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Thermodynamic Analysis of Gas Turbine Performance With Different Inlet Air Cooling Techniques

[+] Author Affiliations
Ana Paula Pereira dos Santos, Claudia Regina de Andrade

Technological Institute of Aeronautics – ITA, São José dos Campos, SP, Brazil

Paper No. GT2012-68506, pp. 79-89; 11 pages
  • ASME Turbo Expo 2012: Turbine Technical Conference and Exposition
  • Volume 3: Cycle Innovations; Education; Electric Power; Fans and Blowers; Industrial and Cogeneration
  • Copenhagen, Denmark, June 11–15, 2012
  • Conference Sponsors: International Gas Turbine Institute
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4469-4
  • Copyright © 2012 by ASME


For geographic regions where significant power demand and highest electricity prices occur during the warm months, a gas turbine inlet air cooling technique is a useful option for increasing output. Inlet air cooling increases the power output by taking advantage of the gas turbine’s feature of higher mass flow rate, due the compressor inlet temperature decays. Industrial gas turbines that operate at constant speed are constant-volume-flow combustion machines. As the specific volume of air is directly proportional to the temperature, the increases of the air density results in a higher air mass flow rate once the volumetric rate is constant. Consequently, the gas turbine power output enhances. Different methods are available for reducing compressor intake air temperature. There are two basic systems currently available for inlet cooling. The first and most cost-effective system is evaporative cooling. Evaporative coolers make use of the evaporation of water to reduce the gas turbine inlet air temperature. The second system employs two ways to cool the inlet air: mechanical compression and absorption. In this method, the cooling medium flows through a heat exchanger located in the inlet duct to remove heat from the inlet air. In the present study, a thermodynamic analysis of gas turbine performance is carried out to calculate heat rate, power output and thermal efficiency at different inlet air temperature and relative humidity conditions. The results obtained with this model are compared with the values of the condition without cooling herein named of Base-Case. Then, the three cooling techniques are computationally implemented and solved for different inlet conditions (inlet temperature and relative humidity). In addition, the gas turbine was performed under different cooling methods applied for two Brazilian sites, the comparison between chiller systems (mechanical and absorption) showed that the absorption chiller provides the highest increment in annual energy generation with lower unit energy costs. On the other hand, evaporative cooler offers the lowest unit energy cost but associated with a limited cooling potential.

Copyright © 2012 by ASME
Topics: Cooling , Gas turbines



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