Stay on the Cutting-edge of New Technology: Case Study of Gas Turbine Air Filters Durability Enhancement


  •  Mansour Al-Shafei    
  •  Gasan Alabedi    

Abstract

The Research and Development Center (R&DC) of Saudi Aramco has developed new application in ultrasound technology to support the huge networks of crude oil and gas processing facilities, including items of equipment running 24/7.

Gas turbines are playing a vital role in supplying energy to different facilities within the companies and they need complex air filtration systems to operate at high speeds and prevent turbine section components from erosion, fouling, and corrosion. Saudi Aramco’s plants have a large number of energy producing gas turbines and the frequent air filter replacement program has become so expensive, that consequently, it has attracted the attention of the plant management to find an appropriate solution for cost reduction.

R&DC of Saudi Aramco has completed an extensive investigative study to design and examine ultrasonic (sound waves) technology as a practical, easy-to-apply, and cost-effective cleaning procedure to remove the dust and dirt to maximize the lifetime of the air filters. Experimentally, high frequency sound is passed through a cleaning solution, providing waves of high and low pressure. Microscopic bubbles are produced, which implode almost immediately, bringing the cleaning fluid into contact with the surface being cleaned with great force, thereby breaking down dirt particles and cleaning the surface. Using sonic cleaning, it has been found that the filters are not only cleaned from dust and dirt but also from organic materials without affecting the physical integrity of the air filter.

This technical paper benchmarks a technology that has been established to reuse more than 10,000 air filters, which are usually discarded companywide each year. Implementing this technology would not only result in operational cost savings, but also would contribute to the reduction of the local and global environmental impact.



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
  • ISSN(Print): 1927-0585
  • ISSN(Online): 1927-0593
  • Started: 2012
  • Frequency: quarterly

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