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Inlet Air Supercharging of a 70 kW Microturbine

[+] Author Affiliations
Robert Brandon, Bryan Halliday

CANMET Energy Technology Centre, Ottawa, Canada

John S. Hoffman

Enhanced Turbine Output LLC, Washington, D.C.

Paper No. GT2006-90555, pp. 353-358; 6 pages
  • ASME Turbo Expo 2006: Power for Land, Sea, and Air
  • Volume 5: Marine; Microturbines and Small Turbomachinery; Oil and Gas Applications; Structures and Dynamics, Parts A and B
  • Barcelona, Spain, May 8–11, 2006
  • Conference Sponsors: International Gas Turbine Institute
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4240-1 | eISBN: 0-7918-3774-2
  • Copyright © 2006 by ASME


The significant reduction in power output of small gas turbines at high ambient temperatures places the technology at a significant disadvantage compared with reciprocating engines. On site power applications in many jurisdictions are experiencing high power costs during summer peak times. A variable speed industrial fan combined with an evaporative cooler has been constructed and operated in the CETC laboratory in Ottawa, Canada to supply supercharged inlet air to a microturbine rated at 70 kW at ISO conditions. The supercharging system can raise the inlet air pressure by 10.5 kPa (42” wc). A mapping of the turbine performance has been done as a function of boost pressure, relative humidity and ambient air temperature. A net power increase has been observed from 57 kW to 70 kW at an ambient air temperature of 33°C (91°F) and RH of 60%, a 23% increase. Supercharging at lower temperatures yields lower net power increases since the microturbine generator rating is the limiting factor; for example an 11% increase in net power was observed at an inlet air temperature of 11°C (52°F) and RH of 60%. Supercharging was shown to decrease net fuel-to-electricity efficiency of this recuperated turbine by about 3%, at an air temperature of 33°C (91°F). An economic analysis using published power prices and weather data from Toronto explores the business case of using supercharging, with the best economies likely for multiple units or larger microturbines, such as 250 kW units. The objective of the project was to demonstrate the concept leading to a field trial in Toronto or in Calgary where the altitude offers a further benefit to the inlet air supercharging concept. Work is underway to design a control system suitable for field deployment for the concept.

Copyright © 2006 by ASME
Topics: Microturbines



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