Are you ready for your summer capacity tests?

borescope of R-MC in action

Are you ready for your summer capacity tests? Are you maximizing your gas turbine power? The best insurance for optimum performance is the simplest: off-line compressor cleaning. The operating season is quickly approaching when most operators of power plants will be called upon by their regional transmission organization or other power purchaser to demonstrate their site’s maximum power capacity for peak demand in the summer months. Because this test is critical to the plant’s economic value, it has been driving the market to find technologies that will enhance the potential generation capacity of the turbine generators. These add-ons can be pricey, and usually require additional operator training.

Most combustion turbines are already equipped with off-line cleaning hardware, usually a manifold with nozzles mounted through the bell-mouth. Properly installed nozzles with correct spray pattern for the inlet configuration will last a long time with minimal maintenance. Periodic attention should also be paid to the wash skid, as the pump, motor, tanks, and controls are subject to the same rigors as the power block: starts, stops, changes in temperature, exposure to the elements, etc. A disciplined approach to detergent cleaning ensures maximum gas path efficiency. For nearly forty years ECT has been preaching the same message: cleaning is preventive, not curative. Compressor washing helps keep a clean gas path clean. Compressors that are run season after season without cleaning usually develop a baked on film that can then only be removed mechanically at a much greater expense.

As a corollary to the recommendations above, off-line wash system should not be used as a power augmentation system. The droplet sizes are far too large and can cause excessive wear on blades. ECT has been installing custom engineered water injection and cleaning systems since the late 1980’s and our technology has been used safely to boost power output on a wide variety of industrial gas turbines. Taken separately or together, ECT’s compressor cleaning and water injection systems offer the biggest return for the least expense. For operators with older, OEM-installed systems, we offer consultations and upgrade services. Many factory installed systems can be significantly improved. Finally, we also recommend that operators use our PowerBack detergent, which meets all OEM specifications for crankwash product. PowerBack is effective at removing the dirt and oils commonly found in compressors, and is easily rinsed away without foaming. This means you can put more cleaner in the compressor and get better results in shorter time.

ECT offers free evaluation of wash and inlet cooling systems. A system restoration or upgrade can be done quickly and for little expenditure. With the changes in how older gas turbines are being dispatched, the cost even for a peaking unit offers excellent ROI. Give us a call!