Dry Ice Blasting is a Solution for Cleaning a Gas Turbine
Unbeknownst to the average person, gas turbines are constantly running behind the scenes to power many of the technologies and systems that we rely on for power generation, transportation, manufacturing, and other important infrastructural elements. And in order to keep them running in tip-top shape, they must be properly cleaned – and one method stands above the rest as a far superior solution.
Gas Turbines: What, Where, and Why
A gas turbine is basically the heart of any power plant. It’s a powerful combustion engine that’s responsible for producing electrical currents and powering other electrical systems. Gas turbines convert natural gas into mechanical energy, which subsequently drives a generator that produces electrical energy.
Gas turbines work by heating a combination of air and fuel at extremely high temperatures. This causes the turbine blades to spin, which drives a generator. The generator then converts that energy into usable electricity.
Gas turbines are used in a variety of settings, including aviation, power plants, manufacturing plants, marine propulsion, locomotive propulsion, oil refining processes, and dozens of other areas.
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Cleaning Gas Turbines Using Dry Ice Blasting
Precautions for Cleaning Gas Turbines
A gas turbine is a powerful system with a complex array of parts that must be carefully maintained in order to ensure optimal functioning. Cleaning is one of the most important aspects of preventative maintenance and special care must be given to how it’s cleaned.
When cleaning, airborne particles are perhaps the biggest concern. They have a way of ingressing into the gas turbine compression, which can foul the air path surface. This ultimately reduces efficiency, increases fuel consumption, and negatively impacts the bottom line. Another common problem is oil leakage stemming from the compressor rotor inlet bearing.
In order to keep gas turbines in proper working condition, both online and offline cleaning should be performed with regularity. Online cleaning, which needs to be done every few days, ensures compressors are clean and minimizes power losses. Offline cleaning, which is typically done once per quarter, completely removes all particulate and debris and restores the system to its original working condition.
Benefits of Using Dry Ice Blasting for Cleaning Gas Turbines
While there are multiple methods of cleaning gas turbines, dry ice blasting has quickly become the preferred method in the industry. Here’s why:
- No mess. While traditional methods of cleaning gas turbines require massive amounts of water and chemicals, dry ice blasting is a totally clean process. This means there’s no mess to clean up afterwards.
- No entrapment. One of the biggest concerns with gas turbines is the risk of small or large particles becoming stuck in the system. Not only does this reduce efficiency, but it can also lead to costly breakdowns. With dry ice blasting, the ice is transformed from a solid into a gas, which means there’s no residue or physical material left behind.
- No damage. As powerful as dry ice blasting is, it causes no physical damage to the surface area. This makes it completely safe.