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Mustapha Chaker Cyrus B. Meher-Homji

Bechtel Corporation,

Houston, TX

Evaporative Cooling of Gas Turbine Engines

There are numerous gas turbine applications in power generation and mechanical drive service where power drop during the periods of high ambient temperature has a very detrimental effect on the production of power or process throughput. Several geographi- cal locations experience very high temperatures with low coincident relative humidities. In such cases media evaporative cooling can be effectively applied as a low cost power augmentation technique. Several misconceptions exist regarding their applicability to evaporative cooling, the most prevalent being that they can only be applied in extremely dry regions. This paper provides a detailed treatment of media evaporative cooling, dis- cussing aspects that would be of value to an end user, including selection of climatic design points, constructional features of evaporative coolers, thermodynamic aspects of its effect on gas turbines, and approaches to improve reliability. It is hoped that this pa- per will be of value to plant designers, engineering companies, and operating companies that are considering the use of media evaporative cooling. [DOI: 10.1115/1.4023939]

1 Introduction

Gas turbine output is a strong function of the ambient air tem- perature with power output dropping by 0.5–0.9% for every 1 C rise in ambient temperature (0.3–0.5% per 1 F). There is also a concurrent heat rate increase of about 5%. Aeroderivative gas turbines exhibit even a greater sensitivity to ambient temperature conditions. A representation of the power boost capability for given inlet cooling potential for dif- ferent types of gas turbines is shown in Fig. 1. The drop in per- formance due to high ambient temperatures can be further aggravated with gas turbine recoverable and unrecoverable per- formance deterioration due to several factors as presented in Meher-Homji et al. [1]. To recover the power lost due to high ambient temperature, it is advantageous to deploy power augmentation technologies such as evaporative cooling. This technology has been considered as a simple and cost-effective method to increase power output and also improve thermal efficiency. This paper presents a detailed review of evaporative cooling technology covering the thermodynamics and practical aspects relating to design and operation. Several papers have been published to address the media type evaporative cooling [24].

2 Overview of Media Evaporative Cooling

Traditional media-based evaporative coolers have been widely used in the gas turbine industry for several decades, especially in hot arid areas. The basic principle of evaporative cooling is that as water evaporates, it cools the air because of the latent heat of vaporization. Traditional evaporative coolers are described in detail by John- son [2,3]. Evaporative cooler effectiveness is given by

E ¼

T 1 DB T 2DB

T 1DB T 2WB

(1)

Contributed by the Heat Transfer Committee of ASME for publication in the

JOURNAL OF ENGINEERING FOR GAS TURBINES AND POWER. Manuscript received January

18, 2013; final manuscript received March 1, 2013; published online June 24, 2013. Editor: David Wisler.

where T 1 is the inlet temperature of evaporative cooler, T 2 is the exit temperature of evaporative cooler, DB is the dry bulb, WB is the wet bulb. A typical value for effectiveness is 85–90%. The temperature drop assuming an effectiveness of 0.9 is given

by

D T DB ¼ 0: 9 ð T

1DB

T

2WB

Þ

(2)

A psychometric chart can be used to obtain the value of the wet

bulb temperature (WBT). The exact power increase depends on

the particular machine type, site altitude, and ambient conditions. The presence of a media type evaporative cooler inherently cre- ates a pressure drop of approximately 2.54 cm (1 in.) water gauge (WG) [5] that results in a drop in turbine output. As a rough rule

of thumb, a 2.54 cm (1 in.) WG increase in inlet duct losses will

result in a 0.35–0.48% drop in power and a 0.12% increase in heat rate. These numbers would be somewhat higher for an aeroderiva- tive machine. Increases in inlet duct differential pressure will cause a reduction of compressor mass flow and engine operating pressure. Increase in inlet differential pressure results in a reduc- tion of the turbine expansion ratio. Water quality requirements for media evaporative coolers [2] are, less stringent than those required for direct fog cooling

less stringent than those required for direct fog cooling Fig. 1 Representation of power boost by

Fig. 1 Representation of power boost by inlet air cooling

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systems [6]. Media type cooling requires more water for blow down and water quality problems can lead to the removal of media pads more frequently than the normal time frame. In some cases, media has been replaced by fogging systems as described by Ingistov and Chaker [7]. Media evaporative cooling systems have successfully been used in industry for several years. The basic layout of a media type system is shown in Fig. 2. Media-based coolers typically have low installation and operat- ing costs when compared to chilling systems. Operation costs are low due to the inherent simplicity of the system and limited auxiliary equipment needed. Potable water can be used especially if a drift eliminator is utilized to minimize risks of water carry- over. Typically media change out is required every 3–5 years, depending on the quality of water used, media deterioration, and number drying cycles.

3 Climatic and Psychrometric Aspects of Evaporative

Cooling and a Review of Climatic Databases

3.1 Climate Evaluation Issues. A major obstacle faced by

gas turbine users in analyzing the potential for evaporative cool- ing is that there is sparse climatic data available in a form that users can make a decision on the benefits of evaporative cooling .

