Micro-gas turbine feed with natural gas and synthesis gas: variation of the turbomachines’ operative conditions with and without steam injection
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In this work, the performances of a 100 kW Micro Gas Turbine (MGT) fed by Natural Gas (NG) and three different biomass-derived Synthesis Gases (SGs) have been assessed using a MATLAB® simulation algorithm. The set of equations in the algorithm includes the thermodynamic transformations of the working fluid in each component, the performance maps that describe the turbomachines’ isentropic efficiencies and pressure ratios as a function of the reduced mass flow rate and the reduced rotational speed, the performance and the pressure losses in each component, as well as the consumption of the other auxiliary devices. The electric power output, achieved using SGs, turns out to be lower or higher with respect to the one produced with the NG, depending on the fuel Lower Heating Value (LHV) but also largely on the variation of the working fluid composition. In this work, the effect of the steam injection on the MGT performance characteristics has been also investigated. Steam injection allows to obtain higher power and efficiencies using both NG and SGs at the rated rotational speed, mainly thanks to the increase of the turbine enthalpy drop and the reduction of the compressor consumption. Attention must be paid to the risk of the compressor stall, especially when using SGs, as the mass flow rate processed by the compressor decreases significantly. Moreover, another advantage of adopting the steam injection technique lies in the increased flexibility of the system: according to the users’ needs, the discharged heat can be exploited to generate steam, thus to enhance the electric performances, or to supply thermal power.