A reverse osmosis desalting plant operated by gas turbines

M. A. Darwish, Sami Al-Fahed, Walid Chakroun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Citations (Scopus)


Power plants in Kuwait use gas turbines (GT) only for a few hours to produce power at peak load times. Peak loadoccurs in the summer due to the air-conditioning load. As an example, the average number of operating hours for six gas turbines in the Doha East power plant was 16 in the summer of 2001. There is little concern about efficiency of these GT since they work for a very short time during the year. However, a recent increase in desalted seawater demand suggests the use of these GT to operate reverse osmosis (RO) desalting systems all year around. The summer outside design temperature in Kuwait for air-conditioning calculations is 48°C dry bulb temperature (DBT), and 28°C wet bulb temperature (WBT); but the ambient temperature can easily reach 60°C. Gas turbine power output and efficiency are drastically reduced by the increase in temperature of intake air to the gas turbine's compressor, especially during harsh Kuwaiti summer conditions. Thus, it is essential to investigate cooling of air intake to the GT compressor. The performance of a typical GT unit and its ability to produce desalted waterby a RO desalting system at different ambient temperatures are presented. Calculation of needed capacities for the cooling of intake air to the GT compressor was performed for evaporative cooling, single and multiple mechanical vapor compression cycles, and combined indirect evaporation cooling with the refrigeration system. The improvements of power output and efficiency due to the cooling of air intake of the GT and the resulting increase in desalted water are also presented.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13-24
Number of pages12
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2005
Externally publishedYes



  • Desalination
  • Gas turbines

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Filtration and Separation

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