The obstacle may be broken into three factors:

Operators cannot easily locate the appropriate weather data for their site. Much of the data is available at a plant site may be based on average data points with no representation of the values of coincident dry temperature and relative humidity. These data are invaluable when evaluating any evaporative cooling solution.

Even when some appropriate data are available through web- sites or other sources, the data tables and information are not in a format to enable an operator to rapidly access the poten- tial of evaporative cooling. The data have to be considerably massaged and numerically analyzed before a meaningful esti- mate can be made of cooling potential at the site.

There are a wide variety of databases, each providing specific types of climatic data.

The authors are aware of several locations where evaporative cooling was not considered due to the general perception that the

was not considered due to the general perception that the Fig. 2 Media type evaporative cooler

Fig. 2 Media type evaporative cooler (courtesy CCJ, [8 ])

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location was a high humidity region. While it is axiomatic that evaporative cooling is more effective in desert-like regions, a careful climatic analysis will often show that considerable cooling potential even in coastal high humidity regions. In some mechani- cal drive applications, even moderate power boosts of turbines can have significant economic benefits. For example, an offshore platform in the Arabian Gulf (envisioned as a high humidity region) utilizing mechanical drive gas turbines was able to utilize fog evaporative cooling and derive significant benefit to the plat- form operation [9]. Chaker et al. [10,11] have provided a detailed analysis of the evaporative cooling potential in terms of equivalent degree cool- ing hours (ECDH) for a large number of sites in the U.S. and for international locations. Equivalent cooling degree hours is a mea- sure of the evaporative cooling potential available, in terms of the product of the degrees of cooling available and the hours for which they are available. McNeilly [12] has provided a detailed study on the importance of accurate climatic data when evaluating gas turbine inlet cooling projects.

3.2 Relationship Between Relative Humidity and Ambient

Dry Bulb Temperature. There are numerous problems and diffi- culties when modeling climatic data—several of which derive from the concept of “averaging” of data. One example of this is using averaged data of wet and dry bulb temperature. Any data used for climatic analysis for an evaporative cooler must reflect coincident web bulb (WB) and dry bulb (DB) conditions. It is ad- visable that the site’s temperature profile for a full year of hourly data with the 20 years being represented wet and dry bulb coinci- dent temperatures be considered in the analysis. These data can be used to generate evaporative cooling degree hour (ECDH) num- bers for each hour of the year and allow a turbine operator to make a very detailed and accurate analysis of potential power gain from wet media evaporative cooling. High relative humidity conditions do not occur with high dry bulb temperatures. A typical pattern of variation of dry bulb and wet bulb temperature over a day is depicted in Fig. 3. As can be seen, during the afternoon hours, there is a considerable difference between the wet bulb and dry bulb temperatures. It is this spread that allows the use of evaporative cooling. A common mistake made by users is to take the reported high relative humidity and temperature for a given month and base the design on these. The problem is that the high relative humidity generally occurs time-coincident with the lowest temperature and the lowest relative humidity occurs with the highest temperature as shown in Fig. 3 below. This mistake results in the erroneous

in Fig. 3 below. This mistake results in the erroneous Fig. 3 Typical inverse variation of

Fig. 3 Typical inverse variation of relative humidity with ambi- ent dry bulb temperature during the day

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Fig. 4 Data for Riyadh showing the relationship between DBT and WBT. At 40 C,

Fig. 4 Data for Riyadh showing the relationship between DBT and WBT. At 40 C, a wet bulb depression of approximately

21 C is available.

a wet bulb depression of approximately 21 C is available. Fig. 5 Data for Rio, Brazil

Fig. 5 Data for Rio, Brazil showing the relationship between

DBT and WBT. At 36 C, a wet bulb depression of approximately

7 C is available.

conclusion that very little evaporative cooling can be accom- plished and has historically been the underlying cause of the maxim that evaporative cooling is not possible in so-called “high humidity regions.” The dry bulb versus wet bulb relationship for a dry region (Riyadh, Saudi Arabia) is shown in Fig. 4. This represents an extremely “dry area” with cooling potentials of as high as 28 C being available. Corresponding data from what is considered a high humidity region is shown in Fig. 5. While it is true that the available cooling is lower than a low humidity region, there is still a valuable cooling potential of 7–8 C available during the times when ambient temperatures are high, which can result in power boosts of around 5%.

