Research Papers: Research Papers

Micro Gas Turbine Cycle Humidification for Increased Flexibility: Numerical and Experimental Validation of Different Steam Injection Models

[+] Author and Article Information
Ward De Paepe

Faculty of Engineering,
Thermal Engineering and Combustion Unit
University of Mons (UMONS),
Place du Parc 20,
Mons 7000, Belgium
e-mail: ward.depaepe@umons.ac.be

Massimiliano Renzi

Free University of Bozen/Bolzano,
Faculty of Science and Technology,
Piazza Università 1,
Bolzano 39100, Italy
e-mail: massimiliano.renzi@unibz.it

Marina Montero Carrerro

Thermo and Fluid dynamics (FLOW),
Faculty of Engineering,
Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB),
Brussel 1050, Belgium
e-mail: mmontero@vub.ac.be

Carlo Caligiuri

Free University of Bozen/Bolzano,
Faculty of Science and Technology,
Piazza Università, 1,
Bolzano 39100, Italy
e-mail: Carlo.Caligiuri@natec.unibz.it

Francesco Contino

Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB),
Thermo and Fluid dynamics (FLOW),
Faculty of Engineering,
Pleinlaan 2,
Brussels 1050, Belgium
e-mail: fcontino@vub.ac.be

1Corresponding author.

Manuscript received June 27, 2018; final manuscript received July 6, 2018; published online September 26, 2018. Editor: Jerzy T. Sawicki.

J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power 141(2), 021009 (Sep 26, 2018) (10 pages) Paper No: GTP-18-1387; doi: 10.1115/1.4040859 History: Received June 27, 2018; Revised July 06, 2018

With the current shift from centralized to more decentralized power production, new opportunities arise for small-scale combined heat and power (CHP) production units like micro gas turbines (mGTs). However, to fully embrace these opportunities, the current mGT technology has to become more flexible in terms of operation—decoupling the heat and power production in CHP mode—and in terms of fuel utilization—showing flexibility in the operation with different lower heating value (LHV) fuels. Cycle humidification, e.g., by performing steam injection, is a possible route to handle these problems. Current simulation models are able to correctly assess the impact of humidification on the cycle performance, but they fail to provide detailed information on the combustion process. To fully quantify the potential of cycle humidification, more advanced numerical models—preferably validated—are necessary. These models are not only capable of correctly predicting the cycle performance, but they can also handle the complex chemical kinetics in the combustion chamber. In this paper, we compared and validated such a model with a typical steady-state model of the steam injected mGT cycle based on the Turbec T100. The advanced one is an in-house MATLAB model, based on the NIST database for the characterization of the properties of the gaseous compounds with the combustion mechanisms embedded according to the Gri-MEch 3.0 library. The validation one was constructed using commercial software (Aspen Plus), using the more advance Redlich-Kwong-Soave (RKS)- Boston-Mathias(BM) property method and assuming complete combustion by using a Gibbs reactor. Both models were compared considering steam injection in the compressor outlet or in the combustion chamber, focusing only on the global cycle performance. Simulation results of the steam injection cycle fueled with natural gas and syngas showed some differences between the two presented models (e.g., 5.9% on average for the efficiency increase over the simulated steam injection rates at nominal power output for injection in the compressor outlet); however, the general trends that could be observed are consistent. Additionally, the numerical results of the injection in the compressor outlet were also validated with steam-injection experiments in a Turbec T100, indicating that the advanced MATLAB model overestimates the efficiency improvement by 25–45%. The results show the potential of simulating the humidified cycle using more advanced models; however, in future work, special attention should be paid to the experimental tuning of the model parameters in general and the recuperator performance in particular to allow correct assessment of the cycle performance.

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Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 1

The Turbec T100 is a typical recuperated Brayton cycle (dark parts), where the air coming from the compressor is preheated in a recuperator by the hot exhaust gases before entering the combustion chamber and turbine. Steam injection in the mGT cycle was simulated in the compressor outlet and in the combustion chamber (light parts).

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 2

For both the Aspen and the MATLAB models, compressor and turbine maps provided by the manufacturer have been used

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 3

The steam injection flow rate is gradually increased to avoid any engine shutdown due to flameout in the combustion chamber

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 4

The predicted performance of the mGT without steam injection at different requested power outputs shows some differences between the MATLAB and the Aspen models, which can be explained by the different implementation of the turbine and parameter tuning

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 5

The dry performance of the mGT at 100 kWe electrical power output for varying inlet air temperature shows good comparison for both MATLAB and Aspen models

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 6

Results of steam injection simulations in the compressor outlet (a) and the combustion chamber (b), obtained with the MATLAB (symbols) and Aspen (lines) models, using natural gas (NG, full lines and diamonds) and syngas (SG, dashed lines and circles) show relative good agreement when predicting the impact on the mGT performance: (a) Steam injection in the compressor outlet and (b) steam injection in the combustion chamber

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 7

Comparison between numerical results obtained with the Aspen and MATLAB models and experimental results using L-gas show good agreement for the Aspen model, validating this numerical model



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