Developing Humidified Gas Turbine Cycles

University dissertation from Stockholm : Kemiteknik

Abstract: As a result of their unique heat recovery properties,Humidified Gas Turbine (HGT) cycles have the potential todeliver resource-effective energy to society. The EvaporativeGas Turbine (EvGT) Consortium in Sweden has been studying thesetypes of cycles for nearly a decade, but now stands at acrossroads, with commercial demonstration remaining. Thisthesis binds together several key elements for the developmentof humidified gas turbines: water recovery and air and waterquality in the cycle, cycle selection for near-term, mid-sizedpower generation, and identifying a feasible niche market fordemonstration and market penetration. Moreover, possiblesocio-technical hinders for humidified gas turbine developmentare examined.Through modelling saltcontaminant flows in the cycle andverifying the results in the pilot plant, it was found thathumidification tower operation need not endanger the hot gaspath. Moreover, sufficient condensate can be condensed to meetfeed water demands. Air filters were found to be essential tolower the base level of contaminant in the cycle. This protectsboth the air and water stream components. By capturing airparticles of a similar size to the air filters, the humidifieractually lowers air stream salt levels. Measures to minimisedroplet entrainment were successful (50 mg droplets/kg air) andmodels predict a 1% blow down from the water circuit issufficient. The condensate is very clean, with less than 1 mg/lalkali salts and easily deionised.Based on a core engine parameter analysis for three HGTcycle configurations and a subsequent economic study, asteam-cooled steam injected cycle complemented with part-flowhumidification is recommended for the mid-size power market.This cycle was found to be particularly efficient at highpressures and turbine inlet temperatures, conditions eased bysteam cooling and even intercooling. The recommended HGT cyclegives specific investment costs 30- 35% lower than the combinedcycles and cost of electricity levels were 10-18% lower.Full-flow intercooled EvGT cycles give high performances, butseem to be penalised by the recuperator costs, while stillbeing cheaper than the CC. District heating is suggested as asuitable niche market to commercially demonstrate the HGTcycle. Here, the advantages of HGT are especially pronounceddue their very high total efficiencies. Feasibility prices forelectricity were up to 35% lower than competing combinedcycles. HGT cycles were also found to effectively include wasteheat sources.Keywords:gas turbines, evaporative gas turbines,humidification, power generation, combined heat and powergeneration.