3.3 Selection of Climatic Design Point. The decision as to

which power augmentation approach should be deployed should take into consideration the characteristic of the gas turbine, the importance and nature of the augmented power, the cooling potential and psychrometrics of the site, the payback period, and the advantages and disadvantage of each technology. With evapo- rative coolers, the question as to the selection of the design point is illustrated using Fig. 6, which shows a historical database of

Journal of Engineering for Gas Turbines and Power

of Journal of Engineering for Gas Turbines and Power Fig. 6 Database showing hourly bin data

Fig. 6 Database showing hourly bin data of DBT versus RH for one year

showing hourly bin data of DBT versus RH for one year Fig. 7 GT output power

Fig. 7 GT output power for different combinations of RH and DBT with media evaporative cooling (evaporative cooler efficiency 5 90%)

ambient dry bulb temperature (DBT) and relative humidity (RH) for a particular site. As is quite typical the coincident humidities at higher ambient temperatures are low, but considerable scatter in the RH exists at a temperature of say 30 C. For the design of a media evaporative cooling system, the media is maintained wet and the makeup water is a function of the evaporation and blowdown. The system is, therefore, designed in terms of water consumption for the most severe conditions. A more important and interesting question is that for an ambient temperature of 30 C, what coincident relative humidity should be considered to determine the power boost of the gas turbine. As shown in Fig. 7 an evaporatively cooled LM6000PF engine at 30 C would vary in output from 36 MW when the RH is 80% to a power of 41 MW when the RH is 20%. Often the most appropriate RH to be considered may be the median RH at that temperature so that 50% of the points are above it and 50% below. In a media evaporative cooling system, the selection of the design point will impact the available power considered in the project economics and have a minimal impact on the evaporative cooler hardware design. Sizing of a gas turbine cooling system is generally based on historical weather psychrometric data, mainly temperature and coincident relative humidity. Each cooling technology has condi- tions/characteristics related to specific design criteria to maximize power output, economics, and investment return. There are two parts to this fundamental issue:

The impact on the design of the cooling system . For media based cooling systems, where the media is kept wet with water, this issue becomes less important as the evaporation rate will be governed by the actual site relative humidity.

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Fig. 8 Selection of design point for gas turbine inlet air cool- ing system showing

Fig. 8 Selection of design point for gas turbine inlet air cool- ing system showing insensitivity to evaporative cooler evapora- tive efficiency. All DBT values shown are greater than 41.6 C.

All DBT values shown are greater than 41.6 C. Fig. 9 Selection of design point for

Fig. 9 Selection of design point for gas turbine inlet air cool- ing system (evaporative cooling) shown with actual site data; DBT values shown greater than 35 C

The impact on the power boost that can be derived. This is an extremely important point to be considered as the project eco- nomics are often related to the power augmentation level attainable. In evaporative cooling systems, selection of con- servative relative humidities (i.e., higher humidities that are actually expected) would result in a conservative estimation of power (lower power boost).

In media type evaporative cooling systems there are two issues that impact the design as described in Chaker and Meher-Homji [13]—the evaporative cooling efficiency and the selection of the coincident relative humidity. The selection of design points for a particular location (Fig. 8) along with the wet bulb depression attainable for varying levels of media evaporative cooling effi- ciency are shown for the 41.6 C DBT point. It can be seen that the impact of media evaporative cooling efficiency (varied between 85%, 90%, and 95%) is relative small compared to the selection of the coincident RH point. Actual site data for the same location are shown in Fig. 9 with the design point dry bulb tem- perature superimposed on it. It can be seen that there is a higher wet bulb depression (WBD) available for this site and with this design point, the power boost derived will be underestimated. (i.e., a more conservative approach).

4 Evaporative Cooling Degree Hours

4.1 Evaporative Cooling Available in Different Climatic

Regions. It is known that evaporative cooling technology works

well in hot and dry areas. This technology can boost the gas

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can boost the gas 081901-4 / Vol. 135, AUGUST 2013 Fig. 10 Relative humidity versus DBT

Fig. 10 Relative humidity versus DBT for Phoenix, AZ

2013 Fig. 10 Relative humidity versus DBT for Phoenix, AZ Fig. 11 Relative humidity versus DBT

Fig. 11 Relative humidity versus DBT for Riyadh, Saudi Arabia showing significant evaporative cooling potential for the year

turbine power significantly as the relative humidities are quite low for several dry bulb temperatures as shown in the Figs. 10 and 11 below. These figures, which represent hourly data for a year, were derived from Typical Meteorological Year (TMY) databases [13] and, consequently, include coincident bin data of 20 years. It can be seen that most of the cooling occurs at high temperature and low relative humidity with a few hours at low temperature and high relative humidity. In such hot and dry locations, the power boost can be comparable to that obtained from a more costly and complicated mechanical chiller system [13]. Even the most humid environments allow for up to 8 C (15 F) of evaporative cooling during the hotter part of the day. The term “relative humidity” refers to the moisture content in the air “relative” to what the air could hold at that temperature. In con- trast “absolute humidity” is the absolute amount of water vapor in the air (normally expressed in unit mass of water vapor per unit mass of air). The moisture-holding capacity of air depends on its tempera- ture. Warmer air can hold more moisture than cooler air. Conse- quently, relative humidity is highest during the cool morning and evening hours and lowest in the hot afternoon hours. This section focuses on the availability of evaporative cooling in selected high humidity regions. A plot of relative humidity versus DBT in a “humid region” such as Houston, TX is shown in Fig. 12. Considerable cooling potential exists when the ambient temperature is above 35 C and

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Fig. 12 Relative humidity versus DBT for Houston, TX Fig. 13 Representation of power boost

