US20160201573A1 - Automated tuning of gas turbine combustion systems - Google Patents

Automated tuning of gas turbine combustion systems Download PDF

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Publication number
US20160201573A1
US20160201573A1 US15/077,311 US201615077311A US2016201573A1 US 20160201573 A1 US20160201573 A1 US 20160201573A1 US 201615077311 A US201615077311 A US 201615077311A US 2016201573 A1 US2016201573 A1 US 2016201573A1
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United States
Prior art keywords
turbine
operational
tuning
adjustment
system
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Abandoned
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US15/077,311
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Christopher Chandler
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Gas Turbine Efficiency Sweden AB
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Gas Turbine Efficiency Sweden AB
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Priority to US12/463,060 priority Critical patent/US8437941B2/en
Priority to US13/855,220 priority patent/US9328670B2/en
Application filed by Gas Turbine Efficiency Sweden AB filed Critical Gas Turbine Efficiency Sweden AB
Priority to US15/077,311 priority patent/US20160201573A1/en
Publication of US20160201573A1 publication Critical patent/US20160201573A1/en
Application status is Abandoned legal-status Critical

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    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F02COMBUSTION ENGINES; HOT-GAS OR COMBUSTION-PRODUCT ENGINE PLANTS
    • F02CGAS-TURBINE PLANTS; AIR INTAKES FOR JET-PROPULSION PLANTS; CONTROLLING FUEL SUPPLY IN AIR-BREATHING JET-PROPULSION PLANTS
    • F02C9/00Controlling gas-turbine plants; Controlling fuel supply in air- breathing jet-propulsion plants
    • F02C9/26Control of fuel supply
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F02COMBUSTION ENGINES; HOT-GAS OR COMBUSTION-PRODUCT ENGINE PLANTS
    • F02CGAS-TURBINE PLANTS; AIR INTAKES FOR JET-PROPULSION PLANTS; CONTROLLING FUEL SUPPLY IN AIR-BREATHING JET-PROPULSION PLANTS
    • F02C7/00Features, components parts, details or accessories, not provided for in, or of interest apart form groups F02C1/00 - F02C6/00; Air intakes for jet-propulsion plants
    • F02C7/04Air intakes for gas-turbine plants or jet-propulsion plants
    • F02C7/057Control or regulation
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F02COMBUSTION ENGINES; HOT-GAS OR COMBUSTION-PRODUCT ENGINE PLANTS
    • F02CGAS-TURBINE PLANTS; AIR INTAKES FOR JET-PROPULSION PLANTS; CONTROLLING FUEL SUPPLY IN AIR-BREATHING JET-PROPULSION PLANTS
    • F02C9/00Controlling gas-turbine plants; Controlling fuel supply in air- breathing jet-propulsion plants
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F02COMBUSTION ENGINES; HOT-GAS OR COMBUSTION-PRODUCT ENGINE PLANTS
    • F02CGAS-TURBINE PLANTS; AIR INTAKES FOR JET-PROPULSION PLANTS; CONTROLLING FUEL SUPPLY IN AIR-BREATHING JET-PROPULSION PLANTS
    • F02C9/00Controlling gas-turbine plants; Controlling fuel supply in air- breathing jet-propulsion plants
    • F02C9/26Control of fuel supply
    • F02C9/28Regulating systems responsive to plant or ambient parameters, e.g. temperature, pressure, rotor speed
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F05INDEXING SCHEMES RELATING TO ENGINES OR PUMPS IN VARIOUS SUBCLASSES OF CLASSES F01-F04
    • F05DINDEXING SCHEME FOR ASPECTS RELATING TO NON-POSITIVE-DISPLACEMENT MACHINES OR ENGINES, GAS-TURBINES OR JET-PROPULSION PLANTS
    • F05D2220/00Application
    • F05D2220/30Application in turbines
    • F05D2220/32Application in turbines in gas turbines
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F05INDEXING SCHEMES RELATING TO ENGINES OR PUMPS IN VARIOUS SUBCLASSES OF CLASSES F01-F04
    • F05DINDEXING SCHEME FOR ASPECTS RELATING TO NON-POSITIVE-DISPLACEMENT MACHINES OR ENGINES, GAS-TURBINES OR JET-PROPULSION PLANTS
    • F05D2240/00Components
    • F05D2240/35Combustors or associated equipment
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F05INDEXING SCHEMES RELATING TO ENGINES OR PUMPS IN VARIOUS SUBCLASSES OF CLASSES F01-F04
    • F05DINDEXING SCHEME FOR ASPECTS RELATING TO NON-POSITIVE-DISPLACEMENT MACHINES OR ENGINES, GAS-TURBINES OR JET-PROPULSION PLANTS
    • F05D2260/00Function
    • F05D2260/80Diagnostics
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F05INDEXING SCHEMES RELATING TO ENGINES OR PUMPS IN VARIOUS SUBCLASSES OF CLASSES F01-F04
    • F05DINDEXING SCHEME FOR ASPECTS RELATING TO NON-POSITIVE-DISPLACEMENT MACHINES OR ENGINES, GAS-TURBINES OR JET-PROPULSION PLANTS
    • F05D2270/00Control
