Decentralized Energy

20 Jan 2020

Future-Proofing Your Mature Gas Turbine Power Plant

20 Jan 2020  by Gas to power Journal   
Utilities, particularly in China and Europe, are retrofitting their gas turbine with combustor enhancements to make assets more cost-effective. To support this market, Ansaldo Energia affiliate PSM developed a Low Emission Combustor (LEC-III) and new FlameSheet combustor retrofit for B, E and F-class gas turbines.

Combustor enhancements can significantly reduce smog-promoting emissions like oxides of nitrogen (NOx) while also helping to balance the intermittent power supply coming from an ever-increasing portfolio of renewable generation.

PSM committed substantial investments over a 20-year history to develop combustor retrofits for industrial heavy-duty gas turbines. “Technical capability and the business case to successfully develop, deliver and service new advanced combustion technology retrofits is an extremely high barrier to market entry proposition for any OEM, but especially for an aftermarket multi-OEM gas turbine full-scope service provider like PSM. But we have overcome these barriers and are proud to be able to deliver positive commercial results for our customers.” said Jeffrey Benoit, Vice President – Strategy & Marketing, PSM – Ansaldo Energia Group.

“Apart from the capital requirement, a company must have the R&D, analytical and operational expertise plus the ability to identify innovative concepts to deliver necessary performance and reliability requirements. From here, direct access to a high pressure, high temperature test rig facility to fully evaluate the combustion designs is a must. Finally, there is the ability to support the commissioning of the retrofit solution and offer post-installation services like repair. These capabilities and the business value of the product to the customer are an absolute must to convince them to purchase and install our solution into their gas turbine fleets,” he told Gas to Power Journal.

Dow Chemical’s as 1st customer

The first LEC-III upgrade was carried out in 2003 at Dow Chemical’s GE Frame 7EA gas turbine at their Oyster Creek facility in Texas. The straightforward and direct retrofit achieved a commercial world record of sub-5ppm NOx emissions over the necessary operational load range.

To date, the PSM fleet of LEC-III systems operate on five different types of gas turbines (GE Frames 6B, 7B/E/EA and 9E plus Siemens Westinghouse 501B6 and 501D5) and have more than 1,500,000 hours of operation on over 80 customer gas turbines. Additionally, design enhancements recently implemented and operating on customer machines are allowing the consumption of up to 35% by volume of hydrogen mixed with natural gas fuel, significantly reducing the turbine’s carbon emission intensity.

“LEC-III is patented technology first incorporated into GE Frame 7E/EA gas turbines in 2003 and into the Frame 9E in 2004,” Benoit underlined. This can-annular, reverse-flow combustion system was designed to be a direct replacement into an existing gas turbine outfitted with the OEM’s DLN-1 system.

The PSM lean premixed system, includes fuel nozzle assemblies, transition pieces, flow sleeves and combustion liners which were initially designed to achieve less than 15ppm NOx (corrected to 15% O2) at baseload conditions or 30mg/Nm3.


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