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Important Tips For Gas Turbine Care

If you look across the globe, you will find many structures employing gas turbines for their operation.

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From structures that include power generators to create electricity (industrial facilities, hospitals, and universities), compressors that supply natural gas to homes and industries to pumps that transport liquids (processing facilities), gas turbines power several mechanical structures that are responsible for energy generation. 

This is how important gas turbines are. 

However, with extensive usage comes the need for frequent cleaning and repairing or molding the defective parts. This is where this guide comes in. 

We have included detailed information regarding the working, cleaning, and repair of gas Turbines to help you as a Facility Manager understand gas turbines better and take their better care. 

Have a look.  

Qw5646, CC BY-SA 3.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

How A Gas Turbine Works

The turbine inlet first collects the outside air. Next, the air pressure is then increased by the compressor and pushed into the combustion chamber. The fuel is then mixed with this compressed air and heated, leading to the formation of expanding warm gas. 

This warm gas then operates the power turbine and creates mechanical energy. 

However, due to the intense working of the machine, it often collects dirt and dust & requires frequent cleaning. There can be many ways to clean a Gas Turbine; direct injection valve wash systems can be one effective way. Here is how they work. 

Cleaning of a Gas Turbine Using Direct Injection Valve Wash Technique

Several particles in the air like dust, pollen, salt, and other contaminants are generated by manufacturing industries, vehicles, and Nature. 

These large quantities of particles or contaminated air make it to the compressor section of a gas turbine. These deposits decrease the airflow and overall performance and efficiency. This raises fuel consumption and global warming pollutants. 

Keeping the compressor section clean is critical. A clean compressor reduces fuel consumption significantly, reduces operational costs, and extends maintenance intervals. 

Image by evgenia_axsenova from Pixabay

The highly atomized direct injection system allows compressive cleaning and ensures cost-effective and environmentally adapted methods. 

This technique system uses deionized water only and eliminates the need for hazardous chemicals. The cleaning apparatus in this technique consists of a proper arrangement of nozzle and inlet valve. 

Running a daily online compressor wash schedule will increase average power output and heart rate by minimizing the daily degradation due to compressor fouling. By increasing the gas turbine efficiency, exhausts will be cleaner and pollution will be reduced. 

This cleaning method can lead to more than 20 million hours of gas turbine running time. 

Having understood how to clean a gas turbine effectively, let’s see how a proper repair or modeling of a gas turbine can be done using the electric discharge machining (EDM) process. 

Tooling and Molding of Gas Turbine Using EDM

In this process, three things are involved:

  • Tool
  • The workpiece (Gas Turbine metal part)
  • Dielectric fluid (working medium)

In EDM, the workpiece and tool are submerged in a dielectric fluid, and a spark gap of 0.025 to 0.075 millimeters is maintained between the tool and workpiece. By applying the power supply voltage across the tool and the workpiece, the spark gap becomes sufficiently large and causes the dielectric fluid to ionize and break down to produce electric sparks between the tool and workpiece. 

Frank50 s, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

This spark melts the work surface and vaporizes the materials. This process is repeated till the required molding objectives are achieved on the gas turbine. 

Final Word

These turbines are used for power generation in several industrial and residential structures. Lack of cleaning and care can lead to their failure, costing massive capital. 

Take cues from this article and ensure proper care of the gas turbine. 

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