The combustion turbines evaluated for this study range in size (nominal) from 80 MW to 100 MW and operate at a compression ratio between 10 and 14. Under these conditions the compressor ingests about 500,000 to 725,000 cubic feet of air per minute for its rated output. With this volume of air, even low concentrations of contaminants can result in a significant total amount of contaminants entering the unit, which may cause compressor erosion, fouling, and foreign object damage in the compressor section and cooling air passage blockage, locking of turbine blade roots, and hot corrosion or sulfidation in the turbine section. Adequate protection against the above-mentioned degradation or damage due to poor air quality may be obtained by using properly designed air filters. An inadequate filter system or total lack of one results in a reduction in power and efficiency over the life of the unit and may significantly decrease the intervals between maintenance and thereby increase the cost of maintenance. Consideration should be given to adding an air inlet filter when or after the combustion turbine without air filter is overhauled to reduce future maintenance costs. This study investigates the need for an inlet air filtration system for simple-cycle, heavy-duty combustion turbines from a cost/benefit and operation standpoint. Options for inlet air filters include a self-cleaning pulse type filter, a surface loading cartridge filter without pulse feature, and a three-stage depth loading type media type filter. Benefits are determined by estimates of improvements in performance and effects on the combustion turbine’s longevity and maintenance.

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