Reducing Energy Dependence in the Middle East with TIAC
Electric power demands continue to grow around the world, leaving many regulators and electricity producers wondering how to keep up with the ever-increasing demand. It is never an ideal situation to rely on others for the excess power to necessary to make up for a deficit in your production, yet this is currently occurring in areas around the world. The most significant obstacle to adding additional power is generally the time and cost involved with building new power plants and bringing them online. There is one solution which could result in a boost in both power production and efficiency of gas turbine power plants with a lower investment in both time and capital: Turbine Inlet Air Cooling (TIAC).
GT Plants and the Effects of Heat on Production
The gas turbine relies on the combustion of a mixture of natural gas, or other liquid fuel, and compressed air to generate mechanical energy. This mechanical energy is then used to generate electricity. Turbines consist of an air compressor, a combustor, and a turbine on the same shaft as the compressor. Gas turbines are being relied upon more and more in the power generation industry to provide electricity. The gas turbine works much like a combustion engine; the compressor feeds pressurized air into the combustor where it mixes with the fuel and ignites. The air-fuel mixture burns at very high temperatures; the resulting mechanical energy rotates the turbine. The rotating turbine shaft runs a generator to produce electricity.
Power output and turbine compressor efficiency are proportional to the inlet air flow rate and the pressure ratio, which decrease with higher temperatures. Gas turbines are designed to produce the most electricity and run most efficiently when the inlet air temperature is low. TIAC involves cooling the air coming into the gas turbines, which results in increased power output and overall efficiency of the gas turbine power plant. Overcoming the effects of temperature can be especially crucial since peak daily temperatures often coincide with peak power demands, especially in hot climates where there is a significant need for air conditioning.
What is TIAC?
Adding TIAC to a gas turbine plant, whether new or existing, counteracts high temperatures by providing chilled air to the intake. The chilled air maximizes power output and increases the efficiency of the gas turbine; it also maintains consistent output across time by providing near ideal conditions for turbine operation. The cooling system used in TIAC takes full advantage of existing equipment; there are no new transformers or generators necessary. Cooling is accomplished using one of the numerous technologies available; such as evaporative chillers, absorption chillers, or evaporative cooling technology. TIAC has been proven safe in hundreds of applications worldwide, and gas turbine manufacturers widely accept the technology.
Why TIAC Can Benefit the Dependency Problems in the Middle East
A grid that is powered by gas turbines without the use of enhanced technologies or techniques, such as TIAC, efficiency may be as low as 30 to 40 %. Temperature has a similar effect on power output which may drop 0.5-0.9% for each 1◦C rise in ambient temperature; therefore, in countries which see highs around 45◦C, we would expect to see a 20-25% drop in power output. Installing a TIAC system can enhance the capacity of a turbine-based power plant can enhance its capacity by up to 30 % just by cooling down the turbine intake air. This technology is ideal for hot climates with high ambient temperatures that usually coincide with on-peak hours of demand.
Imagine what 30% more power could mean for your operation. Many who currently rely on others for their excess power demands could potentially see independent production once again. Avoiding the fluctuation in performance with temperature increase allows for additional power output at the most necessary time of the day – peak temperature, peak demand. Some consumers find that TIAC systems provide enough additional capacity to meet current needs and have reserve supply that can be sold, used to bring on additional customers, or reserved for future demand increase, which is inevitable.
TIAC allows the operators to select the air temperature, which works the best over time and provides air entering the compressor at a constant temperature. ARANERs Adaptative Temperature (AAT) system provides air to the intake at the optimum temperature for maximum output and peak efficiency. Using AAT allows you to get the most out of your system in terms of both power output and efficiency.
Cost and Time Benefit of TIAC vs. New Turbine Construction
Installing TIAC has direct economic benefits, including savings over the installation of a new turbine and an increase in the annual average megawatt output. The price per megawatt of power decreases with TIAC when compared with the cost per megawatt of a new gas turbine plant. ARANER can install a TIAC system with less downtime than would be required for the installation of a new turbine.
The power generation industry continues its attempts to keep up with energy demand and gaps in the industry. Temperatures continue to rise in the Middle East and throughout the world, resulting in increased demands and, in the case of gas turbines, decreased output and efficiency. ARANER can help you design a TIAC system which can boost gas turbine performance, even in extremely hot climates. Gas turbines with power augmentation can provide more power at a lower cost per MW.
TIAC can increase power output and enhance the efficiency of gas turbine power plants, especially in areas where ambient conditions are not advantageous for turbine performance. Numerous notable installations are using TIAC around the world to bring power companies closer to resolving the power disparity which currently exists.
For further information about ARANER’s solutions, get in touch with us. We would be happy to help you!