(19)
(11)EP 2 522 908 A1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT APPLICATION

(43)Date of publication:
14.11.2012 Bulletin 2012/46

(21)Application number: 12167575.5

(22)Date of filing:  10.05.2012
(51)Int. Cl.: 
F23N 1/02  (2006.01)
F23R 3/34  (2006.01)
F23N 5/18  (2006.01)
F02C 9/26  (2006.01)
(84)Designated Contracting States:
AL AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO RS SE SI SK SM TR
Designated Extension States:
BA ME

(30)Priority: 10.05.2011 IT MI20110811

(71)Applicant: Ansaldo Energia S.p.A.
Genova (IT)

(72)Inventors:
  • Piana, Carlo
    21100 Varese (IT)
  • Costa, Paolo
    16126 Genova (IT)
  • Macchiavello, Giulio
    16100 Genova (IT)

(74)Representative: Jorio, Paolo et al
Studio Torta S.p.A. Via Viotti, 9
10121 Torino
10121 Torino (IT)

  


(54)Control method for controlling the pilot gas supply to at least one burner assembly of a gas turbine plant and gas turbine plant


(57) A control method for controlling the pilot gas supply to at least one burner assembly (15) of a gas turbine plant (1) provided with at least one pilot burner (20) includes the steps of:
- supplying a pilot gas basis flow rate (QP) to the pilot burner (20);
- calculating a gradient (GRAD) of the electric power (PEL) supplied by the gas turbine plant (1);
- calculating a pilot gas flow rate variation (ΔQP) on the basis of the calculated gradient (GRAD);
- modifying the pilot gas basis flow rate (QP) on the basis of the calculated pilot gas flow rate (ΔQP).




Description


[0001] The present invention relates to a control method for controlling the pilot gas supply to at least one burner assembly of a gas turbine plant, and to a gas turbine plant.

[0002] Gas turbine plants of known type comprise an annular combustion chamber provided with a plurality of burner assemblies. Each burner assembly is provided with a main premixing burner, commonly referred to as premix burner, and with a pilot burner.

[0003] In recent years, the introduction of the energy price negotiation on an hourly basis and the progressive spreading of alternative energy sources (in particular of the windpower and photovoltaic fields) have led to an increase in the variability of the power supplied by each plant.

[0004] Any plant connected to an electricity network, except for windpower and photovoltaic plants, must adjust the power input (also referred to as load) to comply with the mains frequency (50Hz in Europe, 60Hz in the USA).

[0005] Mains frequency variations are an indicator of the balance between electric energy production and consumption: if the mains frequency decreases, it means that the energy consumption exceeds production; in contrast, if the mains frequency increases, the energy production exceeds consumption.

[0006] In order to avoid undesired oscillations in the mains frequency, plants must respond to variations in power requirement (commonly referred to as primary requirement) by the mains in well-defined times. Moreover, the primary requirement adds up to the ordinary internal power variation requirements comprising plant requirements and small power variations (in the range of few MW), unavoidably due to the combustion and control process physics.

[0007] Plants of known type are not always capable of obtaining power variations within the required times. Recently, in fact, power variations in the range of as much as 36 MW/min have been required and it often happens that the plants are not capable of meeting this type of requirements.

[0008] It is an object of the present invention to provide a control method for controlling the pilot gas supply to at least one burner assembly of a gas turbine plant, and a gas turbine plant free from the prior art drawbacks mentioned above; in particular, it is an object of the invention to provide a control method for controlling the pilot gas supply to at least one burner assembly capable of allowing the plant to supply high power variations within the required times. It is a further object of the present invention to provide a gas turbine plant capable of supplying high power variations within the required times.

[0009] According to such objects, the present invention relates to a control method for controlling the pilot gas supply to at least one burner assembly of a gas turbine plant, and to a gas turbine plant according to claims 1 and 9, respectively.

[0010] Further features and advantages of the present invention will clearly appear from the following description of a non-limiting embodiment thereof, made with reference to the figures in the accompanying drawings, in which:
  • figure 1 shows a diagrammatic view of a gas turbine plant comprising a control device for controlling the pilot gas supply to at least one burner assembly according to the present invention;
  • figure 2 shows a detail of the control device in figure 1;
  • figure 3 shows a detail of the block diagram in figure 2.


[0011] In figure 1, reference numeral 1 indicates a gas turbine plant for producing electric energy.

[0012] Plant 1 comprises a compressor 3, a combustion chamber 4, a gas turbine 6 and a generator 7, which transforms the mechanical power supplied by turbine 6 into electric power PEL to be supplied to an electricity network 8 connected to generator 7 by a switch 9.

