From Design Guide: Combustion Turbine Inlet Air Cooling Systems

Combustion Turbine Inlet Air Cooling

Increasing the combustion turbine inlet airflow rate is a common modification to increase the power and net efficiency of power-generating equipment, including automotive engines with inlet air compressors (turbos) and power-producing combustion turbines with supercharging or inlet air cooling. There are many designs available for combustion turbine inlet air cooling. This design guide is intended to provide some of the information that needs to be considered in applying technologies to combustion turbine inlet air cooling (CTIAC) systems. The use of inlet air cooling as a viable design option to increase the capacity of combustion turbines and combined-cycle systems is widely accepted. A presentation of some of the accepted methods and techniques used in CTIAC applications is provided to help designers, engineers, utilities, and customers understand CTIAC fundamental designs. Design parameters, possible equipment options, controls, operation, maintenance, and economics are considered, along with a review of some successful installations.

Some of the parameters that affect the selection, installation, and operation of a CTIAC system include the type of combustion turbine (industrial single shaft or aeroderivative), climate, hours of operation, the ratio of airflow rate to power generation, the rate of generation increase with decreasing temperature, the air cooling method, inlet pressure loss due to cooling coils or wetted media, controls, fuel costs and availability, maintenance costs, pumping requirements, thermal storage type and charging/discharging strategies, the value of power sales, and the cost of purchased power.

Cooling Designs to Increase Turbine Capacity

CTIAC systems are designed to...

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Steam and Gas Turbines
Steam turbines and gas turbines are rotating machines that extract energy from pressurized steam and/or from combustion gases.
Nacelles are aerodynamically-shaped housings that hold engines, fuel, or equipment as an appendage on an aircraft. The turbine on a horizontal axis wind turbine (HAWT) uses a nacelle to protect sensitive turbine components.
Combustion Engines
Industrial engines are heavy-duty, internal combustion engines that are used to power and propel vehicles, machinery, and equipment. They burn a liquid or gaseous fuel such as gasoline, diesel, biodiesel, propane, or natural gas.
Cooling Towers
Cooling towers are defined as any open water recirculation device that uses fans or natural draft to draw or force air to contact and cool water by evaporation.
Turbine Pumps
Turbine pumps are centrifugal pumps that use pressure in combination with a rotary mechanism to transfer fluid.  They typically employ blade geometry, which causes fluid circulation around the vanes to add pressure from inlet to outlet. 

Topics of Interest

1.1 Turbines Combustion turbines used for electric power production are composed of two basic types. Industrial combustion turbines are usually referred to as single-shaft heavy-duty combustion...

3.1 Assessing the Benefits of Inlet Air Cooling The benefit and desire for combustion turbine inlet air cooling stems from the desire to increase turbine-generator capacity and, possibly, decrease...

Combustion turbine inlet cooling can be as simple as buying new packaged combustion turbine and cooling equipment from (he turbine manufacturer. For new or installed turbines without inlet air...

2.1 Types of Cooling Systems The most common type of CTIAC system has been evaporative cooling using wetted media, due to the relatively low installation and operating costs, although several...

Overview There are many operating CTIAC systems, and few, if any, are operating below design conditions. These operating systems include most of the many different types of cooling systems, including...

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