8:1 steam-to-fuel ratio reduces NOx output of LM2500 to 5 ppm
Test data verify that NOx levels are reduced at relatively low steam-to-fuel injection ratios independently of load – while increasing power and improving efficiency.

By Victor de Biasi

arlier this year, Cheng Power Systems reported outstanding performance of its steam/fuel mixture technology in simultaneously reducing NOx and CO2 emissions for an LM2500PE gas turbine in cogeneration service, while increasing power. Certified test measurements show that NOx can be brought down to low single-digit levels with steam as a diluent. Up to now, this has been thought impossible. Further, NOx can be reduced at both partial and full load operating conditions. LM2500 performance highlights with 1.8:1 steam/fuel injection ratio for diffusion flame combustion: NOx level . Reduced to 5 ppm without catalytic converter compared to 15 ppm for DLE combustion and 42 ppm with water injection. Heat rate. Reduced to 8624 Btu/ kWh (39.6% efficiency) from 9654 Btu for DLE operation and 9574 Btu with water injection. Power. Increases to 26,125 kW ISO base load output compared to 21,719 kW for DLE operation and 23,879 kW with water injection. Cost. Typical payback for gas turbine retrofit, controls and steam supply is on the order of one year for a unit in base load service,
1 GAS TURBINE WORLD: May - June 2009


Test program This is the first application of Cheng’s new CLN control technology for a high pressure ratio and high firing temperature gas turbine like the LM2500 which has an annular combustor design, 19.5:1 pressure ratio and 2150°F firing temperature.

The actual retrofit for testing was made on a cogeneration installation in San Jose, California that is equipped with water injection and catalyst converter for emissions control. A Scandinavian oil company cosponsored the rtofit and test project to address an environmental issue with

LM2500 CLN manifold. Supply piping is split into left and right sections connecting to a ring manifold system which distributes highly homogenous mix off steam and fuel through flexible piping to all thirty retrofitted CLN injection nozzles.

the concentration distribution of diluent steam and fuel mix remains constant within small vortices within the combustion zone.000) $132. heat rate and NOx relative to water injection operation (WLE) and comparative CO2 production based on 8500 hours of operation.June 2009 2 .473 tons CO2 reduction 10. additional static mixers were installed on each of the two legs before connecting to the ring manifold.000 $1. Dr. A steam control valve metered the amount of steam via a computer program so the operator could maintain a precise steam-tofuel ratio for engine operation at any load.8% 168 ppm 35. Dah Yu Cheng. Cheng reports. president of Cheng Power Systems.217 tons 22.135. is a specially designed mixing and control system that delivers close to a 100% homogeneous gaseous mix of steam and fuel to the injector nozzle tip.588. 750°F steam for mixing with natural gas fuel was supplied by the cogeneration plant’s HRSG.114 tons 125. What makes it possible The key to effectiveness of the new CLN technology. LM2500PE Annual fuel savings Annual NOx savings Annual CO2 credit Net savings Standard with WLE combustor water inj $1. Typical CLN retrofit for an LM2500 in cogeneration service is expected to pay for itself in less than one year out of operational savings – not counting the value of increased power output.000 $220.801 kW 23.NOx and CO 2 emissions produced by their own fleet of LM2500 gas turbines on North Sea offshore platforms. The piping system then split into left and right sections connecting to a ring manifold which supplied the mixture of steam and fuel to 30 injection nozzles around the LM2500 gas turbine (see photo). This was followed by a set of static mixers to more thoroughly homogenize the mixed fluid flow.4% 39. particularly in Southern California.000 $90. The operational test data was certified by a third party to technically qualify the application of CLN technology to reduce emissions of their oil platform units and while increasing power output and efficiency.125 kW 8624 Btu Heat rate/kWh 8796 Btu Efficiency NOx level CO2 per year 38. Operational test procedure Actual testing was preceded by changing various steam-to-fuel ratio and transient conditions to test con- Comparative test and design ratings. There is a “sudden death” reaction where the species meet at the flame envelope at which point they instantly disappear upon being converted into H2O and CO2 combustion products. The steam and fuel were first mixed through a T-section using rotational vanes (CRVs) inside the piping to encourage laminar intermingling of the two fluids.000 $110.000 $618. To further enhance turbulent mixing. was retrofitted for testing Cheng’s new CLN control technology to measure power output.6% 42 ppm with DLE lean premix 21.000 with CLN steam inj $1.000 $0 $0 $0 $0 with DLE lean premix (-$112. An extra length of piping for the engine’s fuel Potential for cost savings and credits..000 (-$617.989. During operational testing.186 tons 0 (relative to WLE) Source: Cheng Power Systems GAS TURBINE WORLD: May .083 tons 102.000 Source: Cheng Power Systems manifold allowed the turbulent flow to continuously and thoroughly mix the steam and fuel. LM2500PE Power output Standard with WLE combustor water inj 22. A water injected gas turbine at a cogeneration site in San Jose. Under proper conditions.000 $181.719 kW 9654 Btu with CLN steam inj 26.000) $100.300 tons 116. says Dr.827 tons 9. he explains.879 kW 9574 Btu 35.S. The value of NOx savings and CO2 credits are based on 2Q 2009 European cap and trade prices of $10 per ton in US dollars. Calif. even during hot day operation.6% 15 ppm 5 ppm 115. Demonstrated ability to achieve 5 ppm NOx for high pressure ratio and high firing temperature industrial aero and heavy frame gas turbines (without DLE or water injection) should be of special interest to operators in the U.

