Siemens Energy, Inc. has been investigating the potential of a new approach to measuring the process gas temperature leaving the turbine of their heavy industrial gas turbine engines using an acoustic pyrometer system. This system measures the bulk temperature crossing a plane behinds the last row of turbine blades and is a non-intrusive measurement. It has the potential to replace the current intrusive multiple point measurement sensor arrays for both engine control and performance evaluation. The acoustic pyrometer is a device that measures the transit time of an acoustic pulse across the exhaust duct of the engine. An estimate of the temperature of the process fluid can be made from the transit time. Multiple passes may be made at various radial positions to improve the measurement. The gas turbine exhaust is a challenging environment for acoustic temperature measurement where there can be significant temperature stratification and high velocity. Previous applications of acoustic pyrometers to measure process gas temperature in power plants have been confined to applications such as boilers where rapid temperature changes are not expected and fluid velocity patterns are well known. The present study describes the results of acoustic pyrometer testing in an operating gas turbine engine under load using an active acoustic pyrometer system containing eight sets of transmitters and receivers, all external to the turbine exhaust flow path. This active method technology is based on the temperature dependence of the isentropic speed of sound from the simple ideal gas assumptions. Sound transmitters and receivers are mounted around the exhaust duct to measure the speed of sound. Very sophisticated topographical mapping techniques have been developed to extract temperature distribution from using any where from 2 to 8 sensors with up to 24 paths and 400 points. Cross correlation of sensor results to obtain topographical mapping of gas isotherms in a plane in full engine field tests have been conducted to prove the feasible of this technology on a gas turbine engine. The initial installation of the active acoustic pyrometer system in an engine exhaust was accomplished in 2009. All the tests indicate that the steady state measurements of the acoustic pyrometer system fall within 10C of the measured exhaust thermocouple data. An additional installation on a different model engine was subsequently made and data have been gathered and analyzed. Results of these tests are presented and future evaluation options discussed.

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