[0013] Compressor 3 is provided with an inlet stage 10 having a varying geometry. The inlet stage 10 comprises a plurality of adjustable inlet stator vanes 11 (diagrammatically shown in figure 1), commonly referred to as IGV (Inlet Guide Vane), the position IGVPOS of which may be changed to adjust an air flow rate drawn by the compressor 3 itself.

[0014] The combustion chamber 4 is preferably of the annular type and comprises a plurality of burner assemblies 15, a gas supply circuit 16 configured to supply the burner assemblies 15, and a control device 17 to control the gas supply to at least one burner assembly 15.

[0015] The burner assemblies 15 are arranged along a circular path close to an annular peripheral edge 18 of the combustion chamber 4 and face the interior of the combustion chamber 4.

[0016] In the non-limiting example described and shown herein, there are twenty-four burner assemblies 15.

[0017] Each burner assembly 15 extends along an axis and comprises a main peripheral burner (not shown for simplicity) and a central pilot burner 20 (diagrammatically shown in figure 1).

[0018] The main burner is of the premix type and is preferably arranged around the pilot burner 20.

[0019] The gas supply circuit 16 comprises a premix supply line (not shown for simplicity), configured to supply the main burners, and a pilot supply line 21, configured to supply the pilot burners 20.

[0020] In particular, the pilot supply line 21 comprises a control valve 22 and a manifold 23 connected to the pilot burners 20 of each burner assembly 15.

[0021] The opening degree of the control valve 22 is adjusted by the control device 17 for controlling the pilot gas supply to at least one burner assembly 15 according to the present invention.

[0022] In particular, the control device 17 is configured to adjust the opening of the control valve 22.

[0023] The control device 17 comprises a first calculation module 25 configured to calculate a pilot gas basis flow rate QP, a second calculation module 28 configured to calculate a pilot gas flow rate variation ΔQP, an adder node 29 configured to provide the sum of the pilot gas basis flow rate QP and the pilot gas flow rate variation ΔQP, and a valve control module 30, which is configured to control the opening of the control valve 22 on the basis of the sum of the pilot gas basis flow rate QP and the pilot gas flow rate variation ΔQP.

[0024] With reference to figure 2, the second calculation module 28 is configured to calculate a pilot gas flow rate variation ΔQP on the basis of the position IGVPOS of the adjustable inlet stator vanes 11 and to the electric power PEL supplied by generator 7.

[0025] The calculation module 28 comprises a calculation block 35 configured to calculate a pilot gas flow rate variation ΔQPgrad, a correction calculation block 36 configured to calculate a correction coefficient KIGV for correcting the pilot gas flow rate variation ΔQPgrad on the basis of the position IGVPOS, a multiplier node 37 and a limiter block 38.

[0026] The calculation block 35 is configured to calculate the pilot gas flow rate variation ΔQPgrad on the basis of the electric power PEL supplied by generator 7; in particular, the calculation block 35 is configured to calculate the pilot gas flow rate variation ΔQPgrad on the basis of the electric power gradient GRAD.

[0027] Here and hereinafter, the term electric power gradient GRAD means the variation ΔPEL in the electric power supplied by generator 7 in the time unit.

[0028] In particular, the calculation block 35 comprises a gradient module 40, a flow rate module 41 and an activation module 42.

[0029] The gradient module 40 is configured to calculate the electric power gradient GRAD.

[0030] With reference to figure 3, the gradient module 40 comprises a calculation module MV 43 configured to calculate a fast average MV of the input signal PEL, a calculation module ML 44 configured to calculate a slow average ML of the input signal PEL, a subtractor node 45 and a conversion module 46.

[0031] In particular, the calculation module MV 43 and the calculation module ML 44 are configured to calculate a respective moving average of the input electric power signal PEL considering different time intervals.

[0032] In particular, the calculation module MV 43 is configured to calculate the fast average MV as a moving average in a time interval of a magnitude order of tenths of seconds. By means of the average, the power oscillations PEL considered as "noise" are substantially filtered.

[0033] The calculation module MV 43 preferably consists of a series of low pass filters, each being characterized by a time constant from 0.1s to 1s, preferably of 0.4 sec.

[0034] The calculation module ML 44 is configured to calculate the slow average ML as a moving average in a time interval of a magnitude order which is higher than tens of seconds. By means of the average, the power oscillations PEL considered as "noise" are substantially filtered.

[0035] The calculation module ML 44 preferably consists of a series of low pass filters, each being characterized by a time constant from 3s to 10s, preferably of 5 sec.

