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Gas turbines consume large amounts of ambient air during operation. Because of this, the quality of the air entering the gas turbine is a significant factor in the performance and life of the gas turbine. An air inlet filtration system is used to control the quality of the air by removing harmful contaminants that are present. Selecting the right filtration system can be an intimidating task, since there are many important factors to consider. The system should be selected based on the operational philosophy and goals for the turbine, the contaminants present in the ambient air, and any expected changes in the contaminants in the future due to temporary emission sources or seasonal changes. This paper outlines the primary considerations for selecting and installing a gas turbine inlet filtration system. First, the consequences that can occur due to improper inlet filtration are reviewed, then the different characteristics are discussed, after this the components of a filtration system and considerations for the operating environment are outlined, and lastly, a procedure for quantitatively comparing inlet filtration system options is provided.

Consequences of Poor Inlet Filtration

When the quality of the air entering the gas turbine is not well controlled, there are several consequences which can occur. Some of these common degradation mechanisms are erosion, fouling, and corrosion. 

Filtration Mechanisms

HEPA Filter in the filtration system use many different mechanisms to remove contaminants from the air. The filter media, fiber size, packing density of the media, particle size, and electrostatic charge influence how the filter removes contaminants. Each turbine air inlet filter typically has various different mechanisms working together to remove the contaminants.


Gas turbines are deployed in the harshest environments so the electronic and control equipment that support gas turbines must be able to operate efficiently and reliably under extreme conditions. Blowing sand, dust, rain, and salt fog are major concerns for gas turbine equipment as these contaminants can cause electronic failures and production power loss. Gas turbine air inlet filters are critical to ensure that harmful contaminants are removed from cooling intake air to ensure reliable operation.

Gas turbine filters must capture contaminants while still allowing adequate airflow to ensure equipment within the turbine remains cool. The air filter must also be rugged enough to withstand high airflow as well as heat and UV radiation.  Failure to properly filter cooling air can result in harmful dust ingress which can cause electronic circuit cards to overheat and failure of mechanical controls and fans.  Failure of support equipment leads to energy production loss as well as additional maintenance costs. 

We at Braden Filtration, provide air filter solutions for turbine door intakes as well as base level electronics and power transformation equipment.  Large, rugged, high airflow filters are typically used on the turbine intake to prevent the bulk of contaminant ingress.  Smaller filters are also used for supplemental filtration on the electronic controls to help eliminate ingress of dust that is tracked inside the turbine.  Universal Air Filter Company can provide custom solutions for OEM wind turbine manufacturers as well as replacement filters for improved contamination control, durability, and serviceability.

Gas turbine compressor fouling, corrosion and erosion are all linked to air quality. Compressor fouling can be caused by natural plant matter or solid particulate found in the air. It can also be caused by man-made air pollution hazards such as carbon smoke or hydrocarbon fume, which creates a sticky substance when deposited on the turbine blades.

Modern gas turbine rotating parts are complex in design and structure and have a critical profile for maximum working efficiency. The high-pressure blades/nozzles sometimes have small air holes to deliver cooling air as the working temperatures are close to, or above, the limit of the material. Compressor blades are made of a very sophisticated alloy of metals to provide strength and durability, and these are coated with a protective layer for extra durability. This makes effective filtration a major factor to the long-term life of the gas turbine.

Gas turbines are deployed in the harshest environments so the electronic

So, how important is gas turbine filtration and what are the impacts of poor air intake filtration. In this article we explore the impacts and explain the route cause..