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Gas Turbine Exhaust Temperature Control

Should two turbines with same CPD generate equal power output?

By Grishma on 9 February, 2007 - 6:47 pm

I searched for the answer on but did not find the exact answer, hence I
ask some questions here again.
We have five gas turbines, two Mark-2s and three Mark-4s. The two Mark-2 based
turbines develop 119 PSI compressor discharge pressure (CDP; Also wish to ask,
why some people refer to it as PCD? I came across this term while searching for
answers on this site) in temperature control mode. Still turbine - 1 (T1)generates 2.5
to 3.0 MW extra power than turbine -2 (T2) in temperature control mode. The
monthly fuel consumption of T2 is also higher than T1. Both T1 to T5 are fed the
same quality gas. The Mechanical department engineers have changed the nozzles
and combustion liners also. The Exhaust temperature of T2 is always 20-25 degrees
higher than T1. The IGV is fully open. 84 Degrees angle in both cases, verified in
field. Both turbines are twins commissioned in the same year. Can the firing
temperatures vary so much in two turbines? What could be the reasons for this
behaviour? Please illumine me.

By markvguy on 10 February, 2007 - 3:05 pm

First, thanks for using the search feature of; it's a very powerful one
which many sites such as this lack.
Second, to answer your first question: compressor discharge pressure was referred
to as CDP in one version of Speedtronic turbine control, PCD (Pressure, Compressor
Discharge) in another version of Speedtronic turbine control panel, and CPD
(Compressor, Pressure - Discharge) in later versions of Speedtronic turbine control
panels. It just reflects an attempt to standardize on signal naming conventions (for
each version of Speedtronic--ain't this fun?).
One can buy two identical new automobiles or diesel trucks or motorcycles or
scooters--with the same color paint--on the same day from the same dealership and
those two vehicles, even driven over the same roads by the same driver will never
get identically the same gas mileage or have the same mechanical failures or
breakdowns. Even the tires will probably not wear or last identically! The same can
be said for electric razors or air conditioners--they won't have the same identical
operating characteristics.
Now, having said that, a 2.5-3.0 MW difference is slightly unusual--depending on the
Frame size of the units. Are they Frame 5s or Frame 9s? You didn't say how the Mk
IV-controlled units differ, but it's presumed they weren't all installed at the same
There are MANY factors that affect the performance of a heavy-duty gas turbine.
Compressor cleanliness (do you perform "regular" Off-line Compressor Water
Washes?); IGV angle (did you physically measure the IGVs or just look at the
pointers?); the conditions of the turbine nozzles, buckets, and seals (the seals at the
blade tips and the rotor-to-case seals); the exhaust duct backpressure (are these
simple cycle units, or combined-cycle units with an HRSG (Heat Recover Steam
Generator, or a "boiler"?); the inlet filter cleanliness; the condition of the IGV (Inlet
Guide Vane bushings; the condition of the compressor blading (rotating and
stationary); the condition of the transition pieces; and the condition of the seals
between the transition pieces and the first-stage nozzle assembly and the condition
of the seals between the transition pieces.
It's not just a matter of nozzles and liners. When was the last HGPI (Hot Gas Path
Inspection) or Major Inspection for each unit? How long between nozzle/blade
replacements for each unit? Are you certain that the exact same turbine nozzles and
turbine buckets are in both machines? Quite often, during turbine nozzle or bucket
replacements, upgraded parts are ordered--or refurbished parts are used, or third-
party parts are used, or parts with different coatings and materials are used.
When was the last time you calibrated the compressor discharge pressure
transducers of both units? What are you using to measure compressor discharge
pressure--gauges or the feedback voltages from the compressor discharge pressure
transducers? If you're looking at gauges, when was the last time they were
calibrated? What is the accuracy of the gauges? How old are the gauges?
What are you using to measure MW outputs of the two units? The meters on the
turbine- and/or generator control panels? When was the last time they were
calibrated? Have you tried calculating power output using the generator watt-hour
meters? (If your units were packaged and provided by GE, there should be a
procedure in the Instruction Manuals for monitoring revolutions of the watt-hour
meter disc over time and a formula for using the meter characteristics for calculating
power output--much better than any meter or transducer--as long as it's been
calibrated and serviced on a regular basis.... The formula and procedure were in a
document about Performance Testing.)
And, the gas fuel flow measurement--how it is done? Are you using orifice plate dp-
measurement? How accurate are the transmitters? If the flow measurement
instruments and orifice plate were installed at the same time as the turbines, when
was the last time the orifice plates were removed and examined for wear and bore
diameter? Are the edges of the bore sharp, or worn? Are they flat, or warped?
The point of all this is, that typical instrumentation (meters and gauges, in
particular) can be horribly misleading. Especially if they're not maintained and
calibrate regularly. There can even be problems with metering PTs (Potential
Transformers) and CTs (Current Transformers).
And this is just the measurement of power and operating conditions--not the
mechanical condition of the equipment.
There are just too many unknowns here, and these machines are fairly "old"--not
ancient or unserviceable--and so are there instrumentation. If you want a fair
comparison, you need to know exactly what hardware is installed in each machine,
the time since their last "major" inspection--and what hardware was replaced, if any,
at that last inspection, AND, if the hardware was original equipment, or some
higher-performance variety (upgraded coatings or nozzle cooling or bucket
tips/shrouds, etc.), or.?.?.?
And, the instrumentation needs to be verified--including the IGV angles by a physical
measurement of the angles.
Lastly, Mk II Speedtronic turbine control systems employ a lot of analog circuitry--
which is calibrated with a lot of potentiometers. These circuits, and the components,
drift over time--not like digital circuits. When was the last time the exhaust
temperature feedback- and reference circuits were calibrated and tested/verified?
Don't know if this was much help--but it should point out what some of the
difference may be caused by or related to.

By N/A on 1 March, 2008 - 12:37 am

Dear Sir,
How could you know that Gas Turbine is over firing?
I raised this question because we have from our two units same Model # W501D5A
same capacity and regularly conducted compressor blade washing using Detergent &
water with IGV in full open and it come out that the other unit are much higher load
for about 4 to 5 MW difference from other unit.
And I found out thru this formula (T3)/(T4) = [(P3)/(P4)]k-1/k or this formula an
ISONTROPIC PROCESS of Gas Turbine, result is much temp. compare to designed
I compare the Exhaust temp. set point, the other is much higher for around 4
degrees C to other.
Thank you and I need your help.
Cesar B. Ledesma
Sr. Shift Engineer
Cogeneration Plant

By Roman Cruz on 9 November, 2007 - 12:28 am

We have 3 Frame 6 GE Gas Turbines.
I had the same problem in the Unit 1.
TXset depends of PCD value.
Our trouble was in PCD Transducer Calibration.
Refer to Control Spec.