Turbine Cooling Air Optimization

Digital control optimizes cooling performance to improve efficiency in power generation

"Turbine Cooling Air Optimization" improves the performance of gas turbines in power plants. It improves the power generation efficiency of air-cooled gas turbines through control of the turbine cooling air (TCA) fans to optimize the rotor cooling air (RCA) temperature. The technology has already been proven on 14 commercially operating units (as of Dec. 2021).


Precise digital control of TCA fans optimizes RCA temperature

TCA coolers can lower the temperature of discharge air from the compressor outlet using a fan and heat exchanger. This cooled air lowers the temperature of the turbine blades and rotor. In most cases, the fuel gas temperature is controlled to reach a set temperature, unlike the RCA temperature. This means that the excessive cooling could adversely affect gas turbine performance during low ambient temperatures in winter months or partial load operation times. Switching the TCA fan to inverter control and optimizing the RCA temperature is a shortcut to improving power generation efficiency.

 Mechanism of Turbine Cooling Air Optimization

Gas turbine efficiency improvements of 1.0%rel.

Existing TCA system fan motors are controlled at either ON (100% speed) or OFF (0% speed) positions. This results in a relative decrease in RCA temperature due to excessive cooling in low ambient temperature conditions. The Turbine Cooling Air Optimization controls and sets the TCA fan speed with the target RCA temperature according to the actual operating conditions. Adjustment of the RCA temperature (by changing the fan speed) enables optimized tip clearance for the turbine blades during low ambient temperature and partial load operation conditions, leading to improvements in gas turbine performance. The gas turbine efficiency improvement experience is +1.0% relative.

 Graph showing that Turbine Cooling Air Optimization  optimizes the Rotor Cooling Air temperature

Pay-per-use pricing plan with TOMONI edge enabler

With the "TOMONI" Digital Solution, use of the Edge Enabler with the Turbine Cooling Air Optimization and other advanced control systems allows you to select "enable" or "disable" control upgrades. The pay-per-use pricing plan bills users on the length of time they use the control, allowing for more flexible cost schemes.

 Image of pay-per-use pricing plan with TOMONI Edge Enabler