An inlet air filtration system is vital for the effective operation and performance of a gas turbine. The filtration system, based on turbine filters, shields the gas turbine from hazardous debris present in ambient air that can lead to issues like erosion, FOD, corrosion and fouling. These issues, if not tackled properly, lead to shorter operational life cycle and poor performance of the gas turbine.
Modern day turbine filters systems are based on various filtration stages, each of which is selected on the basis of performance objectives for the gas turbine and local operating environment. Hence, selecting the best turbine filters is often a big task.
Gas turbines takes in a huge amount of ambient air while operating. Due to this, the air quality entering a turbine is an important factor for the life and performance of the gas turbine filters. The filtration system also controls an air quality by eliminating hazardous contaminants present in the air. The filtration system selection is a daunting task as there are a lot of factors to think of. The system must be chosen on the basis of the goals for turbine filtration and its operational philosophy the contaminants existing in the ambient air and the expected alterations in their concentration in future because of temporary emission resources and seasonal changes.
The turbine filters in turbine filtration systems use various different processes to eliminate contaminants from the air. The filter media, packing density, fiber size, particle size and electrostatic charge impact the way filter eliminates contaminants. Every turbine filter usually has different processes working together for removing the contaminants. The first mechanism is inertial impact, the second is diffusion, the third one is interception, fourth is sieving and the fifth one is electrostatic charge.
In the next article, we will highlight these mechanisms individually for better understanding the turbine filters’ filtration processes.