The recovery of exhaust gas heat in waste-heat recovery boilers (WHRBs), and the injection of superheated steam into gas turbine combustors form the basis for the development of “Aquarius” type gas turbine units. In November 2003 the first commercial “Aquarius-16” unit with 16 MW power output that was designed and built by Ukrainian specialists was put into operation at “Stavishchenskaya” gas compression station for the “Progress” gas pipeline. The efficiency of the unit is 42.1% at turbine inlet temperature (TIT) of 1358K. To date the unit has accumulated more than 9,500 hours and has saved about 13.5 million m3 of fuel gas compared to units having a similar power output operating in simple cycle configuration. The emission levels, corrected to 15% O2 (by volume) are for NOx, 40–68 mg/Nm3, and CO, 58-10 mg/Nm3. The temperature of gases discharged into atmosphere is not more than 45°C. These figures on efficiency and emission levels, although very good, still leave scope for improvement. The purpose of the paper presented here is to define the development methodology to allow the “AQUARIUS” units to achieve efficiencies of 50% and higher. It is shown that development of “AQUARIUS” units with efficiency of about 50% will require operating at maximum cycle temperature around 1673 K and pressure ratio of 25–35. Further development of the Aquarius units with water injection at the low-pressure compressor inlet, the use of more efficient cooling of the engine gas path components and additional recovery of exhaust gas heat by means of fuel will need to operate at maximum cycle temperatures around 1873 K and pressure ratio of 45–50 in order to generate efficiencies more than 50%.

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