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What Are the Types of Air Cooling for a Gas Turbine Plant?

Gas turbines are responsible for a significant portion of electricity production in the United States. However, hot temperatures in the summer can be devastating to their productivity. Gas turbines are highly dependent on ambient air temperature to function properly. When temperatures rise to excessive levels, it becomes harder to move a large volume of air through them. Therefore, a proper gas turbine cooling system becomes critical to maintaining peak productivity during the hot summer months.

Air cooling systems provide one of the most cost-effective ways to maintain optimal gas turbine performance during the hottest months of the year. There are two types of inlet air cooling systems you can use with gas turbines:

The right solution for your gas turbine operation will depend on your specific needs.

Evaporative Cooling

Evaporative cooling utilizes saturated cooling pads, called evaporative media, to trigger the evaporation process which cools the air temperature. The energy released when hot air passes over the evaporative media can drop the air temperature by as much as 30 degrees F. This solution provides an environmentally sustainable, cost-effective method for cooling gas turbines.

Evaporative cooling uses significantly less electricity than a chiller system, making it an ideal solution when an abundant water supply is available. In addition, evaporative cooling filters particulate matter out of the air, preventing damage to the turbines. Because only water is used in the cooling process, evaporative cooling provides a much more eco-friendly solution than a chiller systems, which rely on chemical refrigerants.

Chiller System

Chiller systems use a heat exchanger to lower the air temperature. A solution comprised of chemical refrigerants powers the cooling process in the heat exchanger. As this chilled solution is pumped through heat exchanger, heat is absorbed from the air before it can enter the turbines.

The chiller system depends on a change in pressure to drop the air temperature. As a result, these systems may become prone to leaking. If a leak occurs, the chemical refrigerants used as part of the cooling cycle may enter the atmosphere, creating environmental hazards. While chiller systems are a highly efficient cooling solution for gas turbines, these environmental risks must be balanced when choosing an air cooling system for your facility.

Benefits of Using Air Cooling Systems with Gas Turbines

gas turbine coolingWhether you choose an evaporative cooling system or a chiller system, air cooling provides a variety of benefits when trying to maximize gas turbine productivity on hot days:

Kuul Evaporative Media – The Smart Choice for Gas Turbine Cooling

Kuul Control PowerGT™ evaporative media has been constructed to address the cooling needs of gas turbines. With superior efficiency and pressure drop performance, Kuul media lasts longer than other evaporative media and allows your gas turbine system to operate at peak performance during the hottest times of the year.

Kuul PowerGT™ evaporative media also offers a variety of benefits, including:

As a result, your gas turbines will be able to generate the power you need with the highest levels of efficiency.

Contact us today to find out how Kuul evaporative media can keep your gas turbines operating at peak efficiency.