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Technical Article: Control of safety risks at gas turbines

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The fuel supply system to a gas turbine has to be a high-pressure system. Normally the operating pressures are ranging from 30 barg to 50 barg, depending on the design. The fuel system is often very complex. The fuel is supplied to one of more annular distribution manifolds again connected to several individual burners. All the bellows, flanges and flexible pipes are potential leakage sources. The possibility of one or more leakages is highly present. Even small local leaks may over time lead to accumulation of a flammable mixture of fuel and air within the turbine enclosure.

Gas detectors should always be installed in the ventilation outlet of the turbine enclosure.This is the best location for gas detection because any leaking gas from inside the enclosure will be drawn to the detector in the duct together with the ventilation air.

Alarm levels for gas detectors placed around gas turbines The alarm levels must be dedicated by their purpose according to HSE (Health & Safety Executive in UK). In the Guidance Note PM84, Control of safety risks at gas turbines used for power generation. HSE recommends that the setting for the gas detector in the ventilation outlet from the enclosure, should be set as low as reasonable possible, and that the level for this detector should be below 5% LEL and not exceeding 10%LEL. The level for high-level trips should also be set as low as reasonable possible, but no higher than 25%LEL.


PM84 Guidelines:

  • Detectors should be sited in the ventilation outlet duct where detection can be guaranteed.
  • External calibration points should be considered to maintain reliability without plant shutdown.
  • Gas detectors in ventilation outlet should be set to their lowest practicable level, preferably below 5% LEL but not exceeding 10% LEL.
  • In the event of a gas alarm the ventilation should be run at maximum whilst safe plant shutdown is achieved.
  • Gas levels no higher than 25% LEL should initiate automatic GT trip with gas supply valves being fully closed.


((this is an extract only - full details can be obtained from the HSE UK website)

 Simtronics GD10PE High Sensitivity Gas Detector is the ideal detector for monitoring and alarming at low levels in turbine ventilations.







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