Gas turbine inlet filter market to grow

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McIlvaine adds that the inlet air filter is necessary to protect the high speed elements within the gas turbine from excessive wear. As turbine performance has increased, so has the need to remove smaller and smaller particles. As a result, the HEPA range of filters is now frequently needed. Since these filters do not have the dirt holding capability of less efficient filters, it is typical to use pre-filters.

The total market for gas turbine systems in 2013 will be $56 billion.

Static filters and pulsed filters are the two choices for final filtration. The highest efficiency is obtained either with microglass fibres or with membranes. The incentive to utilise high efficiency filters is increased when the gas turbine is in a locality with very tough emission standards. In California, some permits require the exhaust emissions to be cleaner than the ambient incoming air. So unless the air filter removes the particles, the unit will not be in compliance.

The filters are often supplied by companies who manufacture complete intake systems, supplying filters, cooling devices and the housing. These other products substantially increase the revenue opportunity. The intake system purchases in 2012 will be in excess of $1 billion.

The total market for gas turbine systems in 2013 will be $56 billion. Over 70,000 MW of new turbines will be sold. The U.S. will purchase 16,000 MW, bringing its total installed base to over 300,000 MW.

Much of the new U.S. construction is for base-loaded combined cycle plants. Much of the existing base is for peaking turbines. This distinction is important because filter purchases are fewer for these peaking turbines. Since these turbines only operate a few weeks or months per year, filter replacement is less frequent. The intake systems represent 2% of the total system expenditure.

The combined purchases of new intake systems and filters plus replacement filters will be $1.3 billion.

Table 1: Gas turbine inlet filter market ($ million)
Continent 2013
Africa 13
Americas 161
Asia 147
Europe 88
Total 409