Fig. 12 Relative humidity versus DBT for Houston, TX

Fig. 12 Relative humidity versus DBT for Houston, TX Fig. 13 Representation of power boost in

Fig. 13 Representation of power boost in % for different dry bulb temperatures and relative humidities, assuming evapora- tive cooling with evaporative cooling efficiency of 90%

even at the lower temperatures (for example, between 20–30 C); considerable scatter exists in the relative humidity indicating that evaporative cooling potential exists. In several mechanical drive operations such as liquefied natural gas (LNG), excess power can directly translate to increased LNG production and the economic benefits of this can be significant. The power boost for different DBT and RH conditions for a typi- cal gas turbine with a power–temperature lapse rate of 0.7%/ C is shown in Fig. 13. In examining the graph, at temperatures around 40 C, even humidities of 60–80%, will result in power boost of around 2–4% which can be very significant in mechanical drive applications.

4.2 Evaporative Cooling Degree Hours (ECDH) Calculations. The evaporative cooling degree hours (ECDH) is defined as a number ( C-hours) that defines the total amount of cooling that can be derived in a given time period [10,11]. The total ECDH is arrived at by summing the ECDHs derived daily, monthly, or yearly at a given location. The ECDH is chosen with a lower limit of minimum wet bulb temperature (MWBT) varying between 7.2 C (45 F) and 12.8 C (55 F). The MWBT depends on the airflow velocity at the

Journal of Engineering for Gas Turbines and Power

at the Journal of Engineering for Gas Turbines and Power Fig. 14 Representation of ECDH over

Fig. 14 Representation of ECDH over 12 months by daily period of 3 h

Representation of ECDH over 12 months by daily period of 3 h Fig. 15 Representation of

Fig. 15 Representation of ECDH at different time of the day as

function of wet

bulb depression in increments of 0.56 C (1 F)

of wet bulb depression in increments of 0.56 C (1 F) Fig. 16 ECDH as function

Fig. 16 ECDH as function of MWBT for different databases for a hot and dry location and a warm and humid region

compressor bellmouth for a given gas turbine 1 and is selected in order to avoid the possibility of inlet icing. In Fig. 14 below, the minimum wet bulb temperature was set at 7.2 C (45 F). This

1 Aeroderivative engines typically operate at higher inlet Mach numbers resulting in higher inlet temperature depressions.

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Fig. 17 Psychrometric chart indicating evaporative cooling LM2500 1 simple cycle means that the ECDH

Fig. 17 Psychrometric chart indicating evaporative cooling LM2500 1 simple cycle

means that the ECDH is calculated as the difference between the coincident dry bulb temperature and the wet bulb temperature multiplied by the number of hours that this difference exists if

(45 F). If the WBT is below 7.2 C

(45 F) and the DBT is above 7.2 C (45 F), the ECDH is equal to the difference between DBT and 7.2 C (45 F) multiplied by the number of hours of occurrence. If the DBT is below 7.2 C (45 F), the calculation is not done and no evaporative cooling is derived. By knowing the ECDH at a given location, a gas turbine opera- tor can easily compute the kW-hours of capacity available by the use of power augmentation compared to the situation if there was no power augmentation. In order to do this, the ECDH number would be multiplied by the turbine specific kW/ C cooling num- ber. This can be obtained from the gas turbine original equipment manufacturer’s (OEM’s) curves. For example, if the ECDH is 80,000 degree-hours, then a gas turbine such as the LM6000 that has a power lapse rate of approximately 537 kW/ C, the kW-hours gained would be 80,000 537 0.9 ¼ 38,664,000 kW-h, where 0.9 is the cooling effectiveness. A representation of ECDH over 12 months and the hours of the day in which they occur is depicted in Fig. 14. As can be seen, the ECDH between the months of April and October are over 2000 and the majority of these occur in the afternoon high demand power period where there is a high wet bulb depression. A bar chart showing the wet bulb depression (in increments of 0.56 C) during this time is shown in Fig. 15. ECDH data can also be examined more closely to account for differences in energy market values at different times of the year. For example, study of data could provide an estimate of the reve- nue stream during the hot summer months alone. An economic evaluation can then be developed on a month-by-month basis knowing the site-specific economic criteria. Meteorological conditions can vary dramatically from year to year for a given site but the approach presented here represents a reasonable estimate of what can be expected for any given year with inlet cooling.

the WBT is above 7.2 C

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Very often, hourly bin weather data for a location in which a gas turbine cooling system to be installed are not available. In this case, one would have to look for available weather databases for the close location to the site under consideration. Different aspects should be considered when deciding on the use of a given weather database. This includes geographical conditions such as the distance between the weather station and location of the gas turbine, altitude, and relative distance from sea, which can considerably affect the relative humidity and, consequently, the WBD.

