Siemens Oil & Gas introduced an enhanced SGT-800 gas turbine during 2010. The new power rating is 50.5MW at a 38.3% electrical efficiency in simple cycle (ISO) and best in class combined-cycle performance of more than 55%, for improved fuel flexibility at low emissions. The updated components in the gas turbine are interchangeable from the existing 47MW rating. The increased power and improved efficiency are mainly obtained by improved compressor airfoil profiles and improved turbine aerodynamics and cooling air layout. The current paper is focused on the design modifications of the combustor parts and the combustion validation and operation experience.

The serial cooling system of the annular combustion chamber is improved using aerodynamically shaped liner cooling air inlet and reduced liner rib height to minimize the pressure drop and optimize the cooling layout to improve the life due to engine operation hours. The cold parts of the combustion chamber were redesigned using cast cooling struts where the variable thickness was optimized to maximize the cycle life. Due to fewer thicker vanes of the turbine stage #1, the combustor-turbine interface is accordingly updated to maintain the life requirements due to the upstream effect of the stronger pressure gradient.

Minor burner tuning is used which in combination with the previously introduced combustor passive damping results in low emissions for >50% load, which is insensitive to ambient conditions. The combustion system has shown excellent combustion stability properties, such as to rapid load changes and large flame temperature range at high loads, which leads to the possibility of single digit Dry Low Emission (DLE) NOx. The combustion system has also shown insensitivity to fuels of large content of hydrogen, different hydrocarbons, inerts and CO. Also DLE liquid operation shows low emissions for 50–100% load.

The first SGT-800 with 50.5MW rating was successfully tested during the Spring 2010 and the expected performance figures were confirmed. The fleet leader has, up to January 2013, accumulated >16000 Equivalent Operation Hours (EOH) and a planned follow up inspection made after 10000 EOH by boroscope of the hot section showed that the combustor was in good condition. This paper presents some details of the design work carried out during the development of the combustor design enhancement and the combustion operation experience from the first units.

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