    • F05D2270/01Purpose of the control system
    • F05D2270/08Purpose of the control system to produce clean exhaust gases
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F05INDEXING SCHEMES RELATING TO ENGINES OR PUMPS IN VARIOUS SUBCLASSES OF CLASSES F01-F04
    • F05DINDEXING SCHEME FOR ASPECTS RELATING TO NON-POSITIVE-DISPLACEMENT MACHINES OR ENGINES, GAS-TURBINES OR JET-PROPULSION PLANTS
    • F05D2270/00Control
    • F05D2270/01Purpose of the control system
    • F05D2270/08Purpose of the control system to produce clean exhaust gases
    • F05D2270/082Purpose of the control system to produce clean exhaust gases with as little NOx as possible
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F05INDEXING SCHEMES RELATING TO ENGINES OR PUMPS IN VARIOUS SUBCLASSES OF CLASSES F01-F04
    • F05DINDEXING SCHEME FOR ASPECTS RELATING TO NON-POSITIVE-DISPLACEMENT MACHINES OR ENGINES, GAS-TURBINES OR JET-PROPULSION PLANTS
    • F05D2270/00Control
    • F05D2270/01Purpose of the control system
    • F05D2270/14Purpose of the control system to control thermoacoustic behaviour in the combustion chambers
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F05INDEXING SCHEMES RELATING TO ENGINES OR PUMPS IN VARIOUS SUBCLASSES OF CLASSES F01-F04
    • F05DINDEXING SCHEME FOR ASPECTS RELATING TO NON-POSITIVE-DISPLACEMENT MACHINES OR ENGINES, GAS-TURBINES OR JET-PROPULSION PLANTS
    • F05D2270/00Control
    • F05D2270/40Type of control system
    • F05D2270/44Type of control system active, predictive, or anticipative

Abstract

A system for tuning the operation of a gas turbine is provided based on measuring operational parameters of the turbine and directing adjustment of operational controls for various operational elements of the turbine. A controller is provided for communicating with sensors and controls within the system. The controller receiving operational data from the sensors and comparing the data to stored operational standards to determining if turbine operation conforms to the standards. The controller then communicates selected adjustment in an operational parameter of the turbine. The controller then receives additional operational data from the sensors to determine if an additional adjustment is desired or is adjustment is desired of a further selected operational parameter.

Description

    CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION
  • The present application is a continuation of pending U.S. application Ser. No. 13/855,220 which is a continuation of U.S. application Ser. No. 12/463,060. The contents of U.S. application Ser. No. 13/855,220 filed on Apr. 2, 2013 and U.S. application Ser. No. 12/463,060 filed on May 8, 2009 and issued on May 7, 2013 as U.S. Pat. No. 8,437,941 are hereby incorporated by reference in their entirety.
  • TECHNICAL FIELD
  • The present invention relates to an automated system to sense the operating condition of a combustion system and to make preset adjustments to achieve desired operation of the turbine.
  • BACKGROUND
  • Lean premixed combustion systems have been deployed on land based gas turbine engines to reduce emissions, such as NOx and CO. These systems have been successful and, in some cases, produce emission levels that are at the lower limits of measurement capabilities, approximately 1 to 3 parts per million (ppm) of NOx and CO. Although these systems are a great benefit from a standpoint of emission production, the operational envelope of the systems is substantially reduced when compared to more conventional combustion systems. As a consequence, the control of fuel conditions, distribution and injection into the combustion zones has become a critical operating parameter and requires frequent adjustment, when ambient atmospheric conditions, such as temperature, humidity and pressure, change. The re-adjustment of the combustion fuel conditions, distribution and injection is termed tuning.
  • Controlled operation of a combustion system generally employs a manual setting of the operational parameters of a combustor at an average operational condition. These settings are satisfactory at the time of the setup, but conditions may change and cause an unacceptable operation in a matter of hours or days. Other approaches use a formula to predict emissions based on gas turbine operating parameters and select a set point for fuel distribution and/or overall machine fuel/air ratio, without modifying other parameters, such as fuel gas temperature. These approaches do not allow for timely variation, do not take advantage of actual dynamics and emission data or do not modify fuel distribution, fuel temperature and/or other turbine operating parameters.