4.3 Use of Equivalent Cooling Degree Hour (ECDH) Numbers. Many types of weather databases are available. This includes “typical or representative modified” weather databases such as Typical Meteorological Year (TMY), Engineering Weather Data (EWD), International Station Meteorological Cli- mate Summary (ISMCS), and exact bin data collected over the years such as Integrated Weather Surface (IWS) hourly observa- tions. The typical and representative databases are developed based on methodologies that reject extreme (very rare) weather conditions. The newly developed databases such as TMY3 appear to be more reliable. The IWS data include exact (actual) data col- lected for a specific year. A comparison between typical/representative weather data (TMY2, TMY3, and EWD) and exact hourly bin data (IWS) col- lected over the last five years is compared in terms of ECDH. This comparison is done for two locations with different climatic profiles:

warm and humid—Houston, TX

hot and dry—Phoenix, AZ

The analysis shows the expected results that would be derived if a project were developed using a specific database versus the actual results that would have been achieved over the time frame based on actual historical data. The data were examined for miss- ing data and other errors and corrections made using standard

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Fig. 18 LM2500 1 G4 (simple cycle) ( a ) without evaporative cooling (above) and

Fig. 18 LM25001 G4 (simple cycle) ( a) without evaporative cooling (above) and (b ) with evaporative cooling

metrological techniques. Calculations were then made for ECDH values 2 . The yearly ECDH is plotted in Fig. 16, respectively, as a func- tion of applied MWBT. This figure confirms the general tendency of underestimation of the ECDH by the typical/representative weather databases when compared with the actual collected bin data (IWS data) independent of imposed MWBT. It is important to note that even though the total ECDH number is relatively low for Houston (approximately 25,000 C-h at a

2 This approach is very data intensive with file sizes exceeding 60 MB.

Journal of Engineering for Gas Turbines and Power

MWBT of 15 C) evaporative cooling benefits will be significant during the high dry bulb temperature conditions when the coinci- dent relative humidity is low. In a hot and dry climate such as Phoenix, AZ, and as expected, there is a sizable ECDH cooling potential as shown in Fig. 15. For a MWBT of 10 C, there are over 80,000 ECDH. For hot and dry weather conditions, evaporative cooling can boost the gas turbine power to a similar extent compared to mechanical chiller technology [13]. The tendency of underestimating the cooling potential based on representative databases (TMY, EWD, and ISMCS) when com- pared to actual measured data (IWS data) can be seen in Fig. 16.

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Fig. 19 Cycle flow schematic Frame 6B combined cycle (no evaporative cooling) with condensing steam

Fig. 19 Cycle flow schematic Frame 6B combined cycle (no evaporative cooling) with condensing steam turbine. Net power 53 MW.

5 Impact of Evaporative Cooling on Gas Turbine Cycle

5.1 Evaporative Cooling Impact on Gas Turbine Cycle

(Simple Cycle). In order to examine the impact of evaporative cooling on a gas turbine cycle, a LM2500 þ engine has been mod- eled with and without evaporative cooling. The starting ambient conditions 40 C and 40% RH and the final ending point after evaporative cooling are plotted on a psychometric chart (see Fig. 17). As shown in Fig. 18, the engine produces 25,391 kW without evaporative cooling and 28,812 kW with evaporative cooling. The amount of water evaporated in the cooler is 0.3546 kg/s. The figure shows all the key cycle parameters and the fuel conditions. As expected the heat rate improves, but the amount of fuel consumed increases.

5.2 Evaporative Cooling Impact on Gas Turbine Combined

Cycle. The impact of evaporative cooling on a combined cycle us examined here. Two combined cycles based on a heavy duty Frame 6B unit have been designed, one optimized for a situation with evaporative cooling and one without. The following assump- tions are made:

number of pressure levels ¼ 2

condensing steam turbine

water cooled plant

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The cycle flow schematics are shown in Fig. 19 for the com- bined cycle configuration without the evaporative cooler and in Fig. 20 with the evaporative cooler. The comparative performance is shown in Table 1 below. The power boost for range of gas turbine with and without of evaporative cooling is shown in Table 2.

6 Practical Aspects Relating to Evaporative Cooling

Media type evaporative coolers should be placed after the filters and should always have mist eliminators located downstream of the coolers.

6.1 Issues With Evaporative Media Coolers. The main issue with evaporative media coolers is droplet carryover. Unlike fogging systems, the droplet sizes can be very large and if entrained in the airstream can cause compressor erosion problems. However, with proper design of the system this can be minimized. Important design criteria include:

Design air velocities across the media should be kept moder- ate (below approximately 200 m/min).

Water distribution rates should be maintained between 0.7 to 2 liters per second per square meter of surface area of the dis- tribution pad (this is a function of site humidity).

Downstream drift eliminators if used, will almost eliminate risk of spray carryover.

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Fig. 20 Frame 6B combined cycle with evaporative cooling. Net power 56,108 kW. Additional causes

Fig. 20 Frame 6B combined cycle with evaporative cooling. Net power 56,108 kW.

Additional causes that contribute to water carryover that can be avoided by the use of an installation checklist include:

Incorrect media installation—media is installed upside down or backwards.

Damaged media—usually damage occurs when media is reinstalled after it has been removed in the field. A common area of damage is at the media edge where the media is forced back into position. This often results in open cracks between media sections.

