Developments to watch: Peak capability in about a minute

Sensing a winner, Kraft rolls out TurboPHASE on the industry’s biggest stage

Bob Kraft, founder and CEO of PowerPHASE LLC, showed he hasn’t lost his ability to conceive, develop, build, promote, and sell products of importance and value to the electric power industry. Kraft, you may recall, was one of the founders of Power Systems Mfg LLC, better known today as PSM.

Only a year ago, he introduced on paper TurboPHASE™, a compressed-air system for boosting gas-turbine power, promising it would deliver peak capability within a minute or so after pressing the “start” button.

At Power-Gen in mid-November, Kraft unveiled a full-scale system at the PowerPHASE booth (photos)—one of the busiest on the show floor. An operating permit could not be obtained in time, so he showed a video of the first commercial system under test. The first installation at a generating plant is expected by year-end. Stay tuned.

TurboPHASE is simple in arrangement, consisting of a high-efficiency air compressor driven by either a reciprocating engine or small gas turbine, and a heat-recovery system. The latter is used to capture exhaust heat from the prime mover and raise the temperature of the compressed air to match the GT’s compressor discharge temperature before the additional air is injected into the gas-turbine wrapper.

The benefit: Even on a 95F day, the gas turbine can generate its ISO-rated power at a better heat rate and at the same emissions rate as usual. The TurboPHASE module is skid mounted and its small footprint enables relatively easy relocation if economics change. It can be installed and commissioned within three days.

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Using the performance calculator on the PowerPHASE website you can quickly evaluate the economic benefit TurboPHASE brings to your plant. The editors analyzed its value for a simple-cycle 7EA located 1000 ft above sea level on a 90F day. ISO output of the engine is 82,276 kW with a heat rate of 10,635 Btu/kWh. For the site conditions and without TurboPHASE, the engine would produce only 71,167 kW at 10,943 Btu/kWh.

With one TurboPHASE module, output increases to 74,080 kW and plant heat rate decreases by 69 Btu/kWh. Installing two TurboPHASE modules increases output by 2913 kW while reducing heat rate by another 63Btu/kWh. Four modules can restore power output to ISO conditions on a 90F day while reducing ISO heat rate by 245 Btu/kWh.

Another illustration: If you have a nominal 500-MW F-class 2 x 1 combined cycle, you can gain 50 MW with 10 TurboPHASE modules located on a 70 x 70 ft plot of land. CCJ

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