Contaminants in a Gas Turbine Fuel System and Thermal Shock PUBLIC ACCESS

[+] Author Affiliations
Timothy D. Newbound, Richard. S. Norek

Saudi Arabian Oil Company (Saudi Aramco), Dhahran, Saudi Arabia

Paper No. 97-GT-307, pp. V004T15A024; 6 pages
  • ASME 1997 International Gas Turbine and Aeroengine Congress and Exhibition
  • Volume 4: Manufacturing Materials and Metallurgy; Ceramics; Structures and Dynamics; Controls, Diagnostics and Instrumentation; Education; IGTI Scholar Award
  • Orlando, Florida, USA, June 2–5, 1997
  • Conference Sponsors: International Gas Turbine Institute
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-7871-2
  • Copyright © 1997 by ASME


Thermal shock has emerged as a probable cause of random cracking in gas turbine hot gas path parts fueled by sweet gas from Eastern Province gas plants in Saudi Arabia. Fuel is distributed to combustion gas turbines in a central Ghawar water injection plant approximately 50 km away through a series of pipelines above grade. To combat the damaging effects of condensates in fuel gas, two stage particle/demister filters were installed on the gas turbines at this plant. Inspections of the filters that protect five WIP drivers, model MS-5002B/AT, have been carried out after 13,000 to 17,000 operating hours. An analytical evaluation of solids recovered from the filters revealed evidence of condensates in the fuel gas including water soluble salts, iron hydroxides and heavy hydrocarbons. There was damage to four out of five particulate filter elements, elemental sulfur found in filter catches, erosion of a stop valve stem, and cracks in the turbine nozzles with no cracks in the buckets’ coating. All of these problems could be attributed to the presence of solid and liquid contaminants in the fuel gas. HYSIM calculations on upstream fuel gas samples support the potential for condensate and gas hydrates, particularly in cooler weather. The results of this study have led to the recommendation to install coalescing filters on gas turbines operating on this sweet gas fuel system. Suspected sources of moisture and heavy hydrocarbons resulting in sudden changes in fuel gas composition and the potential for damage due to thermal shock will be presented.

Copyright © 1997 by ASME
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