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Gas Turbine Consultation and Analysis

Fern Engineering provides expert consultation:

  • Third Party Consultation
  • Design Reviews
  • Troubleshooting and Failure Analysis
  • Stress and Vibration Analysis
  • Heat Transfer Analysis
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Performance and Cycle Analysis
  • Power Enhancement Methods

Fern Engineering answers important questions about Gas Turbine and Turbomachinery Problems:

  • What caused this failure?
  • What can be done to prevent a recurrence?
  • How can existing hardware be upgraded for improved durability?
  • Is the Original Equipment Manufacturer's failure analysis correct?
  • What is causing a worsening vibration problem?
  • How can an existing power plant be made more efficient?
  • What is the most cost effective way to increase power at a specific site?
  • Which is the best turbine/boiler combination for repowering an existing plant?
  • How much power will NOx reduction techniques add or subtract from a plant?
  • How can a certain turbine component be repaired? When is a component beyond repair?

Partial Client List:

  • Kenetech
  • Taunton Municipal Light and Power
  • Golden Valley Electric
  • Amerada Hess Corp.
  • Sohio
  • American Bureau of Shipping
  • OMNI
  • U.S. Navy
  • EPRI (Electric Power Research Institute)
  • General Electric
  • Hague International
  • Citizens Utilities
  • Utilicorp United
  • Atlas Cogen
  • Calpine Corp.
  • Wisconsin Electric
  • Sunlaw Cogen
  • Florida Power & Light

The following partial list, generated from the Fern Engineering project files, represents examples of our engineering consultation:

Gas Turbine Failures

Fern Engineering has conducted numerous reviews of gas turbines failures. Fern Engineering is knowledgeable with aeroderivative and heavy industrial gas turbine models and all of their components, such as compressors, combustors, turbines, gearboxes, etc. This expertise results in failure analyses that are completed quickly and accurately, minimizing disputes between owners, operators, and manufacturers.

Owner Representative

Fern Engineering has represented numerous machinery owners during negotiations or disputes with manufacturers, overhaulers, vendors, etc. Fern Engineering's role has been to protect the owner's interest by interpreting and evaluating the engineering proposals and recommending appropriate reactions by the owner.

Turbine Blade Redesign Evaluation

Fern Engineering acted as a third party consultant on behalf of a major petroleum company to oversee the failure analysis and redesign of an OEM's 2nd stage gas turbine blade. The client's gas turbines suffered several unexplained blade failures causing expensive production losses. Fern Engineering worked closely with the OEM to identify the problem and to establish a corrective action plan, which included a significant redesign of the blade. With Fern Engineering's assistance the units were returned to operation with minimal downtime and improved reliability, saving the client considerable expense and loss of production.

Airfoil Vibration Analysis
Airfoil Vibration Analysis
Turbine Blade Modal Analysis
Turbine Blade Modal Analysis

Boiler Feed Pump Failure Analysis

Retained by a large power utility company, Fern Engineering diagnosed the cause of recurring, catastrophic pump failures and oversaw its correction. The pump failed continually for years after very short running times. Attempts at correction by the OEM had been unsuccessful. Fern Engineering discovered the pump's natural frequency was intermittently excited by cavitations. Interstage seal modifications and plant operational procedures were specified. With Fern Engineering's guidance the utility has reduced outages. Frequent and costly repairs have been eliminated.

Design Reviews are an essential part of the design process
Design Reviews are an essential part of the design process
Third party consultation frequently involves extensive field investigation
Third party consultation frequently involves extensive field investigation
Models are often constructed to assist in design projects
Models are often constructed to assist in design projects.

Gas Turbine Power Augmentation Study

Fern Engineering was awarded a Small Business Innovative Research contract by the U.S. Navy to investigate the feasibility of increasing the power output of the Navy's shipboard GE LM2500 gas turbines using direct inlet water spray and/or steam injection to the combustor. Result: Simulations indicate that the output of an LM2500 could be increased by up to 40% using maximum augmentation. A prototype water spray system is now being designed for testing.

Cogeneration Plant Gas Turbine Retrofit Study

Fern Engineering conducted a study for a cogeneration plant owner that examined options for replacing an unreliable gas turbine with a different model. The current gas turbine was part of a 10-year old combined cycle power plant that also supplied process heat used to dry crops. It was important that any replacement gas turbine matched up well with the HRSG so that the steam turbine would remain fully loaded and the heat duty delivered to the crop dryers would not decline. Result: Fern Engineering identified a unique retrofit option that improved plant heat rate and was $7 million less than buying the full gas turbine package from the OEM.

Heat Rate And Power Improvement Design

Fern Engineering designed and optimized a plant featuring a new GE MS5001N gas turbine, a new HRSG, and a modified steam turbine. Fern Engineering also specified and managed the plant modifications, including foundations, HRSG installation, duct work, piping, dampers, and steam turbine modifications. The Fern Engineering designed power plant generates 29,730 kW at an LHV heat rate of 9160 Btu per kW-hr.

Site-Specific Power Increase and Cost Study
Site-Specific Power Increase and Cost Study

Power Enhancement

Fern Engineering has investigated a variety of technologies which can increase power, improve heat rate, and reduce emissions. Studies included inlet cooling, inlet supercharging, water and steam injection, emulsion firing, firing temperature increases, turbine hardware modifications, active tip clearance control, and water wash. A compilation, quantification, and costing for implementing technologies that increase gas turbine power was published as a result of this investigation.

Site-Specific Exhaust Emissions Study
Site-Specific Exhaust Emissions Study

Cogeneration Performance Analysis And System Design

Fern Engineering performed a cycle performance design and optimization for a major cogeneration facility, using three GE MS5001LA gas turbines, three HRSGs, and one steam turbine. The combustion turbines and steam turbines were used equipment. The analysis indicated that the steam turbine should be operated with four of the six extractions closed and two open for process heat. Result: The client's used equipment was optimized for 75mW peaking service.

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