Media strips have excessive lateral misalignment resulting in 3 = 4 in. or more gaps between media strips or a gap at the side housing.

Media not sealed against retainer—media must be firmly sealed against the media retainers that hold the top and sides of the media on the downstream side of the cooler.

Uneven water distribution from the header—clogged distri- bution holes result in too much water being delivered to localized areas of the media.

Table 1 Comparative performance of combined cycle plant

 

Net power and heat rate

GT power

ST power

No evap cooler

53,079 kW

34,589 kW

19,614 kW

7784 kJ/kwhr

With evap cooler

56,108 kW

37,250 kW

20,011 kW

7791 KJ/kWhr

Journal of Engineering for Gas Turbines and Power

There is distorted airflow throughout the evaporative cooler.

There are scale deposits on the media.

Undetected carryover into the gas turbine compressor could cause fouling of the compressor blades, and inlet guide vanes. In extreme cases, first stage blade erosion can occur. Media-based coolers are adaptable for using potable quality water. Once the water analysis has been evaluated and the bleed or blow down rate of the cooler has been calculated to maintain recommended parameters, the system can operate with minimal intervention. Periodic inspection and water analysis should be done on a recommended schedule. A preferred approach is to use

a conductivity meter that could be tied into an alarm system. This

type of instrumentation monitors the sump water quality and could facilitate the adjustment of blow down rates. Demineralized water can be used with evaporative coolers, but

it may react with stiffening agents in the media and could soften it

to the point of collapse. If demineralized water is used, additional

safeguards need to be taken in regard to the material used for the piping and downstream components. Galvanized material should not be used. The cooler housing and water piping should be con- structed of 304 stainless steel, and the media should be con- structed with increased stiffening agents. Typical water quality requirements for evaporative media coolers are shown in Table 3. Modern media type evaporative coolers use media that is typi- cally 12 in. thick and that can attain a 90% evaporation efficiency. The life of media is a important factor to consider and the media may have to be replaced after five years with high quality mainte- nance but this life is a function of water quality. Air leakage

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Table 2 Power boost for range of gas turbines with and without evaporative cooling (DBT 5 32 C; RH 5 50%)

 

Net power

Net power

Power

Power boost %/ C

Power boost KW/ C

 

Power

Power boost %/ C

Power boost KW/ C

cooling-off

cooling on

boost

 

Net power

Net power

boost

Id

Gas turbine

(KW)

(KW)

(%)

Id

Gas turbine

cooling-off

cooling on

(%)

24

ABB GT 8

40,780

42,999

5.16

0.62

267.3

113

GE 9391 G GE LM2500PE GE LM6000PC GE LM6000SPT KWU V64.3A KWU V94.2 Mtsb 701 F P þW ST6L-813 Sol Taurus Sol Saturn Sol Centaur Sol Mars Sol Titan TPþM FT8 TPþM FT4C W251 B12 W501 D5A W701 F

246,850

256,787

3.87

0.47

1197.2

152

ABB GT 8C2

49,460

51,662

4.26

0.51

265.2

159

18,790

19,717

4.70

0.57

111.6

25

ABB GT 11N

69,860

73,192

4.55

0.55

401.4

118

32,250

35,846

10.03

1.21

433.2

110

ABB GT 11N2

97,240

102,434

5.07

0.61

625.7

161

33,830

35,836

5.60

0.67

241.7

41

ABB GT 13D2

86,770

91,063

4.71

0.57

517.2

101

60,040

62,718

4.27

0.51

322.6

70

ABB GT 13E2

139,000

146,234

4.95

0.60

871.5

43

125,960

132,335

4.82

0.58

768.1

18

Aln 501KB5

3,020

3,216

6.08

0.73

23.6

154

228,760

239,861

4.63

0.56

1337.5

21

Aln 571KA Asig ASE40

4,440

4,755

6.61

0.80

37.9

169

645

698

7.55

0.91

6.3

129

2,620

2,748

4.64

0.56

15.4

137

4,200

4,472

6.08

0.73

32.8

151

Asig ASE50A

2,990

3,211

6.88

0.83

26.6

132

970

1,038

6.55

0.79

8.2

48

EGT Typhoon

3,240

3,572

9.28

1.12

39.9

188

3,820

4,058

5.86

0.71

28.7

145

EGT Typhoon

4,370

4,617

5.34

0.64

29.7

97

9,120

9,647

5.46

0.66

63.5

33

EGT Tornado

5,230

5,528

5.38

0.65

35.8

189

11,170

11,918

6.28

0.76

90.1

1

GE 5371 PA

22,150

23,604

6.16

0.74

175.1

44

21,030

22,441

6.29

0.76

170.0

133

GE 6561 B

34,290

36,101

5.02

0.60

218.1

13

24,210

26,140

7.38

0.89

232.5

135

GE 7241 FA

148,580

157,157

5.46

0.66

1033.3

47

39,940

42,448

5.91

0.71

302.1

148

GE 9171E

107,746

113,266

4.87

0.59

665.0

77

103,860

109,496

5.15

0.62

679.0

174

GE 9351 FA

227,478

239,886

5.17

0.62

1495.0

74

197,080

207,467

5.01

0.60

1251.4

Table 3 Typical water quality for media evaporative coolers

Constituent

PPM 610%

Calcium hardness (CaCO 3 ) Total alkalinity (CaCO 3 ) Chlorides (Cl) Silica (SiO 2 ) Iron (Fe) total Vanadium (V) Lead (Pb) Oil and grease Total dissolved solids Suspended solids p H

