Managing waste heat in a natural-gas-fueled power plant is a job worth breaking a sweat over. With temperatures up to 1,100 F and milliongs in operating costs, every component must operate safely and efficiently. Find out what you should know about Diverter Dampers for your combined-cycle plant.

Managing waste heat in a natural-gas-fueled power plant is a job worth breaking a sweat over. With temperatures of up to 1,100° F and millions of dollars in operating costs, every component has to operate safely and efficiently

"Waste heat is a resource that can be managed," says Ed Chan, Product Director, Innova. "Innova’s diverter dampers are an industry-leading solution for gas-fired power plants."

Around the world, Innova has helped power plant operators manage their waste heat with the industry's most advanced diverter dampers.

Diverter dampers switch a facility between two modes of operations - simple-cycle and combined-cycle.  In combined-cycle mode, exhaust heat is fed into a heat recovery steam generator (HRSG) that can generate additional electricity.  Under simple-cycle mode, the diverter dampers simply send this heat direcly to a power plant's bypass stack.

"It's about flexibility," explains Chan.  "A diverter damper lets a power plant accurately follow demand loads by quickly and easily switching from simple-cycle to combined-cycle without having to take the turbine offline."

Inside the damper, every element, from the blade itself to its drive system, has to be able to withstand the extreme temperatures reached in producing gas-fired electricity. The damper’s blade is held in place in a way that allows for differential thermal expansion to the main load bearing structural core. If the components were simply welded together, they would expand at different rates and ultimately crack and fail – an unacceptable loss for a multi-million-dollar gas turbine power plant.

To provide additional flexibility, diverter dampers open in stages.  While the diverter's blade can move from full open to full close in about a minute, signals from the HRSG cause it to delay until the boiler is able to accommodate more heat.

After successfully installing diverter dampres for a variety of industrial applications around the world, Innova continues to innovate.  In 2012, Innova patented a new seal land assembly that reduces hazardous "hot spots" caused by heat transfer to the cold, outer casing.

"Even with a superior product, there's always room for improvement," says Chan.  "And what we've installed are certainly superior products."

With diverter dampers installed, facilities can bring their gas turbines online faster and produce power quicker.  A diverter Damper