Improve Steam Turbine Efficiency

Understand the factors that affect steam consumption
Steam are a major energy consumer. Optimising process operating conditions can considerably improve turbine water rate, which in turn will significantly reduce energy requirement. Various operating parameters affect condensing and back pressure turbine steam consumption and efficiency. Why Important The industrial sector is the largest energy consumer, accounting for about 30 % of total energy used. Fuel and energy prices are continuously rising. With the present trend of energy prices and scarcity of hydrocarbon resources lowering energy requirement is a top priority. Energy conservation benefits depend on the adopting minor or major modifications and using the latest technology. Energy conservation does not mean curtailing energy use at the cost of industrial and economic growth. In the large process industries, steam turbines are the main energy consumers. Savings achieved here will be significant, with a better 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 operating below atmosphere, is condensed in a shell and tube exchanger called surface condenser. Condensate flows in the shell side of the condenser and steam is condensed by the cooling water. Vacuum in the surface condenser i.e. turbine exhaust vacuum is controlled/ maintained by vacuum ejector system of the surface condenser.

Turbine

Vent

Condenser CWR CWS Inter/after condenser Boiler CWR CWS

Motive Steam BFW Pump

Figure 1 : Diagrammatic details of a condensing type turbine Contd..2/-

Similarly at higher steam inlet pressure energy available to run the turbine will be high. Variations in these parameters affects the steam consumption in the turbines and also the turbine efficiency.2a & 2b represents the effects of steam inlet pressure on steam consumption and turbine efficiency respectively. Effect of various operating parameters is illustrated in the succeeding paragraphs. LHV of the fuel for generating steam is considered as 10500 kcal/kg and boiler efficiency is taken as 87 %..-2- Turbines are designed for a particular operating conditions like steam inlet pressure. Condensing Type turbine Steam inlet pressure Steam inlet temperature Exhaust vacuum Turbine rated BHP Steam consumption 40 kg/cm2a 350 deg C 657 mm Hg 10000 HP 27785 Back pressure type turbine Steam inlet pressure Steam inlet temperature Exhaust pressure Turbine rated BHP Steam consumption 40 kg/cm2a 350 deg C 4. For obtaining the design efficiency. Contd. Lowering the steam inlet pressure will hampers the turbine efficiency and steam consumption in the turbine will increase. 2. Figure . steam inlet temperature and turbine exhaust pressure/ exhaust vacuum. which affects the performance of the turbines in a significant way.5 kg/cm2a 10000 HP 57960 In the above referred turbines. Theoretical turbine efficiency is calculated as workdone by the turbine to the heat supplied to generate the steam. 1 % reduction in steam consumption saves around $ 47000 annually for condensing turbines and around $ 84000 annually in back pressure turbine.3/- .1 Effect of Steam inlet pressure Steam inlet pressure of the turbine also effects the turbine performance. All the turbines are designed for a specified steam inlet pressure. Efforts are made to show the impact of various operating conditions by considering the following steam conditions as illustration. steam inlet pressure shall be maintained at design level. keeping all other factors constant for the condensing type turbine. which in turn will reduce the steam consumption in the turbine.

% Turbine efficiency.3a & 3b .2a & 2b indicates that increase in steam inlet pressure by 1 kg/cm2 in condensing type turbine reduces the steam consumption in the turbine by about 0.4/- .1 % respectively. kg/cm2 Steam pressure. 100 99 Steam consumption. % 99. % 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 34. Improvement in back pressure type turbine is more than the condensing type turbine.3 99 98.-3- 99..2 33 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 Steam pressure.2 34 33.2 18.16 % as shown in figure .4 33.9 99.5 19. kg/cm2a Steam pressure.7 % and improves the turbine efficiency by about 0.8 33.9 18.4 98.1 97. kg/cm2a 19.3 % and improves the turbine efficiency by about 0.6 Steam consumption.6 18.6 33. % 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 98 97 96 95 94 93 92 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 Steam pressure. kg/cm2 Fig 2a : Effect of steam pressure on steam consumption in condensing type turbine Fig 2b : Effect of steam pressure on turbine efficiency in condensing type turbine Figure .3 18 Fig 3a : Effect of steam pressure on steam consumption in back pressure type turbine Fig 3b : Effect of steam pressure on turbine efficiency in back pressure type turbine Contd.7 98.8 Turbine efficiency. In case of back pressure type turbine increase in steam inlet pressure by 1 kg/cm2 reduces the steam consumption in the turbine by about 0.

2 33 300 310 320 330 340 350 360 370 380 390 400 96 94 92 90 88 Steam temperature.8 33.2 Effect of Steam inlet temperature Enthalpy of steam is a function of temperature and pressure.-4- 2.4 33. steam consumption will reduce.. hence steam consumption for the required output will be higher.1 % and improves the turbine efficiency by about 0. work done by the turbine will be low.5/- . At lower temperature. % Turbine efficiency. Contd.4a & 4b represents the effects of steam inlet temperature on steam consumption and turbine efficiency respectively. heat extraction by the turbine will be higher and hence for the required output. turbine efficiency will be low.12 % respectively. deg C Fig 4a : Effect of steam temperature on steam consumption in condensing type turbine Fig 4b : Effect of steam temperature on turbine efficiency in condensing type turbine Figure . keeping all other factors constant for the condensing type turbine. Figure .4a & 4b indicates that increase in steam inlet temperature by 10 deg C in condensing type turbine reduces the steam consumption in the turbine by about 1. % 300 310 320 330 340 350 360 370 380 390 400 34. at higher steam inlet temperature. deg C Steam temperature. In other words.4 98 Steam consumption.2 34 33. enthalpy will be low.6 33. 100 34.

