We often hear about turbogas power plants, but what exactly do they consist of? And what advantages do they bring? Here’s everything you need to know about them.
What is a turbogas plant?
Turbogas power plants use a primary energy source, usually methane gas, biogas, diesel oil but not only, to produce electricity through a gas turbine. These turbines, which replace the traditional and obsolete internal combustion engine, are made up of the following macro-components that operate according to the Brayton-Joule cycle:
- Compressor: Combustion air is drawn in and compressed.
- Combustion chamber: Combustion air and fuel react chemically, producing heat (combustion).
- Turbine: the combustion fumes at high pressure and temperature expand in the turbine making it rotate and thus producing mechanical energy.
- Alternator: Converts mechanical energy into electrical energy.
- Regenerator: recovers part of the heat from the exhaust fumes to pre-heat the combustion air before entering the combustion chamber, increasing the electrical efficiency of the machine.
As described above, gas turbines convert the chemical energy of the fuel into electricity through the generator, recovering the thermal energy also from the exhaust gases: all this is done with the gas turbines Capstone Green Energy by IBT Group, which is the exclusive distributor for the Italian market. These turbines originating from the aeronautical sector, have only one moving part, namely the shaft on which are keyed turbine, compressor and generator. The latter rotating on air bearings without mechanical contact and therefore without friction is “stress-free” as cushioned by a specially designed support structure that ensures durability and functionality of the mechanical parts. Capstone’s gas turbines have many advantages, such as the modulation of the electrical load from 0 to 100%, the reduced emission of pollutants into the atmosphere (NOx < 19mg/Nmc and CO < 50 mg/Nmc, the lowest available today), low vibration and noise emissions and low maintenance costs. By recovering the heat contained in the exhaust gases of the turbines it is possible to obtain other thermal vectors, such as hot air, steam, superheated water, hot water and – through an absorber – chilled and frozen water. This increase in energy production does not correspond to an increase in fuel consumption, thus ensuring high energy efficiency.
The thermodynamic cycle of turbogases is simple and efficient. Thanks to the combustion in excess of air and to the simplicity of construction, it is perfectly suited to co- and trigenerative applications. In fact, in the industrial sector in co- and trigenerative set-up, despite the fact that there is an increasing demand for custom plants that meet the needs of production processes, the overall efficiency is higher than 85%.