A Southern California cogeneration plant is comprised of four GE-made Frame No 7, Model EA, heavy duty gas turbines driving Electrical Generators. Turbine exhaust gases are routed into the heat recovery steam generators (HRSG) of the split level. The HRSG are furnished with supplemental firing in order to boost the production of the steam.

The produced NOX abatement is realized by the continuous steam injection and selective catalyst reduction (SCR).

In order to reduce the steam consumption for NOX abatement, water injection in combustion chamber can be taken into account. Unfortunately, available gas turbine combustor cannot be used to inject water directly into the liner (and thus maximize the impact of water injection compared to steam injection); for this reason, an alternative solution was investigated which consists on water injection into the combustor wrapper. By doing this, effects on NOX abatement are similar to those of steam injection for power augmentation, namely only about 30% of water injected this way will actually quench the NOX, the rest flowing through the dilution holes. To ensure no impact of water injection on the combustor hardware’s integrity, any liquid droplets injected into the wrapper shall evaporate prior to reaching the liner.

In order to estimate the behavior of liquid water droplets injected into the wrapper, a calculation code was developed by University of Bologna. This calculation code is able to estimate the evaporation rate of a spray of liquid water by calculating the droplets diameter reduction, the air temperature drop, etc. as function of boundary conditions.

More in details, the aim of this study is to estimate the maximum droplet sizes to ensure the full evaporation of the water and to eliminate negative effects on the combustor life. In order to achieve this goal, a parametric study has been developed, changing the droplet size to calculate the time needed for full evaporation and compare this with the time of droplet travel from the injection point to the first dilution holes of the combustor liner. More in details, it was calculated, under various gas turbine operating conditions, what would be the maximal droplet size needed to evaporate within the available residence time into the wrapper.

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