  • Another variable that impacts the lean premixed combustion system is fuel composition. Sufficient variation in fuel composition will cause a change in the heat release of the lean premixed combustion system. Such change may lead to emissions excursions, unstable combustion processes, or even blow out of the combustion system.
  • Mis-operation of the combustion system manifests itself in augmented pressure pulsations or an increase in combustion dynamics. Pulsations can have sufficient force to destroy the combustion system and dramatically reduce the life of combustion hardware. Additionally, improper tuning of the combustion system can lead to emission excursions and violate emission permits. Therefore, a means to maintain the stability of the lean premixed combustion systems, on a regular or periodic basis, within the proper operating envelope, is of great value and interest to the industry. Additionally, a system that operates by utilizing near real-time data, taken from the turbine sensors, would have significant value to coordinate modulation of fuel distribution, fuel gas inlet temperature and/or overall machine fuel/air ratio.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • The present invention is a controller and method for tuning the operation of a gas turbine of the type having sensors for measuring operational parameters of the turbine and controls for controlling various operational elements of the turbine. The operational parameters of the turbine which are received by the controller may include one or more of the following: combustor dynamics, turbine exhaust temperature (overall fuel/air ratio) and turbine exhaust emissions. The operational control elements may include one of more of the following: fuel distribution, fuel temperature and turbine exhaust temperature. The turbine/power plant system also includes a communication link, such as a distributed control system (DCS). The link permitting communication with the sensors and the operational controls. The tuning controller is also connected to the turbine system through the communication link.
  • The controller operates by receiving data from the sensors. Operational priorities for the turbine may be set within the controller and are typically selected from optimum NOx emissions, optimum power output and/or optimum combustor dynamics. The data received from the turbine sensors is compared to stored operational standards within the controller. The selected operational standards are preferably based on the set operational priorities. A determination is made as to whether the turbine operation conforms to the operational standards. In addition, upon the data being determined to be out of conformance, a further determination is made of the dominant tuning criteria again. This further determination is preferably based on the preset operational priorities. Once the logical determinations are made, the tuning controller communicates with the operational control means through the communication link to perform a selected adjustment in an operational parameter of the turbine. The selected operational adjustment is preferably based on the dominant tuning criteria and has a preset fixed incremental value and defined value range. Each incremental change is preferably input over a set period of time, which is sufficient for the turbine to gain operational stability. Once the time period passes, operational data is again received from the turbine sensor means to determine if an additional incremental change is desired. Upon completing the adjustments within a defined range, a further operational parameter adjustment is selected, again preferably based on the dominant tuning criteria, and a further fixed incremental adjustment is made. The tuning process continues by the controller receiving operational data to determine if the operation is conforming to the operational standards or whether an additional adjustment is required. The operational parameters being adjusted by the tuning controller may include one or more of the following: the combustor fuel distribution split within the nozzles of the combustor, the fuel gas inlet temperature, and/or the fuel/air ratio within the turbine.
  • In a further aspect of the invention, the system performs a method for determination of the dominant gas turbine combustion system tuning scenario through the use of Boolean hierarchical logic and multiple levels of control settings.
  • In another aspect of the invention, the method performed relates to and automated control of the gas turbine inlet fuel temperature through automated modification of the fuel gas temperature control set point within a Distributed Control System (DCS).
  • In a still further aspect of the invention, a method for automated control of a gas turbine inlet fuel temperature is defined by automated modification of the fuel gas temperature control set point within the fuel gas temperature controller.
  • In another aspect of the invention a method for communicating turbine control signals to a gas turbine controller is accomplished through the use of an existing gas turbine communication link with an external control device, such as, for example a MODBUS Serial or Ethernet communication protocol port existing on the turbine controller for communication with the a Distributed Control System (DCS).
  • In a still further aspect of the invention a method for modification of a gas turbine combustion system is defined by a series of auto tuning settings via a user interface display, which utilizes Boolean-logic toggle switches to select user-desired optimization criteria. The method is preferably defined by optimization criteria based on Optimum Combustion Dynamics, whereby toggling of this switch changes the magnitude of the combustor dynamics control setting(s).
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS
  • For the purpose of illustrating the invention, the drawings show forms that are presently preferred. It should be understood that the invention is not limited to the precise arrangements and instrumentalities shown in the drawings of the present invention.
  • FIG. 1 shows a schematic representation of an operational plant communication system encompassing the gas turbine engine system, incorporating a gas turbine tuning controller.
  • FIG. 2 shows a functional flow chart for a tuning controller of the present invention.
