Air inlet filtration systems should be designed to suit the environment, but because of past market pressures, a general design has been used in widely varying environmental conditions. Compare an area that is prone to dust storms to one that typically suffers from wet and humid conditions. Systems designed for dust storms are fundamentally different from systems designed for wet and humid conditions—no single filtration system can provide optimum turbine protection for both. For example, pulse systems are often installed in coastal areas where there are no dust storms, where traditional pulse filters often perform poorly in high humidity environments.
Defining the right solution does not necessarily imply a higher initial investment— site-specific protection can be provided at an investment similar to commoditized solutions. Systems designed for local site conditions protect the turbine more effectively, reduce maintenance requirements, and improve performance.
- Benefits of a site-specific solution
- Higher power output = increased profit
- Lower heat rate = increased fuel efficiency
- Less stops for maintenance = increased availability
- Lower risk of failure due to parts breakdown = increased reliability
- Longer engine part life = reduce overall costs
Define your optimal air inlet filter solution in advance
Before making your purchase, get the right assessment for your site and prevent a general solution from being prescribed. Understanding the following conditions will allow you to arrive at your EPC’s or OEM’s door equipped with the right questions and demands.
- Environment: Understanding the local conditions will allow you to strategically determine the type of filtration system required. Consider the following environmental characteristics:
- Seasonal Weather Conditions: i.e. rain intensity; humidity levels; types, concentration, and wind direction of particulate.
- Neighbouring Plants: The type of production plant will affect the type of particulates your gas turbine will be exposed to.
- Operation Mode: Do you operate as a base load, peak load, part load (cycling mode)?
- Priorities: Filter systems can be optimised to match your priorities. For example, and depending on the environment, high filtration efficiencies would be recommended to reduce fouling, allowing a power plant to increase profitability and an oil & gas operator to attain higher availability.
- Risk Assessment: What are the risks that you are willing to take, and are they economically acceptable? For example, consider the consequences of a forced shutdown due to a filter change out or water wash during your peak operating season.
Ensure a shorter return on investment:
- Flexible Design: Although a system can be designed based on current local conditions, the operating mode may change in the future.
- Scenario 1: A plant’s mode can change from a Peak Load at 500 hrs/yr to Part Load at 3000-4000 hrs/yr due to higher demand.
- Scenario 2: A base load plant could change to cyclical mode due to renewables getting priority in the merit order for energy supply.
- Scenario 3: Dust concentration levels and types can change over time, requiring adapted filtration solutions. Accordingly, the filter house should have flexibility as a design feature for ease of adaptation so that you won’t have to completely rebuild a new system. This flexibility is typically not an option with a general solution.
- Low Pressure Drop and EPA Efficiency Class: The type of filter element will also impact overall profitability. Consider filters that offer a combination of high efficiency and low pressure drop.
- High Efficiency: An EPA-grade filter will reduce fouling, eliminating the need for water washes. It will also lower engine degradation, resulting in more output, increased fuel efficiency, and a longer service life on the GTs components.
- Lower Pressure Drop: A lower pressure drop will prevent excessive or forced shutdowns due to filter replacement. Pressure drop optimisation for the filter house should also be a design consideration.
Take the time to do a pre-study
It makes sense to protect your assets from the start, and Camfil can help you with this prestudy to define the most adequate solution that will generate the most profits based on your specific conditions and operational needs. The table below outlines the various Air Related Services that Camfil offers: