the application in question may make design and system modifications necessary. For instance, the gas generator shown in Figure 1–1 may be operating in mechanical drive service to drive compressors that move gas down a pipeline. Essentially the same machine can be used to generate power. It can also be used as a power plant on an aircraft. However, the layout, the other turbomachinery supplied with the gas turbine, and optional systems will vary in each case.

Let us first look at the basic gas turbine cycle (see Figure 1–2).

FIGURE 1–2 The basic gas turbine cycle. (Source: Kiameh, Power Generation Handbook. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2003.)

A comparison can be drawn between the gas turbine’s operating principle and a car engine’s (see Figure 1–3). A car operates with a piston engine (reciprocating motion) and typically handles much smaller volumes than a conventional gas turbine.

FIGURE 1–3 Comparison of the gas turbine and reciprocating engine cycles. (Source: Rolls Royce, The Jet Engine. UK: Rolls Royce Plc, 1986.)

Direct Drive and Mechanical Drive

With land-based industries, gas turbines can be used in either direct drive or mechanical drive application.

With power generation, the gas turbine shaft is coupled to the generator shaft, either directly or via a gearbox: direct drive application. A gearbox is necessary in applications where the manufacturer offers the package for both 60 and 50 cycle (Hertz, Hz) applications. The gearbox will use roughly 2% of the power developed by the turbine in these cases.

Power generation applications extend to offshore platform use. Minimizing weight is a major consideration for this service and the gas turbines used are generally aeroderivatives (derived from lighter gas turbines developed for aircraft use).

For mechanical drive applications, the turbine module arrangement is different. In these cases, the combination of compressor module, combustor module, and turbine module is termed the gas generator. Beyond the turbine end of the gas generator is a freely rotating turbine. It may be one or more stages. It is not mechanically connected to the gas generator, but instead is mechanically coupled, sometimes via a gearbox, to the equipment it is driving. Compressors and pumps are among the potential driven turbomachinery items (see Figure 1–4).

FIGURE 1–4 A typical free power turbine. (Source: Bloch and Soares, Process Plant Machinery, Second Edition. Boston: Butterworth-Heinemann, 1998.)

In power generation applications, a gas turbine’s power/size is measured by the power it develops in a generator (units watts, kilowatts, megawatts). In mechanical drive applications, the gas turbine’s power is measured in horsepower (HP), which is the torque developed multiplied by the turbine’s rotational speed.

In aircraft engine applications, if the turbine is driving a rotor (helicopter) or propeller (turboprop aircraft), then its power is measured in horsepower. This means that the torque transmission from the gas turbine shaft is, in principle, a variation of mechanical drive application. If an aircraft gas turbine engine operates in turbothrust or ramjet mode (i.e., the gas turbine expels its exhaust gases and the thrust of that expulsion propels the aircraft forward), its power is measured in pounds of thrust. The following are examples of operational specifications for land-based gas turbines.

Applications Versatility with Land-Based Gas Turbines

The gas turbine’s operational mode gives it unique size adaptation potential. The largest gas turbines today are over 200 MW (megawatts), which then places gas turbines in an applications category that until recently only steam turbines had owned.

The smallest gas turbines are microturbines. The smallest commercially available microturbines are frequently used in small power generation (distributed power) applications and can be as small as 50 kW (kilowatts). Work continues on developing microturbines that will be thumbnail size. The world of personal turbines where one might plug this turbine into a drive slot in their car, come home from work and plug it into a household slot for all one’s household power is a discernible, if as yet unpredictable, target.

Understanding the gas turbine’s historical origins and other applications gives the gas turbine community a better handle on optimized design, operation, and maintenance. Gas turbines came into their own in the Second World War. In peacetime, NASA took over the research that led to better alloys, components, and design techniques. This technology was then handed down to military aviation, then commercial aviation.

However, the same manufacturers generally also make gas turbines for land and marine use. So aeroderivative gas turbines were a