  • FIG. 3 shows a user interface display for selecting the optimization mode within the present invention.
  • FIG. 4 shows a schematic of the inter-relationship of various optimization mode settings.
  • FIGS. 5-8 show operational examples of operational tuning of a gas turbine engine system as contemplated by the present invention.
  • FIGS. 9A and 9B are schematic representations of the function of the tuning controller of the present invention in maintaining the tuning of the turbine system.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION
  • FIG. 1 is a communication diagram for a gas turbine engine (not shown), within which a tuning controller 10 of the present invention operates. A communication link or hub is provided to direct communication between various elements of the turbine system. As shown, the communication link is a Distributed Control System (DCS) identified by the numeral 20. Most of the turbine control is performed through the DCS 20. A turbine controller 30 communicates directly with the gas turbine and with the DCS 20. In the present invention, information relevant to turbine operation, e.g., turbine dynamics, turbine exhaust emissions, etc. are directed through the DCS 20 to the tuning controller 10. The tuning controller 10 is contemplated to be a stand-alone PC used to run as a programmable logical controller (PLC). The tuning controller 10 is preferably a separate computer from the turbine controller 30 and does not communicate directly with the turbine controller 30, except through the DCS 20. The signals from the tuning controller 10 may be transferred to the turbine controller 30 or other controls within the system by the use of an external control device, such as a MODBUS Serial or Ethernet communication protocol port existing on or added to the system.
  • The relevant operational data is received from sensor means associated with the turbine. For example, the turbine exhaust emission reading is taken from stack emissions by a continuous emissions monitoring system (CEMS) 40, which is connected to the DCS. Combustion dynamics is sensed using a dynamic pressure sensing probe located within the combustion region of the turbine combustor. As shown, a continuous dynamics monitoring system (CDMS) 50 is provided and communicates with the DCS. The CDMS 50 preferably uses either direct mounted or wave guide connected pressure or light sensing probes to measure the combustion dynamics. Another relevant operational parameter is the fuel gas temperature. Again, this temperature information is directed to the tuning controller 10 through the DCS 20 from the fuel heating unit 60. Since part of the tuning operation may include adjustment of the fuel temperature, there may be a two-way communication between the tuning controller 10 and the fuel heating unit 60.
  • Relevant operational data from the turbine is collected several times per minute. This data collection allows for near real-time system tuning. Most relevant turbine operational data is collected by the tuning controller in near real-time. However, the turbine exhaust emissions is typically received from the sensor by the tuning controller 10 with a 2 to 8 minute time lag from current operating conditions. This time lag necessitates the need for the tuning controller 10 to receive and buffer relevant information, for a similar time lag, before making operational tuning adjustments. The tuning controller 10 tuning adjustment time lag assures that all of the operational (including exhaust emissions) data is representative of a stable turbine operation before and after any adjustments have been made. Once the data is deemed stable, the tuning controller 10 determines whether there is a need for adjustment of tuning parameters. If no adjustment is necessary, the tuning controller 10 maintains the current tuning and waits to receive the next data set. If changes are desired, tuning commences.
  • All determinations of the need for turbine tuning are performed within the tuning controller 10. The tuning operation is started based on an “alarm” created by receipt of operational data outside of preset operational criteria. In order for the tuning operation to be initiated, the alarm—and thus the data anomaly—must continue for a predetermined period of time.
  • One example of a tuning adjustment is the variation of the fuel nozzle pressure ratio to adjust combustion dynamics. With the requirement of higher firing temperatures to achieve greater flame temperatures and efficiency, turbine combustors must release more energy in a given combustor volume. Better exhaust emissions are often achieved by increasing the mixing rate of fuel and air upstream of the combustion reaction zone. The increased mixing rate is often achieved by increasing the pressure drop at the fuel nozzle discharge. As the mixing rate increases in combustors, the turbulence generated by combustion often leads to noise within the combustor and may lead to the generation of acoustic waves. Typically, acoustic waves are caused when the sound waves of the combustion flames are coupled with the acoustic characteristics of the combustor volume or the fuel system itself.
  • Acoustic waves may affect the internal pressure in the chamber. Where pressure near a fuel nozzle rises, the rate of fuel flowing through the nozzle and the accompanying pressure drop decreases. Alternatively, a decrease in pressure near the nozzle will cause an increase in fuel flow. In cases where a low fuel nozzle pressure drop allows fuel flow oscillation, a combustor may experience amplified pressure oscillations. To combat the pressure oscillations within the combustor, combustion dynamics are monitored and the fuel air ratio and fuel nozzle pressure ratio may be modified to reduce or eliminate unwanted variations in combustor pressure, thereby curing an alarm situation or bringing the combustion system back to an acceptable level of combustion dynamics.
