Multiple natural gas-based power plants are utilizing gas turbines in their structure for increased productiveness. These turbines have a complex mechanism, but the energy output potential is high. One of the main components that influence power generation is the compressor section. This draws in the atmospheric air inside the engine and pressurizes it. Thereafter, through the attached nozzles, the pressurized air enters the combustion chambers. Power generation occurs within the chambers and discharged mechanical energy constitutes its overall power output of the process. Multiple industries utilize this turbine type, and that has increased its market value over the years. Statistically, the gas turbine industry is expected to have a CAGR of 8.2% by 2026. To note, the gas turbine parts are major contributors to the overall power generation capacity of gas turbines. In this article, you would get a basic overview of the fundamental components of these turbines.
How does a gas turbine operate?
Typically, the gas turbine compresses the atmospheric air and mixes the gaseous element with a fuel type. Thereafter, the machine burns the combined mixture at a very high temperature. This results in the production of heated pressurized air. Thereafter, the hot mixture transports through the turbine blades. This rotates the blades at an extremely high speed which, in turn, spins the drive shaft of the turbine.
Here, a rod connects the spinning turbine with the generator. At this stage, the rod spins the large copper-wire coil-covered magnet in the generator. Thereafter, the magnets rotate at a very high speed which results in the occurrence of a powerful magnetic field. This causes the electrons near the copper coils to line up and move. To note, the motion of the electron within the wire results in electricity.
Application of gas turbines
Multiple versions of gas turbines are currently under operation; all of them have different varying ranges (1-10+ meters). The gas turbines are available in various types and operation with machines likes helicopters, jets, and tanks. Moreover, this machinery is helpful in industrial-based machine operations as well.
Components of gas turbine
The specific components of the gas turbine are as follows:
For proper gas turbine operation and power generation, it is important to make sure that the inlet duct should always stays clean. This would ensure that the passing atmospheric air flows without restrictions. Clear and unrestricted airflow ensures less damage, erosion, or corrosion potential inside the machinery. As a result, the efficiency of the turbine increases. To note, power plant operators should install the fairings inside the inlet duct. This is useful for reducing the potential of airflow losses.
The turbine section of the gas turbine engine has four-stage composition. It works with the propeller or the reduction gear to move the compressor accurately. Ultimately, the four-stage turbine is effective in producing mechanical energy by converting the air fuel-based gaseous energy. Essentially, the turbine expands the high-pressure hot gases into low-pressure cold gases. This aids in the overall gaseous energy into the mechanical energy conversion process.
After the airflow inside the gas turbine converts into a straight-line flow, it moves out of the compressor guide vanes. Thereafter, the gas moves inside the diffuser part of the turbine, or the divergent duct. Typically, the functionality of the diffuser is aerodynamic in nature.
This component includes the inner air-compression pump, electric-powered engine, outlet/inlet valve for air movement, and a storage tank, in some models. In the gas turbine, this is the section the air is pulled into after its volume is reduced. It causes vacuum creation; the air pressure increases as it moves inside of the holding tank. Typically, when the tank pressure reaches its highest level, the service cycle completes. Also, the compressor shuts down after the pressure reaches its specific margin.
Passing through the diffusion, the air travel through the combustion part of the machinery. The combustor is the component that mainly monitors the mixture of air and fuel after burning altogether. Here, the component appropriately controls the released heat. Indeed, the air should speed up and expand in a smooth stream to ensure that the gas is heated uniformly. This guarantees a stable operational condition throughout. Here, power plant operators must make sure that the task completes with a huge release of heat and minimal loss of pressure.
The exhaust in the gas turbine system is the connection through which the extra gas from the turbine passes out. To note, after the gaseous energy to mechanical energy conversion, excess power still remains inside the exhaust gas. This gas passes through the exhaust convergent duct and is later reused in airplanes.
Overall, the combustion portion lies in the middle of the turbine flow section and compressor. All three components are highly important parts of the gas turbine and perform the main energy production task. In the combustion section, the air and fuel component are burned together.
The hot exhaust that forms passes through the turbine and exits through the nozzles. Every component in the gas turbine has a specific role in generating power. It is important to understand their functions first to ensure effective gas turbine operation.