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Gas Turbine Power Stations


Gas turbines (or combustion turbines) are available in a range of sizes. Gas turbines are used mainly above 1 MW, though smaller units microturbines are produced in sizes less than 200 kW. Gas turbines can operate in different cycle configurations, including

  • Simple Cycle

  • Recuperated Cycle

  • Combined Cycle

Simple-Cycle Gas Turbines



Gas turbines can be either a single-shaft machine (with compressor and power turbine on the same shaft) or a split-shaft machine as shown above. The simple-cycle gas turbine includes an air compression section, a burner or combustor (most of which are based on dry low NOx combustor principles), and a power turbine driving a load such as an electric generator.


Recuperated Gas Turbines



A recuperated turbine is similar to a simple-cycle gas turbine, except for the inclusion of a special heat exchanger called a recuperator that captures exhaust thermal energy to preheat compressed air before the burner. Capturing exhaust energy helps increase electrical efficiency compared to a simple-cycle gas turbine.


Combined Cycle Gas Turbine

These turbines build on the concept of heat recovery by capturing exhaust energy in a device called a heat recovery steam generator (HRSG). The HRSG may also include a burner to increase the steam output. Steam from the HRSG drives a steam turbine generating power in addition to the main power turbine. Combined-cycle gas turbine power plants significantly increase power generation output and efficiency compared to a simple-cycle design.

With heat recovery, total efficiency can be high for all cycles. Electrical efficiency increases for recuperated and combined cycle configurations and generally improves as turbine size increases.


Gas turbines can be classified into four different categories:

         Heavy Duty (frame type)





More information is available at Diesel and Gas Turbine Worldwide (

Click here for further details on different stages of a Gas Turbine


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