  • As shown in FIG. 2, the data received from the sensing means for the combustor dynamics (50), turbine exhaust emissions (40), and other relevant turbine operating parameters (30) are directed through the DCS 20 to the tuning controller 10. These input values are then compared to standard or target operational data for the turbine. The stored operational standards are based, at least in part, on the operational priority settings for the turbine. These priority settings are defined on the main user interface 12 of the tuning controller 10 and are shown graphically in FIG. 3. Based on the priority settings, a series of adjustments are made to the operation of the turbine by the turbine controller 10 connected through the DCS 20. The adjustments are directed to the control means, including the fuel heating unit 60 (FIG. 1) and various other operational elements 80 of the turbine (FIG. 2).
  • The interface display 12 shown in FIG. 3 is comprised of switches (each having an On/Off indication). These switches allow the user to specify the desired tuning priorities for the operation of the turbine. The switched operational priorities include optimum NOx emissions 14, optimum power 16 and optimum combustor dynamics 18. Each of these switches is set by the user to adjust the preferred operation of the turbine. Within the tuning controller are functions that operate within the priorities set by the switches. Preferably, if both the optimum NOx emissions switch 12 and the optimum power switch 14 are set to “On”, the controller 10 will run in the optimum NOx mode, not optimum power. Thus, to run in optimum power mode, the optimum NOx emissions switch 12 must be “Off”. FIG. 4 shows a graphical representation of the interrelationship of the interface display switches.
  • Returning to FIG. 2, there is shown a representation of the logical flow of the determinations and calculations made within the tuning controller 10. The tuning controller 10 receives the actual operating parameters of the turbine through the turbine controller 30, combustor dynamics through the CDMS 50, and the turbine exhaust emissions through the CEMS 40. This sensor data is directed to the tuning controller 10 through the DCS 20. The received sensor data is compared to stored operational standards to determine if the turbine operation is conforming to the desired settings. The operational standards are based on the preset operational priorities of the turbine, defined by the switches 14, 16, 18 on the main user interface display 12 of the tuning controller 10 (FIG. 3).
  • Based on the preset operational priorities, a hard-coded hierarchical Boolean-logic approach determines the dominant tuning criteria based on operational priorities. From this logical selection, the tuning controller 10 implements a fixed incremental adjustment value for changing an operational parameter of the turbine within a maximum range of adjustment (e.g., high and low values). The tuning changes are made in a consistent, pre-determined direction over a pre-determined increment of time and are dependant on the dominant tuning criteria at present. It is contemplated that no formulaic or functional calculations are made to determine tuning adjustments; rather, the incremental adjustments, the direction of the adjustments, the time span between adjustments, and the maximum range for the adjustments for each parameter and for each tuning criteria are stored in the tuning controller 10.
  • As shown in FIG. 2, the tuning controller 10 determines whether the emissions are in compliance 100 and whether the combustor dynamics are at acceptable levels 102. If both are in compliance with the set operational standards, the tuning controller 10 waits for the next data set from the CEMS 40 or the CDMS 50, or for other operational data 80. If the received data is non- conforming with the operational standards 104, the tuning operation moves to the next tuning step. The logical adjustment of turbine operation is defined by the dominant tuning criteria 106, which is based at least in part on the preset operational priorities set within the user interface 12.
  • In a preferred operation, the tuning controller 10 will first attempt to change the turbine combustor fuel splits 108. The fuel split determines the distribution of the fuel flow to the fuel nozzles in each combustor. If these adjustments do not resolve the tuning issue and do not place the operational data back into conformance with the operational standards, a further adjustment is performed. In certain situations, the next incremental adjustment may be a change of the fuel gas temperature set point. In this adjustment step, the tuning controller 10 sends a modified fuel gas inlet temperature signal to the DCS 20, which is directed to the fuel heating unit 60.
  • If modification of the combustor fuel splits and/or fuel gas inlet temperature does not resolve the tuning issue 110, the tuning controller 10 will then alter the overall fuel/air ratio 112. This approach makes changes to the turbine thermal cycle utilizing fixed incremental changes over pre-determined amounts of time. This step is intended to adjust the exhaust temperature (up or down) by adjusting the air to fuel ratio in accordance with predetermined, standard control curves for the turbine operation, which are maintained within the memory of the tuning controller 10.
  • In the present invention, it is contemplated that all control changes directed by the tuning controller are fed back to the turbine system through the DCS. These changes are implemented directly within the various controller means within the system or through the turbine controller. When the operational data is returned to the desired operational standards, the tuning settings are held in place by the tuning controller pending an alarm resulting from non- conforming data received from the sensor means through the DCS.
