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Humid Air Injection
Power Augmentation of Combustion Turbines
By: Russell W. Blades
11757 Katy Freeway, Suite 1300 Houston, TX, 77079 Tel: 281-854-2164 www.hillenergysystems.com
whether you are a Utility. Figure 1: Typical Combustion Turbine Performance Curves (Power Output & Heat Rate vs. While the ISO rating on this CT is about 10. Industrial Site or Compressor Station. Figure 1 shows a performance curve for a Solar Mars 100 CT operating at various temperatures. 60% Rh and at sea level.000 hp) with a heat rate of 10. its performance will differ from its nameplate rating.7 MW (15. engineers and operators of these frame. Prudent owners. 2 . which show how ambient air conditions affect such performance factors as power output and heat rates.000 hp) and the heat rate increases 10. Merchant.5 MW (13. However. industrial. Manufacturers typically provide performance curves for their combustion turbines (CT).Humid Air Injection – Power Augmentation for Combustion Turbines Introduction The performance of a gas turbine is greatly affected by altitude. when a gas turbine is not operating at these ISO conditions. and inlet pressure to the air compressor and exhaust pressure from the turbine.805 Btu/kWh. heavy duty or aeroderivative combustion turbines must look at new ways of improving the performance of these assets in order to remain competitive in today’s markets and to maximize shareholder value. mass flow. IPP. ambient temperature. the power output from the Mars 100 decreases to 9. Temperature) Therefore.520 Btu/kWh. this loss in performance has a tremendous impact on your bottom line. Gas turbine ratings are usually given at standard conditions defined by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO): 59°F. at 90ºF (when electricity demand typically peaks and power is expensive).
In addition. a steam/water separator vessel. Since the mass flow is added at the high pressure point of the cycle. then there will be some reduction of NOx. The incremental power from air injection is proportional to the mass of the injected flow (see Thermodynamics of Power Augmentation section). if the air is not heated (remove HRU). dearator. mixer.e. the water for the HAI humidification process does not ave to be demineralized. Figure 2: Humid Air Injection Schematic 3 . superheater and balance of plant equipment such as interconnecting piping. saving on compressor work otherwise needed to pressurize a higher flow.$250/kW range. the capital cost of a typical Humid Air Injection system is in the $200 . magnitude of the power enhancement. the work of the gas turbine’s axial flow compressor is virtually unchanged (unlike other power augmentation technologies).Humid Air Injection – Power Augmentation for Combustion Turbines Air Injection Power Augmentation Air Injection power augmentation is quickly becoming the technology of choice in terms of performance improvements. By using an “off the shelf” strategy with sound engineering and construction practices. simplicity of operation. It is important to note that unlike many other power augmentation technologies. Major components include standard “off the shelf” components such as a compressor train. The air can be either humidified (HAI) or dry (DAI). In addition. HAI also reduces the NOx levels of the turbine Dry Air Injection still provides significant power improvements and is the preferred technology when water is scarce. return on investment. but at the expense of an increased heat rate. The simplified schematic of a humidified air injection plant is shown in Figure 2. reduces the amount of supplementary air needed to increase the gas turbine total flow. Air augmentation works by introducing an external supply of preheated and pressurized air into the gas turbine upstream of the combustor (i. pumps. non existent or expensive (such as pipeline compressor stations). valves and controls. a once through partial steam generator. after the compression cycle) to increase the mass flow to the turbine. Humidification provides greater power augmentation. dispatch ability and NOx reduction.
this unit can only produce about 147. this power plant could now produce 177. Based on $100/MWh during peak periods and a power plant with three (3) – GE7FA units. 86% of nameplate).Humid Air Injection – Power Augmentation for Combustion Turbines The simplified explanation for gas turbine hot day loss is that inlet air losses density. with Humid Air Injection. Table 1 demonstrates this unique relationship and benefits for a simple cycle GE7FA gas turbine with a 3% H2O injection rate: Ambient Temperature 95°F / 35°C (summer) 80°F / 27°C 70°F / 21°C 59°F / 15°C 50°F / 10°C 40°F / 4°C (winter) GE7FA Net Power (MW) 147 158 165 171 175 178 GE7FA + HAI (MW) 177 184 184 184 184 185 Improvement (MW) 30 26 19 13 9 7 A comparison in performance curves for a GE7FA with and without HAI is shown below in Figure 3. thereby reducing mass flow and ultimately power output. would enhance the net power output would to 183.750 kW.450 kW (i. Figure 3: Performance Curves for a GE7FA Combustion Turbine While the ISO rating on this gas turbine is about 170.e.000 kW/unit when the ambient temperatures are at 95ºF. this loss in performance occurs when the prices for electricity are at their highest and electrical demand is at its peak. In effect. 30 MW/turbine) for a HAI system with a 3% H20 injection rate would be worth $9. 4 .000/hr to a plant operator.690 kWh/unit or a gain of 36 MW. With HAI (3% H 2O) technology. this improvement in power output (i. Increasing the injection rate to 5% H 2O. when the ambient air conditions are 95°F in the summer.e. Unfortunately. gas turbines now operate throughout the year (even during the summer) as if the ambient air temperature was less than 40°F (4°C).
