During the operation of an industrial gas turbine, the engine deviates from its new condition performance because of several effects including dirt build-up, compressor fouling, material erosion, oxidation, corrosion, turbine blade burning or warping, thermal barrier coating (TBC) degradation, and turbine blade cooling channel clogging. Once these problems cause a significant impact on engine performance, maintenance actions are taken by the operators to restore the engine to new performance levels.

It is important to quantify the impacts of these operational effects on the key engine performance parameters such as power output, heat rate and thermal efficiency for industrial gas turbines during the design phase. This information can be used to determine an engine maintenance schedule, which is directly related to maintenance costs during the anticipated operational time. A cooled gas turbine performance analysis model is used in this study to determine the impacts of the TBC degradation and compressor fouling on the engine performance by using three different H-Class gas turbine scenarios. The analytical tool that is used in this analysis is the Cooled Gas Turbine Model (CGTM) that was previously developed in MATLAB Simulink®. The CGTM evaluates the engine performance using operating conditions, polytropic efficiencies, material properties and cooling system information.

To investigate the negative impacts on engine performance due to structural changes in TBC material, compressor fouling, and their combined effect, CGTM is used in this study for three different H-Class engine scenarios that have various compressor pressure ratios, turbine inlet temperatures, and power and thermal efficiency outputs; each determined to represent different classes of recent H-Class gas turbines. Experimental data on the changes in TBC performance are used as an input to the CGTM as a change in the TBC Biot number to observe the impacts on engine performance. The effect of compressor fouling is studied by changing the compressor discharge pressures and polytropic compressor efficiencies within the expected reduction ranges. The individual and combined effects of compressor fouling and TBC degradation are presented for the shaft power output, thermal efficiency and heat rate performance parameters. Possible improvements for the designers to reduce these impacts, and comparison of the reductions in engine performance parameters of the studied H-Class engine scenarios are also provided.

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