Turbine Reliability is Often Driven by Fuel Quality and Availability

“No one wants to burn liquid fuel in their gas turbine – unless they have to.”

Reliability is always key.

Despite fuel resource limitations or fluctuations, despite increased demand and despite the pressures from environmental compliance, confidence needs to be high that the unit will start and operate well. With that in mind, many utilities will use dual fuel capability as a back-up just in case their primary fuel resource fails in quality or availability.

Some areas of the country face economic and reliability risks due to the weather. Forbes reported that “When it’s below 20°F, each time the temperature drops one degree another 400 MW of electricity is needed.” And, it’s not just about electrical demand – Winter 2014 saw a 20-fold increase in gas prices on isolated, cold days… ouch.

Because much of today’s gas supply comes from shale plays, many operators have seen an increase of liquids in the gas which can cause serious issues for the turbine’s operation (Primary Re-Ignition for example) and the environment. The quality of the supply needs to be monitored closely.

Switching to dual fuel, however, has its challenges:

  • Dual fuel is more complex as indicated by the following schematics.
  • More complexity equates to increases in maintenance.
  • Liquid fuel requires careful selection of the fuel filtration system. GE manual calls for a one micron filter.
  • Fuel quality from long term storage will naturally undergo chemical degradation due to Oxidation and Polymerization.
  • Coking can be an issue. 250oF often cited as threshold for coking, but coking severity is on a temperature / time continuum.

If these challenges didn’t dissuade you, reliable liquid fuel operation relies on the successful operation of numerous control components from multiple systems including: liquid fuel, atomizing air, water, liquid and gas purge and false start drain.

Your O&M program should incorporate:

  • Component inspection
  • Device calibration
  • Component testing
  • System testing
  • Robust startup, operating, and shutdown procedures

Some important takeaways:

  • Monitor and address fuel quality issues.
  • Reduce the potential for coking by reducing temperatures in key fuel system components: Water-cooled check valves, 3-way valves/distributor, and post-shut down purging of fuel from system.
  • Consider upgrading to corrosion-resistant flow dividers.
  • Inspect and test dual-fuel components and systems, particularly in the late fall.

To learn more about TTS’ dual fuel experience and capabilities for fuel conversions or upgrades, visit our website.

Turbine Technology Services Attracts New Talent


Dr. Gerry Fischer is in the house.
Houston, TX 5/05/2017 – Turbine Technology Services (TTS) is always looking for expertise in the Combustion Systems, Emission Technologies and Control Systems sectors. One notable candidate is Dr. Gerry Fischer. He has worked with TTS in the past on several task-oriented projects with very specific requirements. Now, TTS is pleased to announce Dr. Fischer’s role within the company as a consultant.

“Dr. Fischer is very impressive. His expertise and understanding of SCR upgrades for gas compression pipeline turbines will be very valuable to TTS and our clients,” said Frank Hoegler, Vice President of TTS and President of Reciprocating Technology Services (RTS), TTS’ sister company. “What’s more, he’s also worked extensively on combustion systems for slow speed reciprocating gas dual fuel engines. With his considerable gas turbine knowledge and many years of experience, we’re very excited for him to have an expanded role with us—we know he’s going to be a great fit in our team.”

TTS and RTS are two parts of the TTS Energy Services family of companies serving gas compression and power generation industries with a wide range of technical solutions and capabilities.

“TTS’ team of engineers takes innovation to a whole new level. I’m very excited about our association and our upcoming projects,” exclaimed Dr. Fischer, who earned his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Darmstadt University of Technology in Darmstadt, Germany. He was granted a US Patent for the development of new spark-ignited industrial engine emission-control technology, which meets the most stringent emission regulations of NOx < 0.15 g/bhp-hr.

Welcome to TTS, Dr. Fischer, where innovation and technology differentiates TTS Energy Services from the competition.

TTS Energy Services is the corporate parent for Turbine Technology Services (TTS) and Reciprocating Technology Services (RTS). TTS provides gas turbine technology expertise, turbine engineering and construction services worldwide. The company’s long history and experience providing technical solutions to global power generation entities makes it a leader in its field. TTS has successfully managed numerous gas turbine installations, modernization projects and supplied innovative and unique engineering solutions to vexing problems for gas turbine customers. RTS provides technical and field support for industrial power generation applications using reciprocating engines. Our field service technicians and engineers are seasoned in every aspect of reciprocating equipment, providing reliable services at any location, 24/7. In addition to repairs and diagnostics, the RTS team provides predictive and life-cycle maintenance to ensure maximum performance.

To learn more about TTS, please visit TTS Energy Services.