Research Papers

A Compressor Fouling Review Based on an Historical Survey of ASME Turbo Expo Papers

[+] Author and Article Information
Alessio Suman, Nicola Aldi, Nicola Casari, Michele Pinelli, Pier Ruggero Spina

Dipartimento di Ingegneria,
Università degli Studi di Ferrara,
Ferrara 44122, Italy

Mirko Morini

Dipartimento di Ingegneria Industriale,
Università degli Studi di Parma,
Parma 43124, Italy

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the International Gas Turbine Institute (IGTI) of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF TURBOMACHINERY. Manuscript received April 19, 2016; final manuscript received October 25, 2016; published online January 10, 2017. Assoc. Editor: Steven E. Gorrell.

J. Turbomach 139(4), 041005 (Jan 10, 2017) (23 pages) Paper No: TURBO-16-1092; doi: 10.1115/1.4035070 History: Received April 19, 2016; Revised October 25, 2016

Fouling afflicts gas turbine operation from first time application. Filtration systems and washing operations work against air contaminants in order to limit the particles entering the compressor inlet and remove the existing deposits. In this work, a global overview of the operational experience of the manufacturer, the filtration systems, and the particle deposition of the compressor are reported. The data reported in this review have been collected from 60 years (1956–2015) of ASME Turbo Expo proceedings. This conference is recognized as the must-attend event for turbomachinery professionals. Through the years, many issues have been resolved by the contributions of this conference. Regarding the compressor fouling phenomenon, the contributions presented at the ASME Turbo Expo mark the high level of development in this field of research, thanks to the simultaneous presence of manufacturers, government, and academia attendees. The goal of the authors is to describe the technological evolution and challenges faced by manufacturers and researchers through the years, highlighting the state of the art in the knowledge of fouling, and defining the background on which further studies will be based.

Copyright © 2017 by ASME
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Fig. 1

Blade contamination: (a) oily deposits on axial compressor blades as a result of oil leakage on a large heavy duty gas turbine [4] and (b) salt deposits on compressor blades after 18,000 h [3]

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Fig. 2

Manufacturer state-of-the-art timeline

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Fig. 3

Inlet system temperature drop as a function of the air acceleration. The higher inlet velocity results in a reduction of the free stream air temperature. This may determine water condensation or ice. The air in the boundary layer immediately adjacent to any stationary surface has slowed to almost zero velocity and is restored to almost its initial static temperature (recovery factor lines) [15].

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Fig. 4

Washing operations timeline

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Fig. 5

Normalized output versus operating hours using heavy oil. This test was conducted for approximately one month (February) with periodic compressor washing and single turbine washing [49].

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Fig. 6

Gas turbine power output (measured at the propeller shaft by a torque meter) over a long period of sea trials, showing the effect of occasional water-spray cleaning [76]

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Fig. 7

Filtration systems timeline

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Fig. 8

Comparison between inertial and media filter efficiencies according to particle dimension. Media filters were added to the existing inertial separators [94].

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Fig. 10

Variation in salt level (parts per million by weight) as a function of distance from the surf. Data were taken during onshore winds of varying intensity [111].

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Fig. 9

(a) Inlet heating which would result in the generation of dry salt crystals as a function of relative ambient humidity and temperature, (b) salt content of maritime air (parts per million by weight) as a function of wind velocity. Several data were reported provided by different authors and locations: Blanchard and Syzdek (Windward shore of Oahu, Hawaii), GPU, General Public Utilities, now FirstEnergy Corporation (New Jersey shore), Jacobs (Seashore, La Jolla, CA), Junge (Round Hill, MA), Navsec (no data available), NGTE—National Gas Turbine Establishment, Woodcock 1950 (Lighthouse, FL), Woodcock 1953 (data taken from ship, Florida, Hawaii, and Australia) [111].

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Fig. 11

(a) Dust particle distribution in a two-stage filtration system. The reduction in the weight percentage of contaminants is provided by the multiple stage filtration system. (b) The practice of filter system selection. The zones are: (1) high efficiency filters, (2) roll and mat type filters, (3) pulse and bag filters, (4) oil bath filters, (5) electrostatic filters, (6) inertial separators, and (7) wet separators. The selection has to be made beginning with the initial condition (air contaminant concentration and humidity) [129].

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Fig. 12

Dust separation in a pulse-jet self-cleaning filter. The reduction in the weight percentage of contaminants is provided by the self-cleaning type filter [130].

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Fig. 13

Gas turbine power penalty from different types of air cleaners (the 100% hp points would apply to the single shaft, or free turbine at full power) [92]

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Fig. 14

Pressure drop curve (Pa) at 4250 m3/h volume flow rate per filter element: (a) two-stage filter (classes F6 and F8), (b) three-stage filter (classes F6, F9, and H11) according to EN779:2002 and EN1822:2009 filter classifications [102]

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Fig. 15

Change in the saturation temperature at the compressor inlet. Tas is the static air temperature, Ts is the saturation air temperature, and φ is the relative humidity [129].

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Fig. 16

Particle deposition timeline

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Fig. 17

Axial compressor stator blading showing oily carbonaceous deposits [90]

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Fig. 18

Stator blade deposits [211]

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Fig. 19

Weight distribution of deposits on the convex and concave sides of the axial compressor blades: (a) rotor and (b)stator [57]

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Fig. 20

Blade samples with varying degrees of contamination. Blade 9 shows deposits with a dirt mixed with hydrocarbon; blades 10 and 13 show deposits located on the front portion of the blade and blade 14 shows the manual cleaned area where the deposits are not too sticky [67].

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Fig. 21

Different deposit patterns after visual inspection: (a) deposits after 5000 h with two off-line washes and F8-type filter, (b) deposits after 6500 h without washes and E10-type filter. The differences in the deposit patterns are located at the leading edge zones [105].

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Fig. 22

Salt deposits found after experimental tests with salt ingestion: (a) percentage distribution of deposits with respect to the total stator deposits on stator vanes, (b) salt deposits at the leading edge of the second-stage stator vanes (at 6.5× magnification). The hub is at the top in this image. The partial detachment of the salt deposits close to the hub is clearly visible [212].

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Fig. 23

(a) deposits on the leading edge of a first-stage rotor blade and (b) deposits on the inlet guide vanes [213]

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Fig. 24

Contaminant mass on the blade surface with filtration system. Contaminant mass flow rates were reported as a function of the blade side (pressure and suction), environmental condition (industrial spring, industrial winter, urban), and charge level of the electrostatic filters (optimal charge, OC and poor charge, PC). The environmental conditions are characterized by different contaminant concentration. Industrial spring is the most detrimental condition, while urban is characterized by lower levels of particle concentration [219].

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Fig. 25

Timeline showing the progress in the field of fouling contributions

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Fig. 26

Overall contributions in gas turbine fouling

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Fig. 27

Detailed subdivision of resources: operational experience, filtration system, and compressor deposition

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Fig. 28

Overall count of fouling contributors: (a) contributions devoted to the fouling issue, (b) overall ASME Turbo Expo contributions, and (c) affiliation of contributors involved in the study of fouling




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