Turbine Inlet Coils, Part 2: Why Inlet Cooling?

May 4, 2023

It is common knowledge that the widespread use of air conditioning during high temperatures can put major stresses on the electrical grid. But those hot summer days can also cause another power problem that many people don’t know about.

When it comes to gas-fired power plants, hot air entering the gas turbines can have a severely negative effect on the power generated by those turbines. In fact, the power output of a gas turbine is inversely proportional to the inlet air temperature. In other words, as the inlet air temperature increases, the turbine power output decreases.

Combine this lower output level with the increased demand generated by millions of homes and businesses trying to cool indoor spaces at the exact same time during extreme heat, and it’s easy to see how a plant’s capacity can fall short of the power needed.

Fortunately, that’s where Marlo comes in with an effective solution. Our turbine inlet cooling coils condition the incoming air to a lower temperature, thereby increasing air density and mass flow rate – which can restore the performance of the turbine to its peak capacity, regardless of the ambient temperature, humidity and availability of water.

Reliable, Cost-Effective Turbine Inlet Cooling

Turbine inlet cooling coils, along with other types of mechanical cooling systems, are used worldwide to improve the power output of gas turbines. When done correctly, the inlet cooling process can restore the performance of the turbine to its peak capacity – which is exactly what Marlo turbine inlet coils provide. For the power plants, this increased production capacity offers a range of valuable economic benefits, including:

  • Recovery of lost power output due to high temperatures, allowing the plant to meet customer power demand
  • Consistent, predictable power output, regardless of ambient temperatures or relative humidity, allowing the plant to maximize revenue opportunities
  • Restoring maximum turbine performance eliminates the need for additional power generation support, which can drastically decrease costs

The Recognized Leader in Turbine Inlet Cooling

At Marlo Heat Transfer Solutions, we have designed and built turbine inlet cooling coils for power plants all around the world. Plus, our turbine coils are approved by all the major gas turbine manufacturers. So, when power plants need reliable cooling coils to meet the stringent requirements of the power generation industry – for turbines ranging from 20MW to over 500MW – they know they can count on Marlo.

Needless to say, coils that can meet these demands are much larger than our typical commercial or industrial coils. Our turbine inlet coils are often more than 7’ tall and 20’ long, each using thousands of feet of copper tube. In fact, we recently completed a series of turbine coils that each contained nearly 3 miles of tubing!

We custom engineer and manufacture each turbine inlet coil to meet the needs of the specific application, as well as for the individual climate where it will be used, including in very extreme conditions. Our coils feature integrated lifting lugs and fully drainable circuits, as well as a wide range of optional features, such as corrosion preventative coatings, special materials, flexible duct mounting hole sizes/locations and many others. Whatever the requirements, Marlo can deliver the ideal solution.

In addition to turbine inlet cooling coils, we also manufacture turbine inlet heating coils. Learn more about both types of coils and how they benefit gas-fired power plants.

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