FAQ

Turbo-K - All in One

Turbo-K® is based upon a complex formulation relying on a property called synergism that improves detergency. Its formulation does not just rely on simple non-ionic surfactants but contains a very complex, triple-active formula. Thus it has no “cloud point temperature” yielding exceptional dirt suspension abilities so that all fouling is carried into the combustion chamber during on-line cleaning.

This results in extremely high online cleaning performance that other gas turbine compressor cleaners cannot match.

Turbo-K® performs in offline(cold wash) cleaning to the same level as solvent-based and other leading offline water-based compressor cleaners, it’s effective on all types of fouling and will fully restore the turbine to 100% power.

Turbo-K® is non-hazardous, water-based, non-corrosive, non-toxic, non-flammable and biodegradable gas turbine compressor cleaner with no Alkyl Phenol Ethoxylates (a-p-e), Nonyl Phenol Ethoxylates (n-p-e) and other ingredients with aquatic toxicity in its formulation.

Turbo-K® has the highest rating by both CEFAS & OSPAR and is REACH approved.

Turbo-K® has inherent corrosion inhibiting properties that are compatible with aluminium, magnesium, nickel-cadmium, stainless steel, and titanium to further protect the compressor against possible corrosion.

Turbo-K® is used worldwide on all types of gas turbines. Independent and unsolicited testimonials avow to the utmost superiority of Turbo-K® product when cleaning gas turbine compressors.

Product conforms to US-MIL-PRF- 85704C specification for Type II (Off-Line) and Type III (On-Line) aqueous cleaner concentrate for use on US Navy, US Airforce, US Marine Corps, US Army inventory.

Turbo-K® has been approved and certified by the major gas turbine manufacturers such as GE (General Electric), Alstom Power, Centrax, Dresser Rand, GHH Borsig / MAN, Pratt & Whitney, RR (Rolls Royce), Siemens, Solar Turbines, to name a few.

Contact us for further specific approvals.

Turbo-K® can be used in any and all gas turbine types including those found in.

  • Aviation – helicopters, jets, turboprops
  • Power Plants – simple cycle, cogeneration
  • Oil & Gas – Refineries, pipelines, offshore rigs, well heads
  • Marine – commercial ships, large jet boats
  • Military – fast attack boats, amphibious craft, destroyers, frigates, helicopters, jets, turboprops, tanks
  • Manufacturing – Pulp & Paper, Mining, and other industries where large amounts of power & steam are required

Turbo-K® is available in:

  •  1,000 litre IBC’s / totes
  • 200 litre polyethylene drums
  • 20 litre polyethylene containers / pails
Turbo-K® 1:4 concentrate: Turbo-K® RTU:
1000 Litre IBC — 1080 kg 1000 Litre IBC — 1065 kg
200 Litre Drum — 212 kg 200 Litre Drum — 209 kg
20 Litre Container — 21.50 kg 20 Litre Container — 21.10 kg

No Turbo-K® has no shipping restrictions.

Product is classified as non-hazardous for international transport by air, road and sea.

Turbo-K® has a shell life of 5 years.

UK 3402 20 90

CA 3402 20 90 90

USA 3402 20 51

There are no special requirements for storing Turbo-K®.

It should be kept between 4° C and 80° C, but if inadvertently frozen, product can still be used after thawing.

Sources of Contamination

  • Oily vapours entering through breaches in air inlet plenum
  • Lubrication oil leaking directly into compressor
  • Oil leaks from oil-bath type filtration systems
  • Oily vapours passing through filtration system
  • Larger particulate matter passing through breaches in plenum
  • Saturated salt droplets or dry crystals passing through filters and/or breaches in plenum casings
  • Seasonal tree and plant sap
  • Very fine particulate matter passing through filter system
  • Wide variety of chemicals and other pollutants generated at site of gas turbine operation such as oil, soot, unburned fuel, soils & road traffic
  • Exhaust gasses re-entering through filtration system and breaches in air inlet plenum casing

Daily operating expenses:

  • Reduction in available power output resulting in loss of potential production revenue
  • Increased fuel consumption due to increased operating temperatures
  • Higher cost of operating standby plant to make up for power losses
  • More expensive external power sources required to make up for power losses
  • Limiting plant operations due to emission increases

long term maintenance and operating expenses:

  • Increased maintenance costs due to more frequent replacement of components
  • Reduces longevity of all hot section components due to higher EGT’s

capital expenses:

