Research Papers: Gas Turbines: Oil and Gas Applications

Fouling Mechanisms in Axial Compressors

[+] Author and Article Information
Rainer Kurz, Klaus Brun

 Solar Turbines Incorporated,San Diego, CA 92101 Southwest Research Institute,San Antonio, TX 78238

Per EN 779

>Corrosion pitting can be prevented by appropriate coatings.

J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power 134(3), 032401 (Jan 03, 2012) (9 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4004403 History: Received May 01, 2011; Revised May 01, 2011; Published January 03, 2012; Online January 03, 2012

Fouling of compressor blades is an important mechanism leading to performance deterioration in gas turbines over time. Fouling is caused by the adherence of particles to airfoils and annulus surfaces. Particles that cause fouling are typically smaller than 2 to 10 microns. Smoke, oil mists, carbon, and sea salts are common examples. Fouling can be controlled by appropriate air filtration systems, and can often be reversed to some degree by detergent washing of components. The adherence of particles is impacted by oil or water mists. The result is a build up of material that causes increased surface roughness and to some degree changes the shape of the airfoil (if the material build up forms thicker layers of deposits), with subsequent deterioration in performance. Fouling mechanisms are evaluated based on observed data, and a discussion on fouling susceptibility is provided. A particular emphasis will be on the capabilities of modern air filtration systems.

Copyright © 2012 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 1

Comparison of fractional efficiency for filter elements from different suppliers and different face velocities in new and dirty conditions [5]

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Figure 2

Salt deposits on compressor blades, 18,000 hrs of operation. View on suction side. Fewer deposits near leading edge and in the hub region.

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Figure 3

Deposits on a compressor rotor

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Figure 4

Fouling deposition rates on axial compressor airfoil (solid: experiment, dotted: prediction). Particle mass median diameter (Top) 0.13 μm, (bottom) 0.19 μm [8].

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Figure 5

Oily deposits on axial compressor blades from bearing oil leakage on a large heavy duty gas turbine [3]. Oil steaks originate at hub region and are distributed over the airfoil by centrifugal forces and blade boundary layer shear stresses.

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Figure 6

Filtration mechanisms

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Figure 7

Friction factor on the suction side of a compressor blade [23]

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Figure 8

Secondary flow regions in rotor and stator of an axial flow compressor [25]

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Figure 9

Fouling rates (power degradation) for different gas turbines. Engines 2 [32], 3 [33], and 4 [34] are all larger than Engine 1 and 5 (present data). Engines 1, 2, 4 and 5 are single shaft engines, engine 3 is a two shaft engine.




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