[0036] The subtractor node 45 obtains the difference between the slow average ML and the fast average MV for achieving the electric power variation ΔPEL.

[0037] The conversion module 46 is configured so as to convert the electric power variation ΔPEL calculated by the subtractor node 45 into electric power gradient GRAD. In particular, the conversion module 46 is configured to multiply the electric power variation ΔPEL by a coefficient KCONV having a predetermined value, so as to obtain a quantity expressed in MW/min.

[0038] With reference to figure 2, the flow rate module 41 is configured to calculate a pilot gas flow rate variation ΔQPgrad on the basis of the electric power gradient GRAD calculated by the gradient module 40.

[0039] The pilot gas flow rate variation ΔQPgrad thus calculated is fed to the multiplier node 37 to be corrected by the correction coefficient KIGV.

[0040] The flow rate module 41 preferably calculates the pilot gas flow rate variation ΔQPgrad by means of a table obtained experimentally and containing different values of the pilot gas flow rate variation ΔQPgrad on the basis of the electric power gradient value GRAD.

[0041] In a variant, the flow rate module 41 calculates the pilot gas flow rate variation ΔQP1 by means of a parametric function.

[0042] The activation module 42 is configured to control a selector 45 arranged between the gradient module 40 and the flow rate module 41 through an enabling signal UATT. Preferably, the enabling signal UATT is a predetermined, logical two-state signal (defined by an operator or coming from the overall control system of the plant).

[0043] On the basis of the enabling signal UATT, selector 45 may take two operating positions; a first position where selector 45 feeds the electric power gradient GRAD to the flow rate module 41, and a second position where selector 45 feeds a zero signal to the flow rate module 41 in order to obtain a null pilot gas flow rate variation ΔQPgrad.

[0044] The correction calculation block 36 is configured to calculate a correction coefficient KIGV adapted to correct the pilot gas flow rate variation ΔQPgrad on the basis of the position IGVPOS.

[0045] In particular, the correction calculation block 36 calculates the correction coefficient KIGV on the basis of position IGVPOS of the adjustable inlet stator vanes 11, and feeds it to the multiplier node 37. The correction coefficient KIGV preferably has a value in the range between 0 and 1, determined by means of a table obtained experimentally and containing different values of the correction coefficient KIGV on the basis of the position IGVPOS of the adjustable inlet stator vanes 11.

[0046] Therefore, a pilot gas flow rate variation ΔQP is outputted from multiplier 37, which variation has been calculated on the basis of the electric power gradient GRAD and corrected on the basis of the position IGVPOS of the adjustable inlet stator vanes 11.

[0047] The limiter block 38 is configured to control a selector 46 arranged downstream of the multiplier node 37 by means of a selection signal USEL.

[0048] Selector 46 may take two operating positions on the basis of the selection signal value USEL.

[0049] When the selection signal USEL has a first value, selector 36 takes a first position where it connects the multiplier node 37 to the adder node 29.

[0050] When the selection signal USEL has a second value, selector 36 takes a second operating position where it feeds a zero value to the adder node 29.

[0051] Preferably, the selection signal USEL is a logical two-state signal calculated by the limiter block 38 on the basis of the position IGVPOS of the adjustable inlet stator vanes 11.

[0052] In particular, the limiter block 38 is configured so as to supply a signal USEL equal to the first value (first operating position of selector 46), if the position IGVPOS is within a configurable range, preferably from about 0.1 to about 0.9, and equal to the second value (second operating position of selector 46), if the position IGVPOS is not within the predefined range.

[0053] In essence, if the position IGVPOS is close to the maximum position value (0) or to the minimum position value (1), the correction of the pilot gas basis flow rate QP as a function of gradient GRAD is inhibited.

[0054] In contrast, if the position IGVPOS is sufficiently far from the maximum and minimum position values, the correction of the pilot gas basis flow rate QP as a function of gradient GRAD is active. In this case, the pilot gas flow rate variation ΔQP from the multiplier node 37 is fed to the adder node 29 in order to vary the pilot gas basis flow rate QP.

[0055] The control device 17 according to the present invention is advantageously capable of adjusting the pilot gas supply to at least one burner assembly 15 in a simple and reliable manner, while ensuring high performance of plant 1.

[0056] By virtue of the control device 17, plant 1 is in fact capable of meeting primary power requirements from network 8 up to about 36 MW/min and above.

[0057] Indeed, the control device 17 provides a pilot gas flow rate sufficient for stably supplying the flame and effectively compensating the instabilities caused by quick power variations.

[0058] Finally, it is apparent that changes and variations may be made to the control method and to the gas turbine plant described herein without departing from the scope of the appended claims.


