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On Line Compressor Washing on Large Frame 9-FA Gas Turbines: Erosion on R0 Compressor Blade Leading Edge — Field Performance With a Novel On Line Wash System

[+] Author Affiliations
Jos Oosting, Klaas Boonstra, Annemarie de Haan, Dick van der Vecht

Electrabel Nederland nv, Eems Centrale, The Netherlands

Jean-Pierre Stalder, Urs Eicher

Turbotect, Ltd., Baden, Switzerland

Paper No. GT2007-28227, pp. 775-784; 10 pages
  • ASME Turbo Expo 2007: Power for Land, Sea, and Air
  • Volume 3: Turbo Expo 2007
  • Montreal, Canada, May 14–17, 2007
  • Conference Sponsors: International Gas Turbine Institute
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4792-6 | eISBN: 0-7918-3796-3
  • Copyright © 2007 by ASME


On line compressor washing is an established practice amid gas turbine operators. Among these operators is the Netherlands Division of Electrabel who is operating at Eemshaven 5 x GE Frame 9-FA units since 1995. The plant operator used to perform routinely a daily on line wash and a single off line wash every year at shut down of the units for the annual inspection or maintenance outage. The on line water wash (OLWW) systems installed on these 5 engines are of the Turbotect Mk1 nozzle design and were originally procured and supplied by the OEM. To our knowledge, all other manufactured gas turbines in the 7/9-FA fleet are equipped with the OEMs’ own engineered OLWW nozzle systems. The OLWW regime of washing was reduced in June 2001 upon receipt of a recommendation by the OEM to inspect the first stages of the compressor for erosion marks. This recommendation was issued because some events have lead to investigation on erosion issues which materialized in the R0 (first stage rotor) compressor blades in some engines of the 7/9-FA fleet operating with the OEM OLWW system and resulting from frequent compressor wash routine, and/or from water ingestion used in power augmentation. Likewise, during the same time, some gas turbines at Eemscentrale had undergone their first major overhaul which allowed the compressor first row blading to be examined for signs of erosion. It was found that only minor erosion at the R0 blade leading edge had occurred over more than seven years of operation, during which period a daily on line wash had been performed. However, because of the erosion concerns among the 7/9-FA fleet and the OEM-recommended frequent inspections and measures to mitigate the rate of erosion due to droplet impingement, Electrabel investigated independently for a way of further reducing the erosion rate while maintaining on line washing over the lifetime of the gas turbine and improving the cleaning efficiency. To this effect, the OLWW system on unit EC-6 was upgraded in June 2004 with a new on line nozzle system specifically developed for use in large gas turbines. This paper presents the investigation results after some 24 months of operation and routine on line compressor washing. The Turbotect Mk3 OLWW nozzle system demonstrated and confirmed that it is contributing to mitigate the erosion risk on the R0 compressor blade leading edge, and in turn to decrease the number of blending operations over the life time of the R0 compressor blades. This nozzle designed for on line compressor cleaning of large gas turbines achieved a substantially improved cleaning effectiveness, respectively a lower rate in power degradation, by approx. 30 to 40% as compared to the current in use Mk1 OLWW nozzle system.

Copyright © 2007 by ASME



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