  • The adjustments sent from the tuning controller to the turbine controller or the associated controller means are preferably fixed in magnitude. Thus, the adjustments are not recalculated with new data or optimized to a target. The adjustments are part of an “open loop”. Once started, the adjustments move incrementally to the preset maximum or maximum within a specified range, unless an interim adjustment places the operation data into conformance with the operational standards. Under most circumstances, when the full incremental range for one operational parameter is completed, the tuning controller moves on to the next operational parameter, which is defined by the preset operational priorities. The logic of the tuning controller drives the operational parameter adjustment based on a “look-up” table stored within the memory of the tuning controller and preset operational priorities.
  • The tuning controller preferably addresses one operational parameter at a time. For example, the dominant tuning criteria dictates the first adjustment to be made. In the preferred example discussed above, the fuel distribution/split parameter is first adjusted. As indicated in FIG. 2, the fuel split of fuel circuit 1—the center nozzle in the combustor—is first addressed, followed by the split for fuel circuit 2—the outer nozzles in the combustor. The fuel gas inlet temperature adjustment generally follows the fuel split adjustments when needed. Within each step, there is an incremental adjustment, followed by a time lag to permit the adjusted turbine operation to stabilize. After the time lag, if the current operational data analyzed by the tuning controller indicates that turbine operation still remains outside of the operational standards, the next incremental adjustment is made. This pattern repeats for each step. Under most circumstances, only when one adjustment step is completed does the tuning controller move onto the next operational parameter.
  • The tuning controller preferably controls combustion operation to maintain proper tuning in variable conditions of ambient temperature, humidity and pressure, all of which vary over time and have a significant effect on turbine operation. The tuning controller may also maintain the tuning of the turbine during variation in fuel composition. Variation in fuel composition may cause a change in the heat release, which can lead to unacceptable emissions, unstable combustion, or even blow out. The tuning controller preferably does not serve to adjust fuel composition to compensate; rather, it tunes the operational parameters (fuel gas distribution, fuel gas inlet temperature, and/or turbine fuel/air ratio) to address the effects on combustion output and discharge.
  • In other tuning dynamics, an alternate order for the adjustments is contemplated. For example, if the dominant operational priority is optimum NOx emissions, the fuel temperature adjustment may be skipped, going directly to the operational control curves. If, however, dynamics is the operational priority (and the optimum NOx emission switch 14 is Off), the incremental fuel temperature adjustment may be performed before going to the operational control curves. Alternatively, the step of making adjustments in accordance with the operational control curves may be turned off completely.
  • In FIGS. 5-8, there is shown various operational examples of the tuning operation of a tuning controller of the present invention based on operational data from a running turbine system. In FIG. 5, a change in the combustor fuel split is accomplished in reaction to a dynamics alarm is generated when the combustor dynamics moves outside of the set operational priorities for optimum dynamics. The actual combustor dynamics data received from, for example, the CDMS 50 is designated as CD in the graph. The moving average for the combustor dynamics is identified in the graph as ACD. When the combustor dynamics exceeds the dynamics limit value DL for a set period of time TA an alarm goes off within the tuning controller. This alarm causes the first event E1 and a resulting incremental adjustment in the combustor fuel split tuning parameter. As illustrated, the incremental increase in the fuel split causes a corresponding drop in the combustor dynamics CD, with the average combustor dynamics ACD dropping below the dynamics alarm limit DL. As time continues, the tuning is held by the tuning controller and the average combustor dynamics ACD maintains its operational position below the dynamics limit DL. Thus, no further adjustments necessary or alarms issued.
  • In FIG. 6, the tuning criteria is NOx emissions. As NOx emissions data NE is received from the tuning controller, an alarm is generated after the passage of time TA. The alarm is caused by the NOx emissions NE exceeding the operational standard or tuning limit EL. The alarm activates a first event E1 resulting in an incremental increase in the fuel split FS. After a period of time T2 from the first event E1, the NOx alarm is still activated due to the NOx emissions NE exceeding the preset tuning limit EL. This continued alarm after time T2 causes a second event E2 and a second incremental increase in the fuel split value FS. This second increase is equal to the first incremental increase. The second event E2 causes the NOx emissions NE to drop below the preset limit EL within the review time period and halts the alarm. As the NOx emissions NE remains below the limit EL, the fuel split FS tuning is held and the operation of the turbine continues with the defined operational parameters.