Claims

1. A control method for controlling the supply of pilot gas to at least one burner assembly (15) of a gas turbine plant (1); the burner assembly (15) comprising at least one pilot burner (20); the method comprising the steps of:

- supplying a pilot gas basis flow rate (QP) to the pilot burner (20);

- calculating a gradient (GRAD) of the electric power (PEL) supplied by the gas turbine plant (1);

- calculating a pilot gas flow rate variation (ΔQP) on the basis of the calculated gradient (GRAD);

- modifying the pilot gas basis flow rate (QP) on the basis of the calculated pilot gas flow rate (ΔQP).


 
2. A method according to claim 1, wherein the step of modifying the pilot gas basis flow rate (QP) on the basis of the calculated pilot gas flow rate (ΔQP) comprises the step of modifying the pilot gas basis flow rate (QP) when the position (IGVPOS) of a plurality of adjustable inlet stator vanes (11) of a compressor (3) of the gas turbine plant (1) is included within a predefined interval.
 
3. A method according to claim 2, wherein the predefined interval is about 0.1 to 0.9.
 
4. A method according to claim 2 or 3, comprising the step of not modifying the pilot gas basis flow rate (QP) when the position (IGVPOS) is not included within the predefined interval.
 
5. A method according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the step of modifying the pilot gas flow rate (QP) comprises the step of adding the calculated pilot gas flow rate variation (ΔQP) to the pilot gas basis flow rate (QP).
 
6. A method according to any of preceding claims, comprising the steps of:

- calculating a correction coefficient (KIGV) on the basis of the position (IGVPOS) of a plurality of adjustable inlet stator vanes (11) of a compressor (3) of the gas turbine plant (1);

- correcting the pilot gas flow rate variation (ΔQP) on the basis of the calculated correction coefficient (KIGV).


 
7. A method according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the step of calculating a gradient (GRAD) of the electric power (PEL) comprises the steps of:

- calculating a first moving average (MV) of the electric power (PEL) in a first time interval;

- calculating a second moving average (ML) of the electrical power (PEL) in a second time interval longer than the first time interval;

- calculating the gradient (GRAD) on the basis of the comparison between the first moving average (MV) and the second moving average (ML).


 
8. A method according to claim 7, wherein the first interval is of the order of tenths of seconds, and the second time interval is of the order of tens of seconds.
 
9. A gas turbine power plant comprising:

at least one burner assembly (15), provided with at least one pilot burner (20) fed with a pilot gas basis flow rate (QP);

a compressor (3) provided with a plurality of adjustable inlet stator vanes (11);

a control device (17) configured :

- to calculate a gradient (GRAD) of the electric power (PEL) supplied by the gas turbine plant (1);

- to calculate a pilot gas flow rate variation (ΔQP) on the basis of the calculated gradient (GRAD);

- to modify the pilot gas basis flow rate (QP) on the basis of the calculated pilot gas flow rate (ΔQP).


 
10. A plant according to claim 9, wherein the control device (17) is configured to modify the pilot gas basis flow rate (QP) to supply to the pilot burner (20) on the basis of the calculated pilot gas flow rate (ΔQP) when the position (IGVPOS) of the plurality of adjustable inlet stator vanes (11) is included within a predefined range.
 
11. A plant according to claim 10, wherein the predefined range is about 0.1 to 0.9.
 
12. A plant according to claim 10 or 11, wherein the control device (17) is configured to not modify the pilot gas basis flow rate (QP) when the position (IGVPOS) is not included within the predefined range.
 
13. A plant according to any of claims 9 to 12, wherein the control device (17) is configured to add the calculated pilot gas flow rate variation (ΔQP) to the pilot gas basis flow rate (QP).
 
14. A plant according to any of claims 9 to 13, wherein the control device (17) is configured to:

- calculate a correction coefficient (KIGV) on the basis of the position (IGVPOS) of the plurality of adjustable inlet stator vanes (11);

- correct the pilot gas flow rate variation (ΔQP) on the basis of the calculated correction coefficient (KIGV).


 
15. A plant according to any of claims 9 to 14, wherein the control device (17) is configured to calculate the gradient (GRAD) of the electric power (PEL) supplied by the gas turbine plant (1) on the basis of the comparison between a first moving average (MV) of the electric power (PEL) and a second moving average (ML) of the electrical power (PEL); the first moving average (MV) being calculated in a first time interval and the second moving average (ML) being calculated in a second time interval longer than the first time interval.
 
16. A plant according to claim 15, wherein the first time interval is in the range of tenths of seconds and the second time interval is in the range of tens of seconds.
 




Drawing