The paper presents some of the engineering details of the Ruston-Hague Exhaust Fired Gas Turbine (EFGT) and gives a record of recent advances made in developing the ceramic heater for this system. It is proposed to demonstrate this powerplant in a heavy crude oil, coal-oil or fully coal fired application when the current program of laboratory testing has been completed.
In this cooperative venture, Hague International of South Portland, Maine, will provide the ceramic heater and combustion equipment and Ruston Gas Turbines of Houston, Texas (also Lincoln, England) will supply the gas turbine, power takeoff and control equipment. The system will be used to supply shaft power or electricity, in addition to process steam, at an estimated overall fuel efficiency close to 80%.
The project has evolved from international pressure to utilize cheaper indigenous fuels in machines hitherto designed for power generation on distillate oils. Because the system incorporates an externally fired ceramic heater, many of the fundamental problems associated with internally firing a small industrial gas turbine on ash laden and often corrosive fuels are completely avoided. Problems associated with particulate, NOx and SOx emissions remain a serious consideration but these render themselves more amenable to traditional treatment once the decision to opt for external firing has been taken.
The paper examines the economic and technical merits of the Ruston-Hague system using a generalized economic calculation. The broader implications and scale up potential of this technology are then covered and the relevence of this technology to the Petroleum industry briefly discussed.