  • Higher frequency of replacing expensive hot section components
  • Large investments in non-productive standby plant and general redundancy
  • Shorter amortization periods for gas turbine

Safety concerns:

  • possibility of rotor imbalance, vibration and catastrophic failure
  • Possibility of compressor stall and subsequent engine damage

Gas Turbine Compressor Cleaning Techniques

Online compressor cleaning is done while the gas turbine remains in normal operation, running at full load and temperature. If done properly, on-line cleaning can be very effective in significantly reducing or even preventing the fouling of the compressor. The major advantages being that there is no shut down involved nor any interruption to operations or production at the plant, reduced fuel consumption and lower overall maintenance as the hot section components are preserved for longer.

With the continued development and improvement of on-line cleaning processes and chemicals which Turbo-K has specialized in for over 20 years, all major gas turbine manufacturers now recommend using a combination of on-line and off-line washing procedures for the most efficient and effective way of maintaining compressor efficiency.

  • No engine shutdown required, can prevent or slow down the rate of compressor fouling while the gas turbine remains in operation
  • Maintain power output to avoid loss of production revenue and unnecessary cost of standby machines
  • By avoiding shutdowns for offline washing, the life of the engine can be extended due to considerably reducing thermal cycles
  • There is no interruption to standard operating routines as washing can be carried out at full speed and load
  • There is no waste liquid to dispose of after the wash as it all carries through to the combustion chamber
  • Maintain heat rate and save significantly by avoiding additional fuel burn
  • Can help lower plant emissions
  • The online cleaning process usually takes only a few of minutes
  • No erosion, bearing damage, thermal shock, cooling system blockage

High velocity impingement

  • Abrasive materials(e.g. crushed walnut shells) are injected into the compressor air stream to displace blade deposits, but also has a negative effect on blade coatings

Injection of demineralized water

  • Removes only water soluble deposits, but has no effect on hydrocarbon and hard deposits

Injection of special chemical solutions (solvent & aqueous based)

  • Chemically dissolves and removes all surface deposits from all the blades and stages down to the combustion chamber

 

Offline compressor cleaning(cold wash) is done when the gas turbine is completely shut down, running cold on crank speed hence the term crank-soak washing. When done properly this method of cleaning can be effective in restoring almost all of the lost performance. However, it is very time consuming, labour intensive and, overall, very costly especially when the shutdown of the machine means the total loss of revenue for the whole period of the shutdown from the sale of electricity and/or steam or costly interruptions to the factory’s production schedule.

  • Gas Turbine must be shut down completely
  • Time consuming process as the turbine has to cool off and cycle down
  • Have to dispose of waste chemical and contaminated rinse water which can be very costly
  • Labour intensive process
  • Lost power output cannot be recovered fully
  • Extra wear and tear on starting system during offline wash
  • Thermal cycles experienced during shutdown/start-up for offline washing are damaging for all components in the machine
  • Salt and other corrosives can be flushed into inaccessible parts of the engine during washing
  • Short term effects, as it will not prevent compressor from fouling as soon as it starts running at full speed and load again
  • Crank-soak chemical washing using in-built chemical injection/water rinsing systems
  • Crank-soak chemical cleaning using hand held hose or lance
  • Partial hand cleaning (e.g. Struts, IGV’s, 1st stage rotor & stator blading) using chemicals, rags, brushes and water rinse
  • Full hand cleaning with compressor covers removed using chemicals, various types of abrasives and even light shot-blasting techniques
  • Steam cleaning
  • Can have limited effect if chemical is not properly formulated, especially if the product has a cloud point(temperature limit) as all do in the market but Turbo-K which is immune to this effect. The results with these inferior products will be a redepositing of all the fouling to further downstream on hotter difficult to reach sections, unlike Turbo-K which carries all fouling through all stages to the combustion chamber with no redepositing.
  • Can have limited effect if chemical is not injected properly, nozzle orientation, flow rate and droplet size matter significantly with respect to the effectiveness of the cleaning action of the chemical
  • Some online cleaning chemicals are quite expensive and results may not justify the costs in some cases due to the nature of the operating conditions, i.e if the machine is not used for production/energy generation then there is no lost revenues on that machine during offline cleaning. The online savings will not be as significant in this case but there will still be an impact on maintenance costs and fuel consumption when running.

