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Aerodynamic Instability and Life Limiting Effects of Inlet and Interstage Water Injection Into Gas Turbines

[+] Author Affiliations
Klaus Brun, Harold R. Simmons

Southwest Research Institute, San Antonio, TX

Rainer Kurz

Solar Turbines Incorporated, San Diego, CA

Paper No. GT2005-68007, pp. 237-245; 9 pages
  • ASME Turbo Expo 2005: Power for Land, Sea, and Air
  • Volume 4: Turbo Expo 2005
  • Reno, Nevada, USA, June 6–9, 2005
  • Conference Sponsors: International Gas Turbine Institute
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4727-6 | eISBN: 0-7918-3754-8
  • Copyright © 2005 by ASME


Gas turbine power enhancement technologies such as inlet fogging, interstage water injection, saturation cooling, inlet chillers, and combustor injection are being employed by end-users without evaluating the potentially negative effects these devices may have on the operational integrity of the gas turbine. Particularly, the effect of these add-on devices, off-design operating conditions, non-standard fuels, and compressor degradation/fouling on the gas turbine’s axial compressor surge margin and aerodynamic stability is often overlooked. Nonetheless, compressor aerodynamic instabilities caused by these factors can be directly linked to blade high-cycle fatigue and subsequent catastrophic gas turbine failure; i.e., a careful analysis should always proceed the application of power enhancement devices, especially if the gas turbine is operated at extreme conditions, uses older internal parts that are degraded and weakened, or uses non-standard fuels. This paper discusses a simplified method to evaluate the principal factors that affect the aerodynamic stability of a single shaft gas turbine’s axial compressor. As an example, the method is applied to a frame type gas turbine and results are presented. These results show that inlet cooling alone will not cause gas turbine aerodynamic instabilities but that it can be a contributing factor if for other reasons the machine’s surge margin is already slim. The approach described herein can be employed to identify high-risk applications and bound the gas turbine operating regions to limit the risk of blade life reducing aerodynamic instability and potential catastrophic failure.

Copyright © 2005 by ASME



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