How to deal with water condensation in TIAC technology

The popularity of gas-fired power today is astounding. For example, according to records from the Energy Information Administration, Americans used more gas than coal in 2016. This trend is replicated in many places across the globe. As this sector grows, it is possible that some players in the power sector would gain from information on problems that may develop in a gas turbine. Even seasoned workers may not mind a refresher. This article covers the concept of water condensation in TIAC technology.

One of the most cost-effective methods to enhance turbine performance is using a Turbine Inlet Air Cooling (TIAC) system. It is the process of cooling ambient air as it enters the combustion turbine compressor.


Why is this cooling so necessary?

This is the simple reason for this: an increase in ambient air leads to significant power loss as compared to the rated output. Rated capacity of a turbine is based on International Standards Organization (ISO) conditions at sea level i.e. 14.7 psia and 59o F (15 ºC).

The turbine power output is directly proportional to the mass flow rate of air coming to the compressor. As the volumetric capacity of the compressor is fixed, air mass flow rate will fluctuate with ambient temperature. Therefore, TIAC systems are irreplaceable in instances where ambient temperature is normally high.

ARANER is committed ensuring that TIAC technology benefit the users maximally. In this regard, it is very important to pay attention on how to deal with the humidity condensation produced during the cooling process. With its experienced personnel and state of the art capabilities, ARANER has designed two effective methods of countering water condensation in TIAC technology, as is explained below.


Turbine Inlet Air Cooling Case Study


First, the condensation problem

In TIAC technology, water condensation droplets may infiltrate the gas path.

The problem is that the droplets of water are flying at very high speed. At such crazy speeds, a water droplet has the power of a bullet. That is because at that state, the water droplet acts as a solid. It is in an incompressible form. When the droplet hits the turbine blades they will produce erosion of the blades.

So how do you cool the turbine inlet air with TESTIAC technology without subjecting the turbine blades to water droplets?

Fig 1: Water Droplets on Turbine








Dealing with water condensation problem-ARADrop and ARATrap

The risk of water droplets going to the compressor blades is much higher with other TIAC technologies like fogging. For TIAC systems with chilling, the risk is quite lower because the water is not sprayed over the inlet airflow and in fact there is no direct contact between the water and the inlet airflow.

However, due to the cooling process the humidity in the air can be condensed producing water droplets. These droplets must be stopped, collected and sent outside the filter-house. After many years of experience, ARANER has developed 2 main items in order to remove the water from the inlet air stream: ARADrop y ARATrap.

ARADrop is a droplet catcher system that removes the humidity condensation water drops with an efficiency of 99.9 %. By removing every drop from the water inlet air the turbine integrity is assured. The special designed and configuration also make that the pressure drop is minimum so the airflow is not disturbed.

ARATrap is a water seal device designed by ARANER to prevent the ingestion of unfiltered air through the condensate drain piping due to the air pressure difference between the ambient and the filter house interior.

ARATrap collects the condensate water and sends it to drain while ensuring that no unfiltered air enters into the filter house through the condensate drain system.


Fig 2: ARATrap










Are you still hesitant to install ARANER’s turbine inlet air cooling systems? Numerous facility owners and managers have used these systems and proven their value. Even for very humid areas these systems are very reliable due to our big experience dealing with water condensation. Contact us for further information.

If you liked this post you may be interesting in TIAC as an environmental solution.


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