Turbomachinery Performance Diagnosis

Department Publications


Technical Publications

Contact Information

Klaus Brun, Ph.D.
Program Director
Machinery Program
(210) 522-5449

Gas turbine driving a centrifugal compressor being tested

Gas turbine driving a centrifugal compressor being tested

Flow metering as key part of performance testing at a large gas turbine power plant

Flow metering as key part of performance testing at a large gas turbine power plant

Gas technology institute's metering research facility located at SwRI

SwRI operates the Gas Technology Institute's Metering Research Facility, located at SwRI. This facility enables engineers to measure the performance of new and existing gas meters over a range of typical and extreme conditions.

Diagnosis of performance and heat rate problems, fuel flow metering and measurement accuracy, and energy balances with waste heat analysis are significant parts of gas turbine technology at Southwest Research Institute (SwRI). These tasks are accomplished by testing and evaluations using advanced and innovative methods, accurate instrumentation, modeling techniques including computational fluid dynamics, and versatile laboratory test facilities.

Performance testing can be conducted with SwRI's technology in the field per code requirements or as required for troubleshooting, acceptance tests, or special purposes. Heat rate determination is conducted for diagnoses and evaluations, maintenance decisions, optimization, and sizing of auxiliaries or related systems.

Fuel Flow Metering and Measurement Accuracy

More than 40 years of research in industrial flow measurement has provided the staff at SwRI with state-of-the-art knowledge in flow measurement technologies not equally concentrated anywhere else in the world.

Audits of meter installations can be conducted to determine the accuracy of installed meters and of data processing methods. High-accuracy calibrations of flow meters can be conducted in the world class Metering Research Facility where meters can be calibrated with high-pressure natural gas at pipeline pressures and temperatures. The accuracy of these calibrations can significantly enhance the metering of fuel to a turbine or plant.

Flow meter accuracy is affected by meter installation parameters including piping configuration, flow conditioner type and location, pulsation and unsteady flow, and many other factors. SwRI has the ability to obtain accurate flow measurements in difficult situations, to conduct real condition flow metering research, and to test components in a wide range of flow facilities.

Energy Balances and Waste Heat Analysis

Energy audits using on-site testing and measurements identify excess losses and opportunities for waste heat management and recovery. Waste heat measurements lead to energy loss analysis and to recovery method recommendations and designs.

SwRI can offer you a full range of capabilities and experience in gas turbine technology including becoming an extension of your engineering department. Contact us for more information about our turbomachinery performance diagnosis capabilities, or how you can contract with SwRI.

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Southwest Research Institute® (SwRI®), headquartered in San Antonio, Texas, is a multidisciplinary, independent, nonprofit, applied engineering and physical sciences research and development organization with 9 technical divisions.