It is recommended to use heated water for the wash and rinse cycles, 165-185 degrees Fahrenheit (74 – 85 degrees Centigrade) for best results. As Turbo-K is a water-based, non-flammable formula there are no issues with heating the mixture.

Various clients have confirmed that heating during the wash and rinse cycles gives them better cleaning results.

You will need an injection system relevant to your operation and the type of application the engine is being used for. For industrial engines there are separate fixed nozzle rings for off-line and on-line cleaning. Also available and used frequently are fixed/portable washing rigs which may be fully automated. For aviation it depends on the aircraft, if you wish to wash a small helicopter engine then you may only need a small portable hand held lance or ring with a pressurised container and an atomising nozzle. For a large fan engine, a portable washing rig with a ring that will wash the engine core will be required, while the fan is clamped.

We do not manufacture injection systems but we can recommend manufacturers who produce efficient and effective systems.

There is no definite answer to this question, the period between washes will be dictated by:

  • The site conditions
  • Application of the engine
  • The degree of air pollution
  • The amount of fine particulate matter in the air
  • The power loss acceptable to the operator

In order to ascertain the site requirement, it is recommended to start with two on-line washes a week, with an off-line wash being performed only when the power loss acceptable to the operator has been reached. Depending on the results, these can be varied to obtain the perfect balance that maximises performance and efficiency for the operator.

What quantity you should use along with the flow rate will be found in the compressor cleaning section of the maintenance manual for that specific engine model. If you do not have a copy, you should contact your engine manufacturer as it is recommended that you follow the manufacturer’s instructions wherever possible.

Cleaning time required for a gas turbine is dependent upon the model and machine size. A typical wash takes around 5-20 minutes and consists of a chemical injection followed by a soaking period to allow the chemical to break up heavy deposits, this is then followed by several water only rinses to flush all the chemical and fouling. All procedures and details are specified in the manufacturer’s manual.

In general, the best way is if you can measure accurately the compressor inlet and discharge pressures/temperatures, this would be the criteria by which to judge the improved performance. Unfortunately, this is rarely the case and instead it is better to judge the performance improvement by the fall in exhaust gas temperature (EGT) after a wash. If the EGT is measured at a specific power setting before and after a wash, a more efficient compressor will show a fall in the EGT, meaning the cleaner has performed. There should also be a decrease in the fuel flow.

When diluted to the recommended ratio the product can be processed through an oil/water separator.

It has been reported that routine washing of a gas turbine engine with Turbo-K gave a lower value of cadmium in the effluent water then other cleaners which had figures significantly larger.

The source of cadmium in washing effluent where NiCd compressor blade coatings are used are due to the material being attacked in naturally occurring acidic conditions, particularly where pH drops to approximately pH4.0.

Turbo-K reduces the amount of heavy metals leached from the compressor due to the extremely effective corrosion inhibition system it contains, which gives it much greater resistance to acidic conditions.

Cleaning chemicals & fluids

  • Not effective against oily/greasy contamination
  • Not effective against lacquered or hard carbonaceous deposits
  • May redeposit fouling from cold to hot sections of the engine causing heavy fouling and corrosion
  • May directly cause corrosion if not inhibited
  • May cause thermal shock/blade stress if not injected correctly
  • Not effective for offline cleaning (unless the deposit is water soluble)
  • Must be high quality water demineralised or deionised water meeting the stringent specifications set by gas turbine engine manufacturers

Demineralised or deionised water is the only type of water that should be used in gas turbine engines during compressor washing and rinsing. It is essential that this water meets the stringent specifications set by gas turbine engine manufacturers, so that it does not damage the turbine by depositing alkali metals or hard water scale while passing through all the stages of the engine.

The demineralised water used in Turbo-K complies fully with the following specifications:

  • Rolls-Royce MSRR9435, MSRR9914
  • General Electric GEI 41042
  • Solar Turbines ES 9-62
  • NATO S-1739 (WTA)
  • Was the chemical offered only developed for cleaning gas turbines? Or was it originally developed for some other application?
  • Is the chemical tested and approved by all gas turbine manufacturers for use in their machines without harming warranties?
  • Is the chemical offered actually developed for online cleaning of gas turbines? Does it have a cloud point(temperature limit)?
  • Can the chemical offered also be used safely and effectively for offline compressor washing if need be?
  • Is the chemical solvent based or water based? Solvent based products are hazardous, flammable and not environmentally friendly
  • Does the chemical meet the highest environmental standards? OSPAR, CEFAS, REACH?
  • Is the chemical supplied as a concentrate to save storage and transportation costs? Paying for water in ready-to-use chemical solutions can be very costly and inefficient
  • Is the product offered or available ex-warehouse?
  • Is the chemical safe to use in any injection system?

