Water, in the liquid or vapor phase, injected at various locations into the gas turbine cycle has frequently been employed to improve engine performance while simultaneously reducing NOx emissions. Commercial steam injected gas turbines have been designed to inject small amounts of steam (less than 15% of air flow), generated in a heat recovery boiler, into or downstream of the combustor. Recently, it has been proposed to inject larger amounts of water (as high as 50% of air flow) and operate combustors near stoichiometric conditions. All these methods increase turbine mass flow rate without increasing air flow rate and consequently increase specific power. The increase in specific power for naval applications means smaller intake and exhaust stacks and therefore less impact on topside space.
The present paper presents a new concept, in naval propulsion plants, to decrease NOx production and increase specific power with a water fog (droplet spray) injected (WFI) directly into the inlet of the engine compressor. The simulated performance of a simple-cycle gas turbine engine using WFI is reported. The paper describes the computer model developed to predict compressor performance resulting from the evaporation of water passing through the stages of an axial flow compressor. The resulting effects are similar to those of an intercooled compressor, without the complications due to the addition of piping, heat exchangers, and the requirement for a dual spool compressor. The effects of evaporative cooling on compressor characteristics are presented. These results include compressor maps modified for various water flow rates as well as estimates of the reductions in compression work and compressor discharge temperature.
These modified compressor performance characteristics are used in the engine simulation to predict how a WFI engine would perform under various water injection flow rates. Estimates of increased output power and decreased air flow rates are presented.