$400 $200 . Lowering the compressor inlet temperature can be accomplished by installing an inlet chiller. Evaporative cooling and fogging are limited by ambient wet bulb temperatures and inlet dry bulb temperatures of 50°F (10°C) and above because of the potential for icing of the compressor. as condensation or carryover of water can intensify compressor fouling and degrade performance. Most gas turbines are designed to allow up to 5% of the compressor airflow for steam injection to the combustor and compressor discharge.Refrigeration Humid Air Injection Dry Air Injection ∆ Capacity + 5% to + 15% + 5% to + 15% +10% to +20% +10% to +15% +20% to +25% +20% to +30% +15% to +25% ∆ Heat Rate -2. row 0 blade distress due to erosion). low humidity climates. Although this ultimately increases the output of the gas turbine. However. For technologies like wet compression. wet compression and evaporative cooling. However. Careful application of these systems is necessary.$250 $250 -$300 5 . reduces NOx and improves power output. the electrical power required to operate the refrigeration compressors.$100 $200 $200 . evaporative coolers and wet compression and perform blade erosion inspection (i. Unlike evaporative coolers. A refrigeration plant is used to maintain the inlet air temperature at around 50°F (10°C). In addition.5% -2. wet compression and fogging are realized in hot. treated water (demineralized) is required for fogging. a fogging system. Field data collected by GE has shown significant erosion on most units operating inlet foggers regardless of the manufacturer.$400 $200 . Whereas the above technologies reduce temperatures or increase mass flow at the compressor inlet. The biggest gains from evaporative cooling. the overspray of water also increases mass flow through the engine.e.$100 $50 . pumps and fans must be subtracted from any power improvements. which increases mass flow. In fact GE has recently published a Technical Information Letter (TIL 1389-1R1) to inform F Class gas turbine users to cease inlet fogger.e.Humid Air Injection – Power Augmentation for Combustion Turbines The Competition The ambient effect curve (see Figure 1) clearly shows that turbine output and heat rate is improved as compressor inlet temperature decreases. steam and water injection technologies inject water or steam into the head end of the combustor or compressor discharge casing.5% -5% to –7% -5% -8% to –15% Injection temperature dependent NOx Reduction 5% to 10% None 10% to 20% 30% to 60% None 60% to 80% Injection temperature dependent $ per kW $50 . wet compression or an evaporative cooler in the inlet ducting downstream of the inlet filters. due to where in the cycle the moisture is added). can cut the life of “hot gas path parts” in half and can create localized thermal spikes and significant pressure oscillation in the combustors if not properly controlled. the ambient wet bulb temperature does not limit chillers in the same way. Other problems cited have been duct corrosion.The cost of these modifications and operating issues must be included in any financial analysis of these technologies. Table 1 clearly shows that Humid Air Injection offers the greatest amount of performance improvement at costs that are competitive with other methods on a simple dollar per kW basis: Table 1: Power Augmentation Technology Comparison Method Inlet Fogging Evaporative Cooling Wet Compression Conventional Steam Injection Inlet Chilling . it also increases the power requirements of the compressor (i. it is important to understand that steam injection is expensive.5% -1.