All manufacturers now recommend that the best practice for keeping the highest efficiency and performance on their gas turbines is by using cleaning chemicals in a balanced regime of online and offline compressor cleaning. The chemical cleans the hydrocarbon deposits and particulate matter that water alone cannot remove. Think of it as trying to clean a greasy BBQ with just a water rinsing.

  • Fully Biodegradable, where permitted can be discharged to a watercourse. Eliminating waste water collection for disposal after off-line cleaning and allowing use of product in environmentally sensitive operations
  • Safe for operators to use, as there are no solvents containing aromatic hydrocarbons present which are known carcinogens and are flammable
  • Only minimal protective clothing is required during cleaning. Please see Materials Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) for details

Some operators of gas turbine engines have reportedly used all-purpose household/industrial cleaners to clean the compressor section of their engines. While these cleaners are suitable at general-purpose cleaning and degreasing, they are not suitable for use in gas turbine engines as they do not meet the strict requirements of gas turbine OEM specifications, either for on-line or off-line cleaning. Disadvantages of common cleaners include:

  • High ash content may block the cooling holes on the turbine blade and lead to build up of deposits on the blade surfaces
  • High levels of alkali metals such as Potassium and Sodium are incompatible with good maintenance practices of gas turbine engines, as they result in corrosive attack of the materials used in the hot section components
  • Highly alkaline pH levels promote corrosion and are not safe for the operator to handle
  • A corrosion inhibitor works by “passivating” the surface of the material, forming a protective layer which blocks the electrolyte from contacting the surface and initiating the corrosion process
  • Corrosion inhibitor will also perform as a buffer controlling pH, thus preventing changes of the pH of the solution which would otherwise accelerate corrosion. pH should stay as close to neutral between 7.0 and 7.5 to minimise corrosion of materials used in gas turbine construction

The cost of purchasing chemicals, potential necessary installation and operating a wash system is minimal compared to the potential savings in fuel consumption, engine efficiency and output, maintenance costs and the potential production/generation gained due to the avoidance of downtime by keeping the compressor clean while the engine remains in normal operation.

Aqueous solutions of Turbo-K are stable at temperatures well below freezing point. However, in use, the rapid evaporation of water, especially when on-line cleaning, can induce freezing and ice formation on the leading edges of the blades in the initial stages of the compressor. Whenever engine cleaning is carried out at temperatures near or below the freezing point of water (0°C/32°F) there is a risk of some ice formation and therefore blade damage.

Experience suggests use of some form of antifreeze to prevent icing of the compressor blades whenever the ambient air temperature falls below +100C (500F). Turbo-K Gas Turbine Cleaner can be blended with all the normal antifreezes and used in temperatures down to as low as -40°C (-40°F).

Our recommended antifreeze is Mono Propylene Glycol which gives the maximum protection to the compressor and at the same time is ecologically friendly. This product is non-hazardous and biodegradable with no health and safety issues.

Although Methanol and Iso-Propyl Alcohol are toxic and flammable, they are compatible with Turbo-K and may be used as antifreeze.

Mono Ethylene Glycol antifreeze may also be used with Turbo-K. This product may, however, leave sticky deposits on the blades and therefore, it is recommended that the manufacturers’ on-line and off-line cleaning manuals are consulted prior to use.

 

Ambient Air Temperature Turbo-K 1:4 Concentrate (Litres) Water / Mono Propylene Glycol (Litres) Water / IsoPropyl Alcohol (Litres) Water / Methanol (Litres) Water / Mono Ethylene Glycol (Litres)
Above 5°C or 41°F 20 80/0 80/0 80/0 80/0
+5° to -5°C or +41° to +23°F 20 60/20 60/20 60/20 55/15
-5° to -20°C or +23° to -4°F 20 40/40 30/50 50/30 40/40
-20° to -30°C or -4° to -22°F 20 30/50 10/70 40/40 35/45
-30° to -40°C or -22° to -40°F 20 20/60 Not Suitable 30/50 25/55
-40° to – 52°C or -40° to -62°F 20 Not Suitable Not Suitable Not Suitable 20/60