The evaporative gas turbine (EvGT), also known as the humid air turbine (HAT) cycle, is a novel advanced gas turbine cycle that has attracted considerable interest for the last decade. This high efficiency cycle shows the potential to be competitive with Diesel engines or combined cycles in small and intermediate scale plants for power production — and/or cogeneration. A 0.6 MW natural gas fired EvGT pilot plant has been constructed by a Swedish national research group in cooperation between universities and industry. The plant is located at the Lund Institute of Technology, Lund, Sweden. The pilot plant uses a humidification tower with metallic packing in which heated water from the flue gas economizer is brought into direct counter current contact with the pressurized air from the compressor. This gives an efficient heat recovery and thereby a thermodynamically sound cycle.
As the hot sections in high temperature gas turbines are sensitive to particles and alkali compounds, water quality issues need to be carefully considered. As such, apart from evaluating the thermodynamic and part load performance characteristics of the plant, and verifying the operation of the high pressure humidifier, much attention is focused on the water chemistry issues associated with the recovery and reuse of condensate water from the flue gas. A water treatment system has been designed and integrated into the pilot plant. This paper presents the first water quality results from the plant.
The experimental results show that the condensate contains low levels of alkali and calcium, around 2 mg/l Σ(K,Na,Ca), probably originating from the unfiltered compressor intake. About 14 mg/l NO2− + NO3− comes from condensate absorption of flue gas NOx. Some Cu is noted, 16 mg/l, which originates from copper corrosion of the condenser tubes. After CO2-stripping, condensate filtration and a mixed bed ion exchanger, the condensate is of suitable quality for reuse as humidification water.
The need for large quantities of demineralized water has by many authors been identified as a drawback for the evaporative cycle. However, by cooling the humid flue gas, the recovery of condensed water cuts the need of water feed. A self supporting water circuit can be achieved, with no need for any net addition of water to the system. In the pilot plant, this was achieved by cooling the flue gas to around 35°C.