When low calorific value gases are fired, the performance and stability of gas turbines may deteriorate due to a large amount of inert ballast and changes in working fluid properties. Since it is rather rare to have custom-built gas turbines for low Lower Heating Value (LHV) operation, the engine will be forced to operate outside its design envelope. This, in turn, poses limitations to usable fuel choices. Typical restraints are decrease in Wobbe-index and surge- and flutter-margins for turbomachinery. In this study, an advanced performance deck has been used to quantify the impact of firing low-LHV gases in a generic type gas turbine. A single-shaft gas turbine characterized by a compressor and an expander map is considered. Emphasis has been put on predicting the off-design behavior. The combustor is discussed and related to previous experiments which include investigation of flammability limits, Wobbe-index, flame position, etc. The computations show that at constant turbine inlet temperature (TIT), the shaft power and the pressure ratio will increase, however the surge margin will decrease. Possible design changes in the component level are also discussed. Aerodynamic issues (and necessary modifications) that can pose severe limitations on the gas turbine compressor- and turbine sections are discussed. Typical methods for axial turbine capacity adjustment are presented and discussed.

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