Pressure Sensors & Switches: Industrial Gas Turbine Applications
Gas turbines are a very popular industrial application for pressure sensors and switches. Being larger and more heavily constructed than other types or turbines, gas turbines require reliable pressure and fuel management systems. Sensors and switches in gas turbines are critical for reporting and maintaining nominal pressures within these larger systems.
Primary Industrial Uses
While commonly found in jet/aerospace engines, gas turbines are also important in power generation; from man-portable mobile plants to hundred-ton complex power plants housed in block-sized buildings. Gas turbines are also critical to the operation of oil and gas platforms, driving compressors to inject gas into wells and force oil upward, as well as compressing the output gas for transportation.
Gas turbines are also used in naval ships, where they are valued for their high power and low weight, resulting in a lower total weight and much quicker acceleration.
The Industrial Gas Turbine Cycle
The industrial gas turbine is a relatively simple system made up of complex parts. First, air enters the engine through a compressor, which compresses the air and forces it into a combustor, where it is mixed with fuel and ignited. The force of the ignition turns a rotary shaft connected to power generator or pump/compressor.
The fuel inlet system is where pressure sensors and switches play a critical role. For proper and complete combustion, the fuel entering the combustor must do so at the correct pressure. Our shock resistant, high life cycle 646 and 6900 series gage pressure switches are especially useful here, monitoring for dips and increases in pressure to ensure proper and consistent operation.
Differential pressure switches and sensors also play an important role in monitoring airflow. For example, a drop in pressure of the air entering the turbine could point to a fully loaded filter.
In a wide variety of applications, gage and differential pressure switches play a critical role in monitoring and ensuring proper operation of complex and expensive systems.