IN AN EFFORT to increase efficiency, Savannah Electric Co. recently installed Munters TURBIdek evaporative cooling on eight turbines at its McIntosh plant in Rincon, Ga. During the first hours of operation with the cooled inlet air, the ABB 11N turbines, rated at 83.5 MW, recovered as much as 8.5 MW of power, slightly more than the projected performance for this application.
The system provides cooler, denser air to the turbines, which means a higher concentration of oxygen in the inlet air. Higher oxygen content allows more fuel to be burned in the generator’s combustion chamber, which releases more energy to the turbine. Typically, for every Fahrenheit degree of cooling, turbine output increases 0.4 percent.
“While power companies in the southern climates realize the impact evaporative cooling can have on turbine performance, we are also seeing opportunities developing as far north as Toronto,” said Larry Klekar of Munters Corp. “Inlet cooling returns the investment so rapidly that installations are a good decision throughout almost all of North and South America.”