Of all the external factors affecting a gas turbine, inlet pressure and temperature have the greatest impact on performance. The effect of inlet temperature variations is especially pronounced in the new generation of high-efficiency gas turbines typified by the 40 MW GE LM6000. A reduction of 50°F (28°C) in inlet temperature can result in a 30 percent increase in power and a 4.5 percent improvement in heat rate. An elevation increase to 5000 ft (1524 m) above sea level decreases turbine output 17 percent; conversely supercharging can increase output more than 20 percent. This paper addresses various means of heating, cooling and supercharging LM6000 inlet air. An economic model is developed and sample cases are cited to illustrate the optimization of gas turbine inlet systems, taking into account site conditions, incremental equipment cost and subsequent performance enhancement.

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