ECOMAX® Combustion Optimization

Achieving operational flexibility is critical to maximizing output and minimizing environmental effects.

The ECOMAX® combustion tuning platform provides an automated, fully customizable solution to achieve customer-determined operational objectives. This patented technology continually monitors and adjusts key combustion control parameters to maintain NOx and CO compliance, flame stability and acceptable combustion dynamics.

ECOMAX® provides an operator with a system that offers:

Customized operational goals

Emissions management / compliance

Combustion dynamics control / mitigation

Increased fuel flexibility

Improved allowable load operating range

Continual optimization

Increased power potential

Does not mandate controls upgrades

Eliminates manual tuning requirements

Plant operators gain extensive benefits from each component of the solution. Combustion Dynamics Monitoring Systems (CDMS) and Continuous Emissions Monitoring Systems (CEMS) are required, as ECOMAX® requires real-time continuous operational data. Most importantly, plant operators can now control their plants without third-party input. Specific plant operating information that is critical to plant optimization, can be housed and adjusted on-site.

Plant operations can be adjusted to meet the following objectives:

Combustion dynamics mitigation

Exhaust emissions compliance

Optimize station power and efficiency

Maximize station availability and reliability

The Challenge of DLN Tuning – Controlling Emissions and Managing Combustor Dynamics

Burning a lean premixed flame keeps NOx emissions low but results in acoustic instability in the gas turbine. In time, this instability (combustor dynamics) will damage components in the combustion chamber (nozzles, liners, transition pieces) or even downstream components (nozzles, blades), causing unnecessary downtime, increased equipment repair costs and loss of generating revenue.

Ambient temperature changes can strongly affect combustor stability. Historically, this problem was addressed via seasonal tuning. Tuning is necessary to achieve the best balance between NOx, CO, combustor stability and dynamics.

However, a better solution is available, whereby the user could monitor the performance of a gas turbine combustor without bringing a tuner to site. A necessary tool is a Combustion Dynamics Monitoring system (CDMS) that allows the acoustic behavior of each combustor to be continously observed and documented.

Optimal Operating Objectives

Pre-set on / off toggle switches allow for easy and immediate switching between operating modes. The plant operator can specify an operational directive for a given situation, while maintaining the constant ability to switch turbine settings. This is done to achieve different operational parameters easily, immediately and at the operator’s complete discretion.

A CDMS continuously monitors dynamics and relays this information to ECOMAX® either directly or indirectly. A standard configuration has the DCS continually monitoring emissions data and sending this information to ECOMAX®. Using real-time CDM, CEM, and turbine performance data, ECOMAX® determines when tuning adjustments are necessary and automatically tunes the turbine to suit the operator’s optimization goals.

Tru-Curve™ – Continually Optimizing Performance

Tru-Curve is a process that occurs when ECOMAX® raises the turbine’s baseload fuel-to-air ratio while simultaneously managing both emissions and combustor dynamics within acceptable levels. It safely optimizes baseload performance of an operator’s plant when they deem it advantageous, and can remove this effect whenever required.

Combustion Dynamics Monitoring System (CDMS)

CDMS prevent high dynamic amplitudes that can cause damage to components. The acoustic behavior of each combustor is continuously observed and documented. These systems have the additional benefit of indicating changes in dynamics associated with hardware failure. This allows users to pinpoint combustor issues and take action before additional failure or damage occurs.

Permanent CDMS have been developed for continuously monitoring dynamics. These systems provide round-the-clock monitoring so that tuning changes can be made whenever necessary. There are two basic types: low temperature auto-purging and high temperature non-purging systems. The difference between the two is the location of the sensor with respect to the turbine compartment.

Both systems provide the ability to tune as needed and each can receive early indication of damaged combustion hardware. This raises the potential for operators to run a turbine at its optimum setting in real-time, allows preventative maintenance, extends combustion parts life and can help increase maintenance intervals.

CDMS is a necessary tool required to run ECOMAX® automated tuning technology.