The introduction of a ceramic gas turbine component in commercial power generation service will require significant effort. A careful assessment of the power plant performance benefit achievable from the use of ceramic components is necessary to rationalize the priority of this development compared to other alternatives. This paper overviews a study in which the performance benefit from ceramic components was evaluated for an MS9001FA gas turbine in a combined cycle power plant configuration. The study was performed with guidelines of maintaining constant compressor inlet airflow and turbine exit NOx emissions, effectively setting the combustion reaction zone temperature. Cooling flow estimates were calculated to maintain standard design life expectancy of all components. Monolithic silicon nitride ceramic was considered for application to the transition piece, stage one and two buckets, nozzles and shrouds. Performance benefit was calculated both for ceramic properties at 1093°C (2200°F) and for the more optimistic 1315°C (2400°F) oxidation limit of the ceramic. Hybrid ceramic-metal components were evaluated in the less optimistic case.

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