Ahlstrom Corporation

Case study: Ahlstrom’s gas turbine air intake filter media helps to save energy, CO₂ and cost


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Finding new methods for saving energy is a global megatrend. Implementing technology that saves energy will have a positive impact on sustainability. Gas turbines are widely used for energy production as natural gas is one of the cleanest burning fuels and nowadays even more interesting source of energy. One of the most important parts in a gas turbine is the blade section, which converts the kinetic energy of the hot combusted gases into electric power with the help of a generator connected through a rotating shaft.

However challenging the weather conditions may be, the air entering the system must be as clean as possible. Despite humidity, salt, soot, dust or sand – the air before combustion must remain clean for maximum efficiency in burning the gas. In the Power Gen industry there is therefore a trend towards higher efficiency media, because contamination reaching the turbine blades will have a negative impact on the throughput of the gas turbine power plant.

While the function of air intake filters is to separate the contaminants, on the other hand they form a big barrier to the air entering a gas turbine. This means that the filters are generating a pressure drop which needs a lot of pumping energy to make the air pass through the filters.

Ahlstrom has successfully developed second generation gas turbine air intake filter media that simultaneously meets the energy savings criteria and particle removal requirements. 

Ahlstrom’s new Trinitex® air intake filter media is designed to minimize the pressure drop, and consequently the energy consumption to feed the gas turbine, maintaining or increasing the filtration efficiency to safeguard that the blades remain clean and the power plant runs at maximum efficiency.

The sustainability credentials are truly compelling;

  • A 50 Pa pressure drop increase over the air intake filters can easily reduce the power plant output by 0.1-0.5%. Power plant studies have moreover revealed that output degradation due to fouling is in the order of 1.5% per month, varying to some degree on the geographical location. Gas turbine air intake media such as Ahlstrom’s Trinitex® therefore offers tremendous opportunities for cost savings in the thousands to even millions of EUROs depending on the size of the power plant operations.  
  • At the same time, lower gas consumption means lower environmental impacts reducing the CO2 emissions at the exhaust.

Outstanding weather resistance of the new Ahlstrom Multi-Layer Synthetic air intake filter media, coupled with the highest ratio between efficiency and pressure manifest themselves in great savings in energy, CO2 and cost.

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