  • In FIG. 7, the tuning criteria is again NOx emissions, with the alarm created by a low reading received by tuning controller. As shown, the NOx tuning limit NL is defined. Upon passage of the set time period from receiving data, the alarm is generated and a first event E1 occurs. At the first event E1, the fuel split is incremental adjust downward. After a set passage of time from event E1 additional emissions data NE is received and compared to the preset limit EL. Because the NOx is still below the alarm level EL, a second event E2 occurs resulting in a further reduction in the fuel split value FS. A further passage of time from event E2 occurs and additional data is received. Again, the NOx data is low, maintaining the alarm and resulting in a further event E3. At event E3, the fuel split value FS is again reduced by the same incremental amount. This third incremental adjustment results in the NOx emissions NE rising above the preset limit EL and results in removal of the alarm. The fuel split FS tuning value set after event E3 is held in place by the tuning controller.
  • In FIG. 8, the NOx emissions data NE received by the tuning controller is again tracking along the lower emissions limit EL. At the first tuning event E1, the fuel split value FS is incrementally dropped to result in a corresponding increase in the NOx emissions NE over the lower limit EL. After this first incremental adjustment, the NOx emissions for a period of time holds above the limit EL and then begins to again fall. At the second tuning event E2, the fuel split value FS is again adjusted by the designated fixed incremental value. This second adjustment then places the fuel split value FS at its defined minimum within the preset range of values. This value limit moves the tuning operation to the next operational parameter, which is normally the second fuel circuit adjustment. In the example provided, this second circuit value (not shown) is already at its set maximum/minimum. Thus, the tuning operation moves on to the next operational parameter. The tuning operation moves to the load control curves. As shown, at event E2 an incremental adjustment is made in the load control curve value LC. The increase in the LC value results in a corresponding increase in the NOx emission to a value above the minimum EL and removes the alarm. Upon removal of the alarm, the tuning settings are held and no further adjustments are made. The tuning controller then proceeds to receive data from the sensor means, through the DCS, and continues to make comparisons with the set operational standards (including the minimum NOx emissions limit EL).
  • FIGS. 9A and 9B are schematic representations of the operation of the tuning controller within contemplated invention. The operation of the turbine is defined by the emission output of the turbine, both NOx and CO, turbine dynamics and flame stability. In FIG. 9A, a tuned system is defined by a preferred operating envelope in the center of the operational diamond. This preferred operational envelope is typically manually set based on a prior start-up or operation of the turbine system. However, weather changes, both hot and cold, and mechanical changes within the turbine system cause a drift within the operational diamond. Hence a tuning is desired so as to maintain the turbine operation within the preferred range. In FIG. 9B, a defined buffer or margin is set within the operational diamond to serve as a warning for a drift of the turbine operation outside of the preferred operational envelope. Once one of the sensed operational values reaches the defined buffer line or limit, an alarm is generated, causing a tuning event. Based on the direction of the drift, the tuning controller creates a preset reaction to meet the specifics of the tuning need. This preset reaction is a defined incremental shift in an operational parameter of the turbine as a means for moving the turbine operational envelope back into the desired range, and away from the buffer limit.
  • The present invention has been described and illustrated with respect to a number of exemplary embodiments thereof. It should understood by those skilled in the art from the foregoing that various other changes, omissions and additions may be made therein, without departing from the spirit and scope of the present invention, with the scope of the present invention being described by the foregoing claims.

Claims (18)

1. A system for tuning the operation of a gas turbine, the turbine having sensors for measuring operational parameters of the turbine, the operational parameters including combustor dynamics, and turbine exhaust emissions, the turbine also having operational controls for adjusting various operational control elements of the turbine, the operational control elements comprising one or more of turbine fuel distribution splits, inlet fuel temperature, and fuel-air ratio, and a communication link for the sensors and controls, the system comprising:
a controller communicating with the sensors and the controls, the controller tuning the operation of the turbine in accordance with the following:
receiving real-time or near real-time operational data regarding the operational parameters including combustor dynamics and turbine exhaust emissions from the sensors,
comparing the operational data to stored operational standards and determining if turbine operation conforms to the operational standards, the operational standards based on one or more tuning priorities,
communicating with the operational controls to perform a selected adjustment in an operational control element of the turbine,
receiving operational data from the sensors upon communicating the selected adjustment to determine if an additional incremental adjustment is desired, and
upon completing a series of incremental adjustments, selecting a further operational parameter adjustment, and
receiving operational data from the sensors upon further operational adjustment to determine if still further adjustment is desired.
2. The system of claim 1, wherein the adjustments in the operational control elements of the turbine are selected from the group comprising combustor fuel distribution split within the nozzles of the combustor, fuel gas inlet temperature, and fuel-air ratio within the turbine.
3. The system of claim 1, wherein the tuning by the controller further comprises setting the one or more tuning priorities for turbine operation, the one or more tuning priorities comprising one or more of optimum NOx emissions, optimum power output and optimum combustor dynamics.
