Gas turbine usage has been widespread throughout the United States for a long time now. In fact, turbines of all kinds have. Steam turbines were once the norm, used in the 20th century to facilitate electricity production. First developed and used in the 1880s, steam turbines are still very much in use today (though they have certainly grown more advanced with the passage of time). However, since natural gas now provides the second most heavily utilized and consumed energy source for this country at least, the gas turbine has become hugely important as well, a fact that cannot be disputed. After all, the United States alone produced more natural gas than any other country in the world, according to data reflecting the year of 2016. This meant that as many as 750 billion cubic meters of natural gas were extracted over the course of this one year alone, a truly tremendous amount. In the few years that have followed since this trend has only continued.
And when it comes to the gas turbine, there is even a bit of variety to be found within this category as well. First of all, it is important to note that gas turbines that are used on land are by and large the most commonplace. Among these land based gas turbines, two types are particularly popular. The gas turbines with heavy frame engines are heavily utilized, as too are gas turbines that have aeroderivative engines. It’s important to understand the uses for both types of turbines, as proper use can vary depending on the situation and what specific needs said turbine needs to fill. Having professionals assess the usage of said machinery is a must to determine exactly this.
The primary modules that are utilized also make a difference and are important to take into consideration. These modules include the compressor module, but are certainly not limited to it. In addition to the compressor module, the combustion module plays a critical role in many a turbine as well. So too, of course, does the third most popularly used module, the typical turbine module. But with all of these things to take into consideration, why should a gas turbine be used over a steam one? What are the benefits of doing so?
There are a number of different benefits to look at and into when considering such a question. For one thing, the temperature at which such machinery is able to operate is certainly important and gas turbines can be run at a considerably higher temperature than steam ones. As a matter of fact, the steam version can typically only run at up to around 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit, while a gas one can work at temperatures that climb as high as 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit, which is certainly very impressive indeed.
No matter what kind is being utilized, however, turbine inspection will play a very important role in the use of such machinery as it is used all throughout the United States and even in the world as a whole. For instance, keeping an eye out for salt erosion on machinery used in certain parts of the country where such a thing is a risk will be very important indeed. After all, salt particles can play a hugely damaging role indeed, attaching to the blades of a turbine (gas or steam) and serving as a vehicle to attract other damaging particles, such as dirt. In total, this is something that is likely to decrease the overall power output of the turbine in question by as much as a full 15%, which is no small amount by any standards, to be certain. Fortunately, regular inspection and maintenance can both help to prevent such things from occurring in the first place and is, therefore, something that should be heavily prioritized when it comes
to the care and keeping of just about any turbine, be it a steam one or, more commonly, a gas one.
At the end of the day, sources of energy and electricty are certainly very important indeed. Therefore, we must prioritize how we gather such energy and how efficiently this process is able to be run and handled on the whole.