7FUG 2020: Turbine Logic

Eliminating Gas Turbine Unplanned Outages due to Combustion Hardware and Instrumentation Failures


Ben Emerson, Manager, Combustor and Hot Section

Dr. Emerson is a Senior Research Engineer in the School of Aerospace Engineering at Georgia Tech, as well as the Manager of Combustor and Hot Section at Turbine Logic. Dr. Emerson has published more than 20 journal publications on his core expertise of fluid mechanics of combustion systems, which he applies through fundamental research at Georgia Tech and fielded applications at Turbine Logic. Dr. Emerson manages a large experimental combustion research program at Georgia Tech. This combustion research spans a broad range of applications from electric power generation to propulsion for aviation, with technical focus on emissions, operability, and combustion dynamics. At Turbine Logic, Dr. Emerson manages a 3rd party monitoring and diagnostics center which primarily monitors a fleet of 7FA and 501F units, and he develops advanced algorithms for monitoring and control of combustion systems.

Presentation Synopsis

This presentation introduces a novel combustion dynamics monitoring algorithm and a case study to demonstrate its successful detection of a gas turbine combustor fault. Combustor faults can cause expensive damage to both combustor and hot section components. These failures often develop from small, insipient faults. These small faults produce subtle signatures in the combustion dynamics data. The faults signatures can be detected by advanced monitoring algorithms to identify faults early before parts fail and force out the unit. This presentation introduces a combustion dynamics monitoring algorithm that blends data analytics with combustion domain expertise. The algorithm is currently fielded on a fleet of frame units. It has successfully caught several faults at sufficiently early stages to plan repairs without forced outage. The presentation provides an overview of the algorithm’s core logic, it enumerates the types of faults that the algorithm commonly catches, and it closes with a detailed case study.

Key Takeaways for Users

  • Hot section faults can force out plants unexpectedly and cause expensive power turbine damage

  • Early detection of hot section faults enables better outage and parts planning

  • Dynamics Plus provides powerful early fault detection and prognostication using existing combustion dynamics monitoring hardware

  • Dynamics Plus automatically distinguishes between hardware faults, instrumentation faults, and tuning faults

  • Several case studies demonstrate success of the method


Scott Sheppard, Engineering Analyst, ssheppard@turbinelogic.com

Jared Kee, CEO, jkee@turbinelogic.com

About Turbine Logic

Turbine Logic monitors power generating assets for and provides consulting services to OEM’s, utilities, users, and related organizations around the world. We specialize in site health and performance monitoring, as well as data analytics and consulting projects focusing on fossil and renewable generation assets such as gas turbines, combined cycles, and renewables.

Products and Services

  • Combustion Dynamics Monitoring Service (Dynamics Plus)

  • Digital Twin and APR Integration

  • Performance Monitoring and Diagnostics with existing data

Spec Sheets

Dynamics Plus Brochure




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