50–150

50–150

<40

<150

0.2

1.0

<

<

<500

2.0

<

<

1.0

< 5

7–8.5

Note: PPM, Parts Per Million.

around the sealing perimeter of the cooling media can produce air jet velocities up to 10 m/s, increasing the potential for carryover, which is why several users utilize a droplet eliminator after the media section to avoid compressor erosion. This droplet eliminator can induce an additional pressure drop. The water chemistry must be carefully monitored and maintained to limit plugging of air pas- sages by organic and inorganic deposits. Physical inspection of the media during outages is recommended as is the provision of view- ing windows both upstream and downstream of the media system.

6.2 Lowest Temperature for Cooling. Several OEMs pub-

lish a combination of relative humidity and temperature at which anti icing measures are turned on. With evaporative media and fogging applications the ending relative humidity is close to 100%; temperatures as low as 10 C can be utilized 3 . However, to be on the very conservative side, temperatures of 12.8 C have been considered. Many media evaporative coolers are designed to

shut off when the ambient temperature reaches 15 C.

6.3 Water Required to Saturate Air for Evaporative

Cooling. The required amount of water to cool the air to mini- mum wet bulb temperature (MWBT) of 15 C (solid lines) and

3 There are several considerations other than just calculating the intake temperature static depression caused by air acceleration to Mach numbers of 0.5 to 0.8. There is also some heating (although small—of the order of 1 C) due to the condensation that occurs and also due to heat transfer from the number 1 bearing, etc.

081901-10 / Vol. 135, AUGUST 2013

30 C (dashed lines) for a series of wet bulb depression (WBD) between 5 C and 15 C is shown in Fig. 21. This figure shows that cooling the air, for example, from 45 C to 30 C requires around 5% more water than to cool the air from 30 C to 15 C.

6.4

Practical Aspects, Operations, and Inspection

6.4.1

Temperature Limitations. If the ECDH number is used

to compute kW-h boost over the year, it is important to note that this would imply that evaporative cooling is employed whenever there is even a 1 C depression. There are practical limitations that during the cooler months; freezing conditions may occur during the early morning hours that may cause evaporative cooling to be

shut off. Several evaporative media cooling systems are designed to be shut down when the ambient temperature reaches 15 C.

6.4.2 Evaporative Cooler Inspections. Careful inspection of

the evaporative cooler and examining several practical features is

of importance in maintaining the operational reliability of an

importance in maintaining the operational reliability of an Fig. 21 Chart to estimate approximate water flow

Fig. 21 Chart to estimate approximate water flow requirements for varying gas turbine airflow rates and temperature depres- sions ranging from 5 C to 15 C

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Fig. 22 Comparison of new media with scaled media [ 8 ] evaporative cooler. There

Fig. 22 Comparison of new media with scaled media [8 ]

evaporative cooler. There are several important things that should be considered, including the following:

Verify there are no gaps between media segments that allow air and water droplets to bypass the cooler.

Verify there is no water bypassing the media because that would reduce efficiency.

Check water flow rates and distribution. Dry streaks on the media are indicative of poor distribution.

Examine the walls of the air inlet house downstream of the drift eliminator for streaking. Streaking can be caused by high air velocity, water bypassing the evaporative cooler, and/or a defective drift eliminator.

Examine media to see if it is mushy. If it is then consider replacement and determine the root cause.

Check media differential pressure and trend this value.

If scaling is noted, check water chemistry.

this value. • If scaling is noted, check water chemistry. Fig. 23 Microbiological fouling of media

Fig. 23 Microbiological fouling of media [8 ]

Journal of Engineering for Gas Turbines and Power

Check framing, drift eliminator, sump, piping, pumps, and support systems for corrosion. These should be repaired as necessary.

Verify integrity of seals, gaskets, and caulking.

Flush the sump and piping system thoroughly annually or more frequently.

Send samples of the media and water to the evaporative cooler supplier annually for evaluation.

Comparison of new and scaled media is shown in Fig. 22. Microbiological fouling of media that can be very damaging is shown in Fig. 23. Excellent details regarding inspection and commissioning of evaporative coolers may be found in Grace [14].

7 Summary

The demand for gas turbine power augmentation during times of high ambient temperature for the power generation and mechanical drive market has created an increasing emphasis on evaporative cooling. Media evaporative cooling is a relatively low cost technology that can provide considerable power boost, espe- cially during hot climates when the coincident relative humidity is low. This paper has presented a detailed review of evaporative cooling in terms of the technology, thermodynamics, and aspects of analysis and has also covered numerous practical checklists and issues that are very important for ensuring the operational reliability of such systems.

