Studies of combined cycle electic power plants have shown that increasing the firing temperature and pressure ratio of the gas turbine can substantially improve the specific power output of the gas turbine as well as the combined cycle plant efficiency. Clearly this is a direction in which we can proceed to conserve the world’s dwindling petroleum fuel supplies. Furthermore, tomorrow’s gas turbines must do more than operate at higher temperature; they will likely face an aggressive hot gas stream created by the combustion of heavier oils or coal-derived liquid or gaseous fuels. Extensive tests have been performed on two rotating turbine rigs, each with a transpiration air cooled turbine operating in the 2600 to 3000°F (1427 to 1649°C) temperature range at increasing levels of gas stream particulates and alkali metal salts to simulate operation on coal-derived fuel. Transpiration air cooling was shown to be effective in maintaining acceptable metal temperatures, and there was no evidence of corrosion, erosion, or deposition. The rate of transpiration skin cooling flow capacity exhibited a minor loss in the initial exposure to the particulate laden gas stream of less than 100 hours, but the flow reduction was commensurate with that produced by normal oxidation of the skin material at the operating temperatures of 1350°F (732°C). The data on skin permeability loss from both cascade and engine tests compared favorably with laboratory furnace oxidation skin specimens. To date, over 10,000 hr of furnace exposure has been conducted. Extrapolation of the data to 50,000 hr indicates the flow capacity loss would produce an acceptable 50°F (10°C) increase in skin operating temperature.

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