4. The system of claim 3, wherein the tuning by the controller further comprises selecting the stored operational standards for the turbine operation based on the set tuning priorities.
5. The system of claim 3, wherein the tuning by the controller further comprises determining the dominant tuning criteria for non-conforming operation of the turbine, the dominant tuning criteria based on the set tuning priorities.
6. The system of claim 1, wherein the controller communicates with the turbine sensors and controls through a distribution control system (DCS).
7. The system of claim 1, wherein the controller selects an operational control element adjustment having a fixed incremental value.
8. The system of claim 7, wherein the incremental control element adjustments selected by the controller occur within a defined range.
9. The system of claim 7, wherein each incremental adjustment is input over a defined period of time sufficient for the turbine to gain operational stability.
10. The system of claim 9, wherein the defined period of time is fixed.
11. The system of claim 7, wherein the tuning by the controller further comprises determining the dominant tuning criteria for non-conforming operation of the turbine, the dominant tuning criteria based on the set tuning priorities for the turbine.
12. The system of claim 11, wherein the selected incremental adjustment of an operational control element value is based on the dominant tuning criteria.
13. The system of claim 1, wherein the further selected adjustment includes a fixed incremental value occurring within a defined range, with each further incremental adjustment made over a set period of time sufficient for the turbine to gain operational stability.
14. The system of claim 1, wherein the further operational parameter is selected based on a dominant tuning criteria as determined by the controller.
15. The system of claim 3, wherein the tuning by the controller further comprises specifying the optimum power output, wherein the specifying comprises selecting or de-selecting the optimum power output and wherein the specifying operates to change the stored operational standards.
16. A controller system for tuning the operation of a gas turbine, the turbine having sensor means for measuring operational parameters of the turbine, the operational parameters including stack emissions and combustion dynamics from the turbine, control means for controlling various operational control elements of the turbine, the operational control elements comprising one or more of fuel distribution splits, fuel-air ratio and inlet fuel temperature, and a communication link for the sensor means and the operational element control means, the controller system comprising:
means for setting tuning priorities of the turbine for turbine operation, the one or more tuning priorities comprising one or more of the group comprising optimum NOx emissions, optimum power output and optimum combustor dynamics,
receiving means for communicating with the sensor means to receive turbine operational data in real-time or near real-time,
means for comparing the received data to a set of predetermined allowable values based on the set tuning priorities and for determining whether tuning adjustment is required,
directing means for communicating with the control means to perform a defined incremental adjustment in a selected operational control element controlled by the control means, and
means for determining if the incremental adjustment conforms the turbine operation to the set values or if performing further adjustment is required.
17. A system for tuning the operation of a gas turbine, the turbine having sensor means for measuring operational parameters of the turbine, the operational parameters including stack emissions, and combustion dynamics control means for controlling various operational control elements of the turbine, the operational control elements comprising one or more of fuel distribution splits, inlet fuel temperature and fuel-air ratio, and a communication link between the sensor means and the operational element control means, the system comprising:
a computer controller communicating through the communication link to the sensor means and the control means, the computer controller tuning the operation of the turbine in accordance with the following
receiving operational data from the turbine sensor means in real-time or near real-time,
comparing the operational data to stored operational standards and determining if adjustment of the operational control means is necessary,
upon determination of a required adjustment, communicating with the operational control means through the communication link to perform a defined incremental adjustment in an operational parameter of the turbine, and
receiving operational data from the turbine sensor means regarding the adjusted operation of the turbine and comparing the operational data to the stored operational standards to determine if a further incremental adjustment in an operational parameter is necessary.
18. A method of tuning the operation of a gas turbine, the turbine having sensors for measuring operational parameters of the turbine, the operational parameters including stack emissions and combustion dynamics, controls for controlling various operational control elements of the turbine, the operational control elements comprising one or more of fuel distribution splits, inlet fuel temperature and fuel-air ratio, and a distributed control system (DCS) communicating with the sensor means and the operational element control means, the method comprising:
establishing a communication link with the DCS and receiving data regarding the operational parameters from the sensors,
comparing data received in real-time or near real-time to set standards to determine if adjustment to an operational control element is desired,
communicating with the DCS to perform a defined incremental adjustment in an operational control element of the turbine that is controlled by the controls, and
receiving additional data through the DCS regarding the operational parameters of the turbine from the sensors and determining if the adjustment conforms turbine operation to the set standards or if a further incremental adjustment is desired.
US15/077,311 2009-05-08 2016-03-22 Automated tuning of gas turbine combustion systems Abandoned US20160201573A1 (en)

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