Nomenclature

ASHRAE ¼ American Society of Heating and Refrigeration Engineers CDH ¼ cooling degree hours CCDH ¼ chiller cooling degree hours, Ch( F h) CTIT ¼ compressor target inlet temperature (with chiller) DBT ¼ dry bulb temperature, C E ¼ evaporative cooler effectiveness (efficiency) ECDH ¼ evaporative cooling degree hours, Ch( F h) EWD ¼ engineering weather data GT ¼ gas turbine ISMCS ¼ International Station Meteorological Climate Summary IWS ¼ Integrated Weather Surface

AUGUST 2013, Vol. 135 / 081901-11

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LNG ¼ liquefied natural gas LPM ¼ liters/minute

OEM ¼ original equipment manufacturer OS ¼ overspray (water flow as a % of airflow rate) RH ¼ relative humidity, %

T

¼ temperature, C

TMY ¼ typical meteorological year

WBT ¼ wet bulb temperature, C

WBD ¼ wet bulb depression, C

MWBT ¼ minimum wet bulb temperature, C

References

[1] Meher-Homji, C. B., Chaker, M., and Motiwalla, H., 2001, “Gas Turbine Per- formance Deterioration,” Proceedings of the 30th Turbomachinery Symposium, Houston, TX, September 17–20. [2] Johnson, R. S., 1988, “The Theory and Operation of Evaporative Coolers for Industrial Gas Turbine Installations,” International Gas Turbine and Aeroengine Congress, Amsterdam, Netherlands, June 5–9, ASME Paper No. 88-GT-41. [3] Johnson, R. S., 1994, “Set Up and Operation of a Recirculating Wetted Rigid Media Evaporative Cooler Installed in a Gas Turbine Combustion Inlet Air Sys- tem,” International Gas Turbine and Aeroengine Congress and Exposition, The Hague, Netherlands, June 13–16. [4] Hosseini, R., Beshkani, A., and Soltani M., 2007, “Performance Improvement of Gas Turbines of Fars (Iran) Combined Cycle Power Plant by Intake Air Cooling Using a Media Evaporative Cooler,” Energ. Convers. Man. J., 48, pp.

1055–1064.

081901-12 / Vol. 135, AUGUST 2013

[5] Jones, C., and Jacobs J. A., III, 2000, “Economic and Technical Considerations for Combined-Cycle Performance-Enhancement Options,” GE Power Systems, Schenectady, NY, Report No. GER-4200, [6] Chaker, M., and Meher-Homji, C. B., 2007, “Evaporative Cooling of Gas Turbine Engines: Climatic Analysis and Application in High Humidity Regions,” ASME Turbo Expo 2007: Power for Land, Sea, and Air (GT2007), Montreal, Canada, May 14–17, ASME Paper No. GT2007-27866. [7] Ingistov, S., and Chaker, M., 2011, “Upgrade of the Intake Air Cooling System for a Heavy-Duty Industrial Gas Turbine,” Proceedings of ASME Turbo Expo 2011, Vancouver Canada, June 6–10, GT2011-45398. [8] “Air Inlet System, Make it Right,” 2010, Comb. Cycle J., 2Q (2010), pp. 22–36. [9] Al-Amiri, A. M. M., Zamzam, M. M., Chaker, M. A., and Meher-Homji C. B., 2066, Application of Inlet Fogging for Power Augmentation of Mechanical Drive Turbines in the Oil and Gas Sector,” Proceedings of ASME Turbo Expo, Barcelona, Spain, May 8–11, Paper No. GT2006-91054. [10] Chaker, M., Meher-Homji, C., Mee, T., and Nicholson, A., 2003, “Inlet Fogging of Gas Turbine Engines—Detailed Climatic Analysis of Gas Turbine Evapora- tive Cooling Potential”. ASME J. Eng. Gas Turb. Power, 125(1), pp. 300–309. [11] Chaker, M., and Meher-Homji, C. B., 2006, “Inlet Fogging of Gas Turbine Engines—Detailed Climatic Analysis of Gas Turbine Evaporative Cooling Potential for International Locations,” ASME J. Eng. Gas Turb. Power, 128(4), pp. 815–825. [12] McNeilly, D., 2000, “Application of Evaporative Coolers for Gas Turbine Power Plants,” International Gas Turbine and Aeroengine Congress, Munich, Germany, May 8–11, ASME Paper No. 2000-GT-303. [13] Chaker, M., and Meher-Homji, C. B., 2011, “Selection of Climatic Design Points for Gas Turbine Power Augmentation,” Proceedings of ASME Turbo Expo 2011, Vancouver, Canada, June 6–10, ASME Paper No. GT2011-46463. [14] Grace, B., 2011, “Benefits of Inspecting and Commissioning Evaporative Coolers,” accessed April 3, 2011, www.ccj-online.com/inspection-overhaul- and-upgrade-of-evaporative-cooler

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