A gas turbine is an internal combustion engine that transforms mechanical energy from natural gas or other liquid fuels. The generated energy is then utilized to power a generator, which generates electrical energy. As most coal-fired power facilities are replaced by natural gas-based gas turbine power plants, the global gas turbine industry is expanding steadily.
Main benefits of gas turbines
Reduced operational costs
One of the key reasons for the popularity of gas turbines is their lower operational costs. When compared to other low-carbon emission alternatives such as nuclear and renewable energy, the initial operating costs of gas turbines are very cheap. As a result, in addition to being cost-effective, gas turbines are one of the finest solutions for greener power generation.
Efficient and long-lasting
Gas turbines have emerged as the most feasible alternative in the face of tight carbon emission rules, volatile fuel costs, and an emphasis on a great performance at a cheap cost. Gas turbines are not only inexpensive, but they are also long-lasting and efficient, with minimal operational failure and downtime. In reality, gas turbine makers have developed more robust turbines that require minimal maintenance.
Aids in distributed power generating
Most power production systems across the world are shifting toward dispersed power generation. Distributed power technology is extremely adaptable and can function both independently and as part of a larger system. It is also a better choice than solar panels, hydropower, fuel cells, and tiny wind turbines.
Another significant advantage of gas turbine power plants is that they are ecologically benign. They not only operate on natural gas, but they also emit fewer pollutants than internal combustion engines (ICE). Excess air is used for burning in gas turbines. In addition to natural gas, gas turbine power plants employ digester gas, synthetically manufactured gases such as diesel, and landfill gas.
Fast functioning and cheap lubrication costs
Unlike other engines, gas turbines do not require large amounts of lubricant. This instantly reduces operating costs. Gas turbines also contribute to faster power/energy generation due to their higher operational speed. Gas turbines assist in lowering operational expenses and providing better service in less time.
What is a steam turbine?
In a steam turbine, the thermal energy contained in the steam is first used to propel the steam, which is then used to power blades placed on a free-rotating shaft or drum.
Comparison with Steam Turbines
Both types of wind turbines have advantages and downsides. You can choose the best turbine if you have enough knowledge about them. The basic operating mechanism of a gas turbine is substantially identical to that of an internal combustion engine. Because of their benefits, engineering firms now choose gas turbines over steam turbines.
- The gas turbine was designed to function at intake temperatures as high as 800 degrees Celsius, whereas the steam turbine and boiler were designed to run at temperatures as low as 580 degrees Celsius. When all other factors are equal in both turbines, the efficiency of gas turbines is significantly higher than that of steam turbines.
- Because water is utilized for cooling in a steam turbine plant, there is a risk of freezing in the winter. In gas turbine plants, there is no danger of freezing.
- Because a gas turbine does not require a boiler like a steam turbine, its weight and space requirements are fewer than those of a steam turbine. Gas turbines are more compact than steam turbines for the same output. The capital cost is significantly cheaper than that of a steam turbine.
- The design and construction of this facility are straightforward. It has fewer reciprocating elements and is lighter.
- The gas turbine is very beneficial in areas where there is a lack of water that may be used to generate steam.