18MW 1:1 nozzle. Two different sets of fuel injection nozzles were used to test limits on fuel pressure supply and available steam pressure. The emissions data measured was concurrently compared with the on-site continuous emission monitoring system certified by the state of California.00 Steam-to-Fuel Ratio 0 0.0 NOx ppm 40 LM2500 NOx vs. Data were recorded with constant power at different power levels ranging from 14 to 22. the key measurements of primary concern were NOx and CO.fuel injection at any engine power level. Injection hole areas for fuel/steam nozzle tips are larger by a factor of 2 Steam-fuel = 1. 30 30 20 GE steam injection 10 Classical steam injection flame stability limit Homogeneity 40% 60% 80% 100% CLN test data 20 10 0 0 LM2500 nozzle. during start-up and at full load operation. steam-fuel mix. the CO2 measurement was compared with fuel flow and heat rate to calculate annual CO2 production for base load operation.0 LM2500 CLN nozzle.00 20 GE steam injection 10 Classical steam injection flame stability limit Homogeneity 40% 60% 80% 100% CLN test data 20 10 0 0 1.5MW 2:1 nozzle. 18MW 1:1 nozzle.trol system performance and influence on engine parameters. Emission control during testing followed the CEMS 15% oxygencorrected NOx levels required by the Northern California Air Resources Board.5MW. NOx ppm 100.0 compared to standard natural gas nozzle areas.5 2 3 GAS TURBINE WORLD: May . CEM data CEMS data 10.5 1 1. NOx ppm 40 NOx ppm 40 Steam-fuel = 1. 22. Later on.00 30 30 2:1 nozzle. NOx ppm 40 Steam-fuel = 1.5MW 2:1 nozzles. 22.5MW which cover the partial and full load operating conditions at the host test site. CO2 and unburned hydrocarbons. CEM data 2:1 nozzle. NOx emissions vs. homogeneity. 22. Standard GE nozzle was used in engine testing to compare NOx control performance versus CLN performance.June 2009 .5MW 2:1 nozzle.5 Steam-fuel = 2. Recorded data included NOx. LM2500 test data verify that that CLN achieves much lower levels of NOx emission with much less steam than injected by GE to reduce NOx. 18MW. etc. Plot of test data indicates that NOx can be controlled by CLN steam.5 Steam-fuel = 2. During initial tests. CO. 22.0 LM2500 Steam-fuel = 1.

