Any gas turbine is a huge investment for any company; it represents the key component in a group of power generating components.
A gas turbine is the heart of any power generating system representing:
The most complex, expensive to commission, high through life cost machine, resulting in very low residual value at the end of a turbine’s life.
That is why every effort should be made to ensure the maximum return on any gas turbine investment is achieved. Otherwise it is so easy for any turbine to become a financial black hole.
In many cases rigid maintenance contracts apply whether you run your turbine or not, therefore, maximising the return is critical if it is to pay its way and provide the benefit it was originally designed to do.
In the UK a 4.9Mw turbine consumes gas to the value of circa £3,000,000. If that turbine runs at 10% below its efficient operational level, that means an annual loss of £300,000. This can represent roughly double the cost of an annual maintenance charge. Therefore it makes good sense to maintain any operational turbine at its maximum efficiency, thereby extending availability, reducing emissions and keeping fuel consumption to a minimum.
One of the most cost effective ways to achieve these savings is to compressor wash. The natural ageing line of the turbine can be achieved by off-line washing, while regular on-line compressor washing will maintain the efficiency over a longer period before an off-line wash is again required to bring the compressor efficiency back to its maximum position.
Compressor cleaning is the single most mis-understood process in gas turbine maintenance and yet it is the single most cost effective maintenance activity that can be carried out on any gas turbine compressor.
During the operational life of a gas turbine the compressor becomes contaminated when small particles not kept out by the filters adhere to the surface of the compressor rotating and static blades, ultimately changing the aerodynamic profile of each blade from its optimum original design. Therefore, all the designers’ hard work in designing the optimum blade profile is lost and the turbine starts to cost money by increased fuel consumption to maintain the same output. If ignored, the turbine will eventually become unstable in service and ever more difficult to start. Whatever the service needs, the cost will be heavy in cash and/or reliability.
The answer is to inject a suitably designed water based cleaning fluid which in itself has been painstakingly manufactured to provide significant cleaning power with no detrimental effects felt by the compressor itself.
To use a market leading water based gas path (compressor) cleaning chemical for both off-line and regular on-line washing will maintain the compressor at peak performance at a fraction of the increased fuel costs and reduced availability.
The principle is simple. It is far easier to clean away small amounts of contamination a little at a time, than to be forced to clean significantly large amounts of contamination that have become stuck to the blades in one single operation.
A well thought out wash regime for both off-line and on-line washing will preserve the optimum efficiency or cleanliness at a fraction of the cost brought about by a dirty inefficient gas compressor.
Modern environmentally biodegradable gas compressor cleaning products are available globally to achieve the best results no matter where the gas turbine compressor is operating worldwide.