Aeroderivative Gas Turbine: A Complete Guide

The aero-derivative gas turbine is a lighter-weight variant of the conventional gas turbine. Unlike industrial gas turbines, aero-derivative gas turbines are specifically designed for use in aircraft. However, for land applications, we also use aero-derivative gas turbines. Land turbines with aeroderivatives produce less power but are more compact and operate at higher efficiency and pressure ratios. The fuel source for the aero-derivative turbine is typically liquid fuel known as aviation gasoline, abbreviated “avgas.”

What are Aeroderivative Gas Turbines?

The aeroderivative gas turbine is a lighter-weight type of gas turbine. Although classified as a gas turbine, an aeroderivative turbine’s fuel source is not gas. In fact, they are intended to mix fuel and air before igniting to produce the desired yield.

Gas turbines are made up of a compression mechanism that aids in the intake and compression of air, followed by the addition of heat via a burner. The flow of hot air serves as the turbine’s power source. These are now typically designed to use the combustion process, which is in contrast to the intermittent nature of automotive combustion engines. Since the late 1930s, gas turbines have been used successfully in commercial applications.

Aeroderivative gas turbines are generally based on existing aircraft gas turbine engines. They are more compact and lighter than industrial gas turbines. Aeroderivative gas turbines are used in electrical power generation because they can shut down and control load changes more quickly than industrial machines. Another application is to reduce weight in the marine industry.

From an engineering standpoint, designing a gas turbine is less difficult than designing a more traditional piston engine. These units have a moving component. The complexity, however, stems from the high level of precision required in the construction and the materials used in their manufacture. In addition, some modern designs employ multiple shafts and hundreds of blades.

Aeroderivative Gas Turbines Applications

Aeroderivative gas turbine technology is widely used in aviation, where the power provided by the turbine is used to power a compressor. The hot air exiting the turbine is used for thrust by directing it into the atmosphere via the exhaust nozzle.Some of the power supplied by gas turbines that are not used in aircraft or other aviation-related machines is used to power the compression device. The remaining power is used to power an energy conversion device, such as a generator or a propeller on a ship. The turbine used to generate electricity can be small enough to be installed on trucks for mobile applications or large enough to take months to construct.

Aeroderivative gas turbines are typically much lighter than those designed for land use. Aeroframe machines are heavier industrial models designed for land use. Aeroderivative models are now more common in electrical power applications, though they are used for peak and intermittent goals rather than base power generation.

Aeroderivative Gas Turbines Strengths

Because of their dependability, efficiency, and flexibility, aeroderivative gas turbines are popular energy generation options. Modern aircraft engine technologies and materials have resulted in engines that are significantly lighter, respond faster, and have a smaller footprint than their heavy industrial gas turbine counterparts.

With up to 45% efficiency compared to up to 35% for heavier gas turbines, these turbines are frequently regarded as an appropriate choice in small-scale energy generation (up to 100 MW). Turbines are also popular due to their fuel flexibility; they allow for the combination of natural gas and liquid fuel.

A 2016 study predicted that the global market for aeroderivative gas turbines would grow by nearly 5% per year between 2016 and 2020. Many of these machines are extended on power trains for Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) power plants in Asia, in particular. Aeroderivatives are primarily used in various operations or to compensate for network fluctuations caused by renewables or severe weather conditions in the United States. GE, Siemens, and Pratt & Whitney Power Systems control nearly all of the aeroderivatives market (PWPS).

Aeroderivative Gas Turbines vs. Industrial Gas Turbines

After a thorough comparison of turbines, the best choice of gas turbines can be made. Weight, size, design, efficiency, bearing type, and lubrication system are some of the differences between aeroderivative and industrial gas turbines.

As the name implies, an aeroderivative gas turbine is compatible with gas turbines used in aircraft (jet engines). The industrial gas turbine, on the other hand, is designed to operate on land.

Heavy frame industrial gas turbines are typically slower than aeroderivative gas turbines, with a narrower speed range, higher airflow, slower start-up, and more time and spare components required for maintenance. Hydrodynamic bearings are used in heavy frame industrial gas turbines.

Anti-friction bearings are used in aeroderivative gas turbines. Advanced aircraft engine technologies have been used to provide maintainable, flexible, lightweight, and small aeroderivative gas turbines. Maintainability is the modular concept of removing and replacing components without removing the turbine from its support mounts. Industrial gas turbines, on the other hand, necessitate more effort to remove, replace, inspect, or repair the parts (particularly combustor components).

Traditionally, the priority has been to place aeroderivative units in remote applications (including offshore) and heavy frame industrial units in easily accessible base-load applications.

Aeroderivative gas turbines use more fuel and air than industrial gas turbines. They are subjected to more contaminants in the air, which causes corrosion.

Aeroderivative gas turbines are the only engines that extract mechanical work from fuel without using exhaust and are designed without secondary regeneration. As a result, aeroderivative gas turbines are appropriate for simple cycle gas power plants that do not require a combined cycle or steam generation. The exhaust from industrial gas turbines is designed to raise steam. The higher the temperature of the steam, the more useful it is in industrial applications. As a result, they are built to produce hotter exhaust and are less efficient at converting heat into mechanical work.

Industrial turbines are used in factories and run at a constant speed for long periods of time, so they are only efficient in a limited power range. However, aeroderivative gas turbines have greater flexibility and efficiency over a wider power range. Aeroderivative gas turbines are now 10-15% more efficient than heavy-frame industrial gas turbines. Some experts predict that aeroderivative gas turbines will eventually replace heavy industrial gas turbines.

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