The emissions test results were surprising.8% Frame 7FA Hot day rating Cheng cycle Net change 150.9% 0% 24% per kWh Frame 7FA ISO rating Cheng CLN Net change 167. In contrast. according to field engineers. a flow rotating vane was embedded in the nozzle tip to balance the flow and insure uniform fuel distribution through the nozzle holes. the heat rate goes down and gas turbine efficiency is improved. In that case.4% 0% 31% per kWh LM6000PC Sprint ISO rating Cheng CLN Net change 48.6% 7. reduce heat rate by 1020%. 7FA and LM6000 machines.0% 40.000 kW 117.200 kW 31. output shaft and electric generator operating limits. Cheng. Performance calculations for Cheng Cycle with premix 1. the job can be completed over a weekend. Cheng. CLN helps generate savings by reducing fuel costs while building up annual CO2 credits and boosting plant power output for sale or internal use.900 kW 200.3% 11.000 kW 32. Frame 7EA Hot day rating Cheng CLN Net change Power 74.8:1 steam/fuel injection take into account gas turbine compressor surge margin.300 kW 7197 Btu 2461 Btu 35.300 kW 9242 Btu 7069 Btu 2173 Btu 36.000 kW 13. In the past. says Dr.3% 47. in that at a high degree of homogeneity (above 99%) the NOx level became totally independent of the power operating level. In this case.7% 8413 Btu 2024 Btu 40.200 kW 53. Frame 7EA ISO rating Cheng CLN Net change Power 85. Performance calculations for Cheng Cycle with premix1. If not. If an on-site steam source is available. the LM2500 gas turbine reached a 5 ppm NOx level on less than 1.8:1 steam/fuel ratio. Calculated CO2 reduction per kWh is proportional to the CLN increase in efficiency.8:1 steam/fuel injection take into account gas turbine compressor surge margin. gas turbine heat rate goes up.500 kW 2625 Btu 9.6% 49.2% 6. says Dr. To maintain mix continuity. a very small heat recovery steam generator can be added that will provide sufficient steam for emission control.1% 0% 34% per kWh LM6000PC Sprint Intercooled rating not available n/a Cheng CLN not available n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a Source: Cheng Power Systems GAS TURBINE WORLD: May .100 kW 8012 Btu 6937 Btu 1075 Btu 42.900 kW 62.900 kW 9658 Btu 182. The conclusion drawn is that the degree of homogeneity has a much more dramatic impact on NOx control than does the steam/fuel ratio.8% 0% 31% per kWh 114. Tests run with a standard GE steam-fuel injection nozzle at the same ratio reduced NOx to 24 ppm. Calculated CO2 reduction per kWh is proportional to the CLN increase in efficiency. Retrofitting CLN to an existing gas turbine plant is not a big deal. CLN technology is able to increase power output by 25-40%. For popular gas turbine models in peaking service such as Fr 7EA. output shaft and electric generator operating limits.9% 48.6% 0% 15% per kWh Source: Cheng Power Systems Potential retrofit performance on 90°F hot day.900 kW 8375 Btu 40. with CLN NOx reduction.June 2009 4 .000 kW Heat Rate Efficiency CO2 Reduction 10437 Btu 32.8:1 steam/fuel flow. A standard LM2500 natural gas fuel nozzle was modified to increase the hole diameters by a factor of two to accommodate the 1.400 kW Heat Rate Efficiency CO2 Reduction 11000 Btu 31. and reduce CO2 by 15-30% (see tables). CLN also improves efficiency When operating on DLE combustion or water injection for NOx control. for a Potential retrofit performance at 59°F ambient operation. That is a hard combination to beat.4% 12. NOx has always been seen as depending on load conditions.

