How Does A Gas Turbine Works ?

Gas Turbines are one of the most efficient equipment for converting fuel energy to mechanical energy.The gas turbine is the engine at the heart of the power plant that produces electric current.The gas turbine power plant is also called a combustion turbine power plant.A gas turbine is a combustion engine that can convert natural gas or other liquid fuels to mechanical energy. This energy then drives a generator that produces electrical energy. It is electrical energy that moves along power lines to homes and businesses.

They are used in all kinds of un­expected places. For example, many of the helicopters you see, a lot of s­maller power plants and even the M-1 Tank use gas turbines.


Gas turbine functions in the same way as the Internal Combustion engine. It sucks in air from the atmosphere, compresses it. The fuel is injected and ignited. The gases expand doing work and finally exhausts outside. The only difference is instead of the reciprocating motion, gas turbine uses a rotary motion throughout.

When gas turbine heats a mixture of air and fuel at very high temperatures, causing the turbine blades to spin. The spinning turbine drives a generator that converts the energy into electricity.

The gas turbine can be used in combination with a steam turbine—in a combined-cycle power plant to create power extremely efficiently.

1.Air-fuel mixture ignites.
The gas turbine compresses air and mixes it with fuel that is then burned at extremely high temperatures, creating a hot gas.

2.Hot gas spins turbine blades.
The hot air-and-fuel mixture moves through blades in the turbine, causing them to spin quickly.

3.Spinning blades turn the drive shaft.
The fast-spinning turbine blades rotate the turbine drive shaft.

4.Turbine rotation powers the generator.
The spinning turbine is connected to the rod in a generator that turns a large magnet surrounded by coils of copper wire.

5.Generator magnet causes electrons to move and creates electricity.
The fast-revolving generator magnet creates a powerful magnetic field that lines up the electrons around the copper coils and causes them to move.The movement of these electrons through a wire is electricity.

Gas turbine plants are used as standby plants for the hydroelectric power plants.
Gas turbine power plants may be used as peak loads plant and standby plants for smaller power units.
Gas turbines are used in jet aircraft and ships. Pulverised fuel-fired plants are used in a locomotive.

Features Of Gas Turbines :-
  • The economics of power generation by gas turbines are proving to be more attractive, due to low capital cost, and high reliability and flexibility in operation. 
  • Quick starting and capability of using a wide variety of fuels from natural gas to residual oil or powdered coal are other outstanding features of gas turbine power plants. 
  • Major progress has been made in three directions namely increase in unit capacities of gas turbine units (50—100 mW), increase their efficiency and drop in capital cost. 
  • The primary application of gas turbine plant is to supply peak load. 
  • However, gas turbine plants nowadays are universally used as peak load, base lead as well as standby plants.

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