904 lbs/min At 90ºF. mass flow = 100.93 60.48 73.32 60.40 66.64 66.08 4000 ft 67.40 2000 ft 73. as we shall see shortly.68 1000 ft 76. the following relationships: 1. Now let’s look at power augmentation from more of an engineering standpoint. Pt = m x cp x (T 3 – T 4) Pc = m x cp x (T1 – T 2) Pn = Pt . 0.60 63.04 58.80 60. mass flow = 100.92 68.20 71. t = Turbine. T = temperature (ºR) 6 . Table 1 shows the density (lbs/1000 ft3) of air at various temperatures and altitudes.88 65. for a gas turbine with a compressor design flow rate of 100.36 3000 ft 70.64 66.88 65.12 64.20 70.000 cfm at sea level: At 40ºF.84 62.60 63. altitude and even humidity all affect air density and it’s the air density that really affects the mass flow of the combustion turbine (refer to standard psychometric chart).96 72.88 66.12 64. Temperature. 3.Humid Air Injection – Power Augmentation for Combustion Turbines Thermodynamics of Power Augmentation We touched earlier on the impact that ambient te mperature and mass flow has on the power output performance of a combustion turbine. For example. °F 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 0 ft 79. c = Compressor.52 You may recall from a simple cycle (Brayton) analysis of a gas turbine.2744 for combustion gas).00 74.92 68.000 ft3/min x 79. m = mass (lb/hr) cp = specific heat (Btu/lbºR.72 72.20 70. Table 1: Air Density (lbs/1000 ft3) at Various Temperatures and Altitudes Temp. n = Net Power Output.00 74.Pc Electricity or Mechanical Work Out Gas Turbine Brayton Cycle Temperature – Entropy Diagram Where: P = Power (Btu/hr).04 77.40 67.04 lbs/1000 ft3 = 7. 2.68 68.80 5000 ft 66.36 64.44 69.24 for air.60 63. Therefore.48 72.000 ft3/min x 72.52 76.20 lbs/1000 ft3 = 7. 0.08 62.68 69.72 72.202 lbs/min This change in mass flow will have a direct impact on the power output of the combustion turbine.
e. is part load performance. point 2). the power produced by the turbine (Pt) is proportional to the mass (m) flow in lb/hr.e. pumps and compressors (i. gas pipelines). the compressor surge line and cooling capacity and ratings of the generator. this power increase is instantaneous.70% of the power produced by the turbine (i. thus the work of the gas turbine’s axial flow compressor (Pc) is virtually unchanged and compressor blades and ductwork are unaffected. the gas turbine’s axial flow compressor will consume about 60% . In addition. Figure 4: Part Load Performance Curves for a GE7EA 40 CTHAI Operating Range 35 Net efficiency. What’s unique and interesting about Air Injection is that the mass increase occurs after the compression cycle (high pressure point of the cycle. Part Load Performance Another important consideration to keep in mind when analyzing your current operation or the various power augmentation technologies in the market today. as mentioned earlier and demonstrated in Equation 1 above. leaving only about 30%-40% power (Pn) to provide electricity (via a generator) or mechanical work for fans. This provides increased flexibility and opportunities for the operator. Figure 4 demonstrates that HAI has a better part load performance than is possible with the existing combustion turbine and can operate over a greater range. back work ratio). thus making Air Injection technologies ideal for peaking or remote dispatch applications in addition to base load strategies.% 30 CTHAI CT 25 20 Typical Operating Range 15 0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140 Load. % 7 . after compression cycle Some technologies increase mass flow at point 1 and this increases compressor power requirements The amount of power increase is limited by such factors as shaft torque. Air injection increases mass flow at point 2. the power consumed by the compressor (Pn) is also a function of mass flow. In fact.Humid Air Injection – Power Augmentation for Combustion Turbines Thus. In addition.
77079 Tel: 281-854-2164 www. Suite 1300 Houston. engineering. dynamics. These tests showed that single digit measured NOx emissions are possible even for a relatively “dirty” diffusion type combustor operating on natural gas. TX.hillenergysystems. 8760 weather and rate data. Hill Energy’s Humid and Dry Air Injection technology is quickly becoming the technology of choice in terms of performance improvements. we also touched on the potential for NOx reduction from the HAI technology.0 NOx PPM 100. GT Pro. improvements and economics of your specific situation. etc) in order to determine the limitations.1 0 10 20 % H2O/AIR 30 40 Conclusion Prudent owners. return on investment. We believe that we can help you be more competitive in today’s market and improve your bottom line performance. two shaft. combined cycle.0 0. Hill Energy uses sophisticated computer modeling (Gate Cycle. procurement and construction. dispatch ability and NOx reduction.0 10. financing. Therefore.com 8 . magnitude of the power enhancement. Figure 5 shows test data that was conducted by Textron (USA) and Aero Industrial Technologies on combustors operating with humid air. simplicity of operation. etc) to analyze the performance of your combustion turbine (simple cycle. We can provide a complete turnkey solution including: modeling. engineers and operators of combustion turbines must look at new ways of improving the performance of these assets in order to remain competitive in today’s markets and to maximize shareholder value.0 Un sta ble 1. let us take a look at your existing combustion turbines or even those on the drawing board. 11757 Katy Freeway.Humid Air Injection – Power Augmentation for Combustion Turbines NOx Reduction Finally. licensing and O&M services. Figure 5: Potential NOx Reduction with Humid Air Injection 1000. regenerative. project and construction management.