they have also been required to operate catalytic converters to further reduce NOx to 15 ppm. can be operated and maintained by the same crew. For aero type industrial gas turbines however. Changing out nozzles is more easily done for heavy frame gas turbine installations equipped with combustor cans such as a Fr 7EA or 7FA than for an aeroderivative like the LM6000 which has an annular combustor and some 30 nozzles. Two more Allison 501KH units in the San Joaquin Valley were retrofitted in 1985 at Frito Lay and Hershey to stabilize transmission lines between northern and southern California. In more recent years.3% efficiency. In his view CLN is a far simpler and cost effective proposition. He hesitates to hazard a guess as to the price range for a CLN retrofit saying it will vary considerably with the gas turbine design. complete set of injection nozzles and computer control system. The computer system can go anywhere. As for on-site service support. the existing fuel manifold is removed and replaced by a CLN manifold and associated mixing equipment. The technology was first demonstrated commercially over 25 years ago on an Allison 501KH aero unit in baseload cogeneration service with a 70% increase in power output and 40% improvement in efficiency. Dr.with a 25-35% increase in efficiency and over 25% reduction in CO2 production. operating at 44. Dr.turnkey retrofit project. Most of the gas turbine peakers in service such as Fr 5. In the past. Retrofit scope of supply Specialized scope of equipment supply includes the HRSG.June 2009 5 . All of the equipment is supplied as prefabricated assemblies tailored to the gas turbine design. does not require extensive environmental and building permit approvals. will be much cheaper than adding another gas turbine plant on the same or different site. Cheng is emphatic in pointing out that CLN steam/fuel injection is now a proven technology for both industrial combustor can and aeroderivative annular combustion gas turbine designs. Under pending cap and trade legislation. That same year. With frame machines. 7EA and FT4 machines are at least 20 years old and operate at relatively low 25 to 30% simple cycle efficiencies with relatively high NOx and CO2 emissions. only the nozzle tips must be replaced by a CLN design. Green technology for expanding installed peaking capacity in the U. Low cost alternative. Cheng suggests that retrofitting CLN technology to already installed peaking plants offers owners and operators a double whammy of reducing NOx to 5ppm while simultaneously boosting power output by 40-70% -. gas turbine peaking plants will soon be confronted with CO2 credit restrictions and proposed limits of 5 ppm or less on NOx that will call for investing in a new round of expensive emission control modifications.S. condition and site specifics. and help pay for itself out of fuel savings and CO2 credits. two GE Fr 6Bs at an oil refinery in Southern California were retrofitted with an average return on investment of around $3 million r per year. many of them fitted with water injection to meet 45 ppm NOx regulations also suffered an associated 3-4 percentage point drop in efficiency. CLN retrofits. But he maintains that the cost has to be considerably less than that of a new high-efficiency simple cycle gas turbine peaking plant that must be equipped with DLE combustion and catalyst for single-digit NOx performance. the CLN retrofit does not change gas turbine inspection intervals. The plants have since shut down but the units are working for the irrigation district as peakers to levelize the voltage on the transmission lines. For on-site retrofit. preferably in the control room where it can be readily integrated into the operation of the gas turbine’s DCS control system. a new manifold leading to the complete nozzle set must be installed. But project engineers claim it has increased the parts life of hot gas path components by a factor of two compared with DLE combustion control system experience. by 40-70% with a 25% reduction in CO2 production Cheng CLN steam/fuel injection works to simultaneously increase power output and efficiency of gas turbine plants while reducing NOx and CO2 site emissions. scheduled plant downtime would be less than 1 week – provided the boiler is ordered 6 months ahead. The unit is still running today. steam/fuel manifold system. GAS TURBINE WORLD: May . In 2002. Peaking status. Typically it can be retrofitted on-site in less than 1 week of downtime. Cheng Power retrofitted an LM2500 for a peaking plant on Kauai Island in Hawaai where it has been carrying the daily variable load for close to 7 years now.

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