2.6 18. Figure 6a & 6b represents the effects of exhaust vacuum on steam consumption and turbine efficiency respectively. reduces the steam consumption in the turbine by about 1. keeping all other factors constant for the condensing type turbine. Improvement in turbine efficiency varies significantly from 0.4 %.6a &6b. will lower the turbine efficiency and reduces the steam consumption. Contd.24 % to 0.1 %. Improvement in back pressure type turbine is more than the condensing type turbine. deg C Fig 5a : Effect of steam temperature on steam consumption in back pressure type turbine Fig 5b : Effect of steam temperature on turbine efficiency in back pressure type turbine In case of back pressure type turbine increase in steam inlet temperature by 10 deg C reduces the steam consumption in the turbine by about 1. increases the steam consumption in the turbine. Exhaust pressure lower than the specified will reduce the steam consumption and improves the turbine efficiency.12 % as shown in figure . Figure 6a & 6b indicates that improvement in exhaust vacuum by 10 mm Hg.-5- 100 Steam consumption.6/- .2 18. deg C Steam temperature.5 % and improves the turbine efficiency by about 0. keeping all other operating parameters constant.9 18.. % 98 19.5 Turbine efficiency.3 300 310 320 330 340 350 360 370 380 390 400 Steam temperature. % 96 94 92 90 88 86 84 300 310 320 330 340 350 360 370 380 390 400 19.3 Effect of exhaust pressure/ vacuum Higher exhaust pressure/ lower vacuum. Similarly exhaust vacuum lower than the specified .

. % Turbine efficiency.9 5. % 4.0 Exhaust pressure.7/- .8 % and improves the turbine efficiency by about 0.0 kg/cm2. % Turbine efficiency. 100 99 Steam consumption. Removal of air/ inerts ingress is important.-6- 100 99 Steam consumption.3 33 32.6 18.3 Fig 7a : Effect of exhaust pressure on steam consumption in back pressure type turbine Fig 7b : Effect of exhaust pressure on turbine efficiency in back pressure type turbine 2.0 4.9 33.0 Exhaust pressure.9 5.9 18. mmHg Exhaust vacuum.0 4. kg/cm2a 19.5 34.3.3 4.6 4. % 686 679 672 664 657 650 642 635 628 620 613 34.2 33.5 4.2 19.8 34. reduces the steam consumption in the turbine by about 0.3 4.1 Factors affecting the exhaust vacuum in the condensing type turbines • Vacuum ejector system Vacuum ejector system creates and maintains the vacuum in the surface condenser by removing the air/ inerts ingress.2 4.7 4.7 4.6 33.1 4.14 % as shown by figure .5 18.4 4. mmHg Fig 6a : Effect of exhaust vacuum on steam consumption in condensing type turbine Fig 6b : Effect of exhaust vacuum on turbine efficiency in condensing type turbine In case of back pressure type turbine reduction in exhaust pressure by 1.8 4.1 4.8 4.4 4.6 4. kg/cm2a 98 97 96 95 94 93 92 4.7a & 7b.5 4. as accumulation of this hampers the performance of surface Contd.7 686 679 672 664 657 650 642 635 628 620 613 98 97 96 95 94 93 92 Exhaust vacuum.2 4.

3.e. In one of the turbine. Pay back period of replacing the exhaust pipeline was 6 months with investment of $ 40000. vacuum at the turbine exhaust improved by 50 mm Hg. The steam consumption in the new turbine is 1300 kg/hr i. . Water rate of older back pressure turbines varies from 35 kg/hr-hp to 50 kg/hr-hp. Motive steam condition shall be maintained as specified. Mainly. eventhough not much attention is paid to them. • Flange joints shall be tightened properly to avoid any ingress of air. by minor modifications and even by replacing old in-efficient turbines. Huge benefits can be reaped by optimizing operating parameters.-7condenser. 2.4 Replacement of turbine with turbine of improved water rate Steam consumption in the older turbines. Illustration given in the paper shows impact of operating conditions on steam turbines. As a measure to conserve steam so as to conserve the energy cost these turbines can also be replaced. exhaust pipeline of these turbines can be replaced with higher size.e. Trimming of operating parameters are essential for efficient operation of these turbines. In order to improve the vacuum at turbine exhaust so as to reduce steam consumption in the turbine. Savings presented are for a typical operating conditions. as they get choked due to foreign material coming with cooling water. Inter-after condenser shall be cleaned in the available opportunity.0 Conclusion Steam Turbines are one of the main energy consuming equipments. exhaust line size of 900 mm was replaced with 1300 mm. steam savings of 1200 kg/hr. which reduces the surface condenser vacuum. is much higher than the new generation turbines. • Higher size of exhaust pipe In many condensing turbines it is observed that the exhaust vacuum of these turbines is much less than the vacuum at the condenser. this was replaced with the new single stage turbine with a total cost of $ 55000. it is due to the higher pressure drop in the exhaust pipeline from turbine exhaust to the condenser. • Exhaust side of the turbine shall be properly steam sealed to avoid any ingress of air. while water rate of new generation turbines varies from 15 kg/hr-hp to 35 kg/hr-hp. In one of the lube oil single stage turbine steam consumption was 2500 kg/hr. Pay back period was just only 5 months. mainly in the back pressure turbines. The pressure drop in the exhaust pipe reduced by 50 mm Hg i.

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