Typically, most people will be aware of Gas Turbines from their use as an engine in aircraft, helicopters, ships and even tanks. However, they are also used in industrial applications to drive mechanical equipment, produce electrical power and create process steam.

A Gas Turbine is capable of running on many different types of fuel and can offer a smaller weight and size compared to other methods of producing power.

In its most basic form, a Gas Turbine can be used along with a gearbox to provide the drive for items like compressors. Mechanical Drive Gas Turbines are available in different sizes in the range of 700 hp to 175,000 hp.

If we use the Gas Turbine to drive an Electrical Generator, it is described as a Simple Cycle Gas Turbine. These are available in sizes ranging from 0.5MW to 330MW and efficiencies ranging from 20% to 40%.

Dependant on the size and make, the burnt fuel exhaust from the Gas Turbine can range from 370°C to 540°C (700°F to 1000°F). If we pass this exhaust through a boiler, we can recover some of the heat energy and use it to make steam. This steam can either be supplied straight to a manufacturing process, or passed through a Steam Turbine first. If the Steam Turbine is used to generate more electricity, it is termed a Combined Cycle Gas Turbine. These are available in sizes ranging from 7MW to 1000MW and efficiencies ranging from 40% to 60%. Use of the steam in a process like a paper mill or textile facility will further increase this efficiency. If more steam is required, this can be provided by the use of supplemental firing through the use of duct burners to add more energy to the exhaust gasses.

Cogeneration refers to the thermodynamically efficient use of the waste heat in the exhaust gasses.

Gas Turbine efficiency calculations are done using the Lower Heating Value (LHV) of the fuel which is measured in Btus. This is the amount of energy within the fuel that can be converted into useable power. The Higher Heating Value (HHV) is the amount of total chemical energy within the fuel, some of which can never be converted to useable power in the combustion process. While Gas Turbine efficiency is calculated using the LHV, fuel is purchased using the HHV number. This means that your purchased fuel amounts for liquid fuel are 6% higher and for gas are 11% higher than the LHV calculated amounts.

Unless specifically requested, performance specifications tend to be quoted at ISO conditions. This is the maximum continuous power that you can expect for 6,000+ hours per year at sea level with an ambient temperature of 15°C (59°F) and a relative humidity of 60%. They are stated on a gross plant output basis without taking into account parasitic auxiliary loads, gearbox efficiency and inlet & outlet pressure drop losses. Further corrections are required if your environment does not match the ISO conditions. As a rule of thumb, every 1°F rise in ambient temperature will result in 0.3% to 0.5% drop in Gas Turbine output with a proportionate increase in heat rate. Every 305 M (1000 ft) increase in elevation will produce a 3.3% loss in Gas Turbine power output.

The Gas Turbine will regularly be required to integrate with existing equipment and processes as well as having its own balance of plant requirements in order to operate. Customer needs, coupled with the market availability of new or refurbished Gas Turbines will have to be considered to ensure that the customers’ requirements are met.

Our role often starts with helping a customer decide if a Gas Turbine is the best solution for them along with providing the information to create a forecast of installation/operating costs and benefits. We can manage the project from the initial permitting and ground-survey through the Gas Turbine installation, integration and commissioning as well as operator training, maintenance and long term service agreements.

If you want to know more contact us at 1-403-358-5454 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it