The possibility to get information about gas turbine “health” state is largely based on availability and reliability of operational data and on-line acquisition systems. However, further instruments are needed in order to deduce useful information in maintenance scheduling from actually measured data. In Gas Path Analysis approaches, a model to simulate the engine behavior is required. Furthermore, in order to individuate, locate and evaluate faulty conditions, a diagnostic approach needs to be developed and introduced. This paper presents a critical discussion of the problem to highlight the main requirements of a diagnostic approach. Furthermore, some procedures to verify the ability of a diagnostic tool can be obtained directly from the theoretical background of GPA. To demonstrate how these procedures work, an application case has been examined. An engine model has been specifically developed for the monitored heavy-duty gas turbine. It allows to calculate thermodynamics data and to identify performance parameters through a mathematical modeling process. The suitability of this model to be introduced in a diagnostic system has been investigated. An exhaustive description of the procedures and discussion of results are reported.

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