The variety of applications in which small industrial gas turbines are used requires that they be readily capable of integration into cogeneration schemes and combined gas/steam cycles as well as providing reliable and efficient stand-alone performance. Several gas turbine based power systems are reviewed briefly. Simple cycle and recuperative engines, and possibly intercooled/recuperative engines, appear to be the most likely primary arrangements for developing more efficient industrial gas turbine based systems. These systems include high pressure, high temperature steam turbines recently developed. When coupled with high pressure, high temperature steam generators, industrial scale simple cycle gas turbines can offer high electrical generation efficiencies with excellent turndown and overall heat utilization in cogeneration mode.
Basically, high efficiency depends on firing temperature (TRIT). Firing temperature will continue to increase using advanced metal casting and cooling techniques developed in the aircraft engine sector, and possibly ceramics, which are more applicable in industrial engines than elsewhere. Electrical efficiencies for rated outputs of 5–20 MW will be 32–35 percent for simple cycle gas turbines, up to 42 percent in recuperative engines and cogeneration systems, and 45 percent in combined cycles.
The paper lists references describing in detail many of the developments that have contributed to state-of-the-art industrial turbine design.