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Operating Gas Turbines in Freezing Temps

Industrial steam turbine at the workshop

The team at Houston Dynamic Supply are experts in all things rotating equipment. We have one of the largest and most advanced facilities in Houston. As a result, we and our clients were sub-ject to experience a Texas deep freeze, like last year. To help you out, we will tell you every-thing about operating gas turbines in freezing temps.

A Little on Gas Turbines
Gas turbines are used in some of the harshest conditions on the planet, which makes them a great fit for many applications. Their design tends to allow for the varied contaminants and weather in the area. The extreme weather in Texas in the winter of 2020 showed what happens when gas turbines are not equipped for extreme weather conditions. This is especially true for the filters and filtration systems used in the turbine.

What Happens to Texas Gas Turbines in Freezing Temperatures
Ice can be catastrophic to all sorts of rotating equipment, especially those that use water lines and filters. The low temperatures in our area caused freezing in the filtration systems of many gas turbines, which led to failure in turbines that were responsible for generating electricity, as well as in other uses. The ice blocked the air inlet filters, which led to high pressure loss, engine runback, and the eventual shutdown of the turbines and plants.

How to Operate Gas Turbines in Freezing Temperatures
Icing on turbines can come in the form of glaze or rime and glaze. Glaze ice is smooth and transparent and occurs when freezing rain hits a surface. Rime ice occurs when water droplets freeze onto surfaces. It is essential to know which – if both – your climate is subject to.

Special filters can be used to deal with rime ice that are designed to allow for air flow even in ice. One of the most prevalent hazards to gas turbines is when glaze ice forms and is imperme-able. In any case, the type of filter, construction, filtration media, mesh, support, and even shape can all have a significant impact on how well a gas turbine can resist freezing tempera-tures. You may attempt a filter pulse cleaning that is designed to remove dust and other con-taminants. However, it may not be effective when dealing with sudden and extreme ice build-up.

Houston Dynamic Supply Can Help You With Operating Gas Turbines in Freezing Temps
We recommend performing testing, diagnosing, and upgrades done on a regular basis, espe-cially before extreme temperatures hit in order to avoid premature breakdowns.

Has your gas turbine or other rotating equipment been affected by extreme weather? The HDS team has over 30 years of experience testing, repairing, and upgrading turbines in various models and industrial applications. We work in many industries and provide precision machin-ing, non-destructive testing, and much more. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help keep your turbines operating efficiently, despite the weather!