12 Mar 2018

Turbines experience optimal performance with ideal inlet air temperatures

Fossil fuel plant

Turbines experience optimal performance with ideal inlet air temperatures

We don’t need to tell plant operators how tricky it is to keep turbines running optimally within OEM design parameters. We don’t need to tell plant managers that when the temperature soars outside, net output can drop significantly, or that engineers may have to draw back the amount of energy used just to avoid critical components overheating.

What we can share however, is how plants can efficiently and cost-effectively deal with a heatwave, a freeze, or just normal seasonal changes in the weather – without taking a hit to overall power production.

Cooling Off

With proper planning and engagement between Aggreko and plant managers, the moment the mercury starts rising, we can be on hand with a complete mobile Turbine Inlet Air Cooling solution that’s carefully tailored for exactly what is needed.

Depending on location and other particular challenges, that could mean chillers, cooling towers, heat exchangers, air conditioners, heaters, compressed air and/or power generators. More importantly, any equipment is backed up by 24/7 monitoring, support and professional guidance.

How Does Mobile Turbine Inlet Air Cooling Work?

First of all, we work with operators to identify and set the ideal temperature range desired for the fossil fuel plant turbines.

Then the temporary refrigeration system is deployed within the site-specific layout requirements. Once the equipment is in place and a certified safety inspection has been completed, operations can begin. As the system quickly brings down the temperature of the turbine inlet air to the desired range, the mass air flow rate is optimized, as is overall performance and output.

But What About Heating Components During a Hard Freeze?

Not a problem. Aggreko has a closed-loop coil system that can be used to warm the inlet air and prevent the filter house and other components from icing over when temperatures shoot the other direction.

No More Fogging

What’s more, the closed-loop coil approach gets rid of de-mineralized water, meaning a small fortune is also saved on fogging.

In fact, Turbine Inlet Air Cooling also beats fogging in multiple other ways – it’s not limited by relative humidity, it doesn’t reduce the turbine hour multiplier, and the cooler inlet air can flow into the turbine well below dew point. Altogether, it’s a no-brainer.

Keeping Costs Down

By using air cooling systems, operators can keep the temperature of the turbine inlet air firmly within OEM design parameters.

Not only does this improve the performance of the plant, it also means avoiding damage on the turbine caused by allowing it to get much hotter or colder than it’s supposed to. In the long run, this will keep it in better working order for much longer, making it more reliable and keeping down maintenance costs.

And, of course, the great thing about renting temporary kits is that – there’s no capital expenditure. Plant managers only have to call Aggreko at those times when dramatic weather changes require urgent needs for regulating inlet air temperatures. The knowledge and technical support of our super-experienced team helps to make sure everything works exactly as it should.

This frees up plant budgets to focus on key operations and reduces any worry about cooling system breakdowns.

With offices in 200 locations and support available round the clock, plants are never too far from a helpful agent to talk through exactly the kind of cooling needed for each unique application.