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Turbine Starter System

In 2004 K&G Power Systems was approached by Con Edison to build a turbine starting system, which would replace a system that was in service for over 50 years.  The turbine was a Pratt and Whitney FT4, which is connected to a generator and is used for “peaking”, which is supplying power to the grid when called upon during times of high electrical demand.  This practice prevents brown outs, blackouts, and damage to the grid’s electrical distribution devices.   

This turbine required a “black start” application meaning it could not rely on any electric power to start the turbine.   The system only had three chances to start when called upon or it could not be utilized in the system, therefore resulting in lost revenue.  The only electrical power available was low voltage DC current stored in a bank of batteries.  

The system worked by storing 4000 PSIG of air in high pressure storage vessels which is released  through a high pressure flow valve that meters the air out at a steady 100 PSIG.  The air then spins an air starter motor that  spins the turbine up to 1800 RPM.  This is the speed required to engage the fuel ignition system that starts the turbine. 

The original system was old and unreliable.  To make matters worse, the OEM was out of business making it impossible to get critical parts for the equipment.  The only information available was an old drawing and the actual piece of equipment.  K&G Power Systems reverse engineered this system with reliability, sustainability, and maintainability in mind.  Three high pressure 5000 PSIG 20HP air compressors were supplied with controls and air treatment equipment.   Two start packs consisting of 24 high pressure ASME bottles each were designed, built and installed with simple reliable components including a custom built high pressure control valve. 

K&G Power Systems delivered a workable system, spare parts, drawings, OEM Manuals, and training for a system that will run for another 50 years. 

Please contact JR Gandolfo, for more information about this job: Ph. 631-342-1171 or JR@kgpowersystems.com 

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