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Three steps to cleaner gas turbine compressors

24/09/2019

When you stop and think, it makes perfect sense that a cleaner gas turbine compressor is a more efficient piece of equipment. An efficient compressor breaks down less often and requires less fuel, making it cheaper to run. For these reasons alone, it is worth keeping your compressor clean and running smoothly.     

Why does my gas turbine compressor need cleaning?

Through normal use, foulants build up inside your compressor. Unfortunately even if you do everything right, this build up is inevitable. 
 
Contaminants such as exhaust fumes, salt and sand enter the system through the air supply while essential lubricants can also end up in the wrong place.
 
These and other foulants coat the compressor blades and interrupt the air flow, with a knock-on effect when it comes to efficiency. The less aerodynamic system 
  1. requires more fuel to run at the desired rate and 
  2. will eventually stop working altogether if left for too long. 
 
Fortunately there are three simple steps to cleaner compressors. Follow these steps and you will not only enjoy peace of mind that your equipment is being kept in good working order, but you will also ultimately save money that would have been wasted on excess fuel and unscheduled shut downs. 
 

Step 1: Consultation

Once you have decided that you would like to implement a cleaning schedule, get in touch. Whether you have decided exactly what you need, from equipment to products, or you need guidance at every stage, we are here to help. 
 
At Rochem, we are experts in this industry and work with customers around the world. We design and install the hardware required for on line and off line washes as well as offering FYREWASH: a range of specialised cleaning products. 
 
We are on hand to offer guidance from what kind of equipment is best for your specific needs through to advising on the right chemicals based on your individual priorities. For example, if your foulant problems are predominantly water soluble, a detergent-based cleaner is best for you. Alternatively, to remove mineral oils you are better off choosing a solvent-based option.  
 

Step 2: Installation

Once we have discussed your plans and requirements, our skilled engineers are available to come and install your chosen equipment. They will ensure the correct installation and explain how to use and manage your cleaning hardware for safe operation and optimum results.  
 
Step 3: Cleaning chedule 
 
There are two kinds of compressor cleaning:
- On line cleaning
- Off line cleaning
 
It is wise to implement a regular cleaning schedule which employs both methods to ensure your compressor is kept thoroughly clean and efficient. 
 
On line cleaning
This kind of compressor cleaning can be carried out during normal use. Detergent and/or water is injected into the system while it is running. The foulants are broken down and rinsed away without having to reduce load or shutdown the turbine. 
 
As a rule of thumb, it is a good idea to conduct a water-only on line clean every day, and a water/chemical on line clean twice per week. 
 
Off line cleaning
Off line cleans are really thorough and entail shutting down the gas turbine before draining the engine, injecting your chosen water and chemicals, allowing them to soak the compressor before rinsing and then restarting the engine. 
 
Regular on line cleaning delay or even eliminate the need for the more thorough but more time-consuming off line alternative. 
 
The same equipment and cleaning chemicals can be used for both kinds of cleaning but a combination of the two methods leads to best results.  
 
Contact us
Those three simple steps lead to a clean and efficient compressor, not to mention peace of mind that you are doing everything possible to keep your turbine running safely and smoothly. 
 
If you are ready to arrange a consultation or would simply like to talk about your options, get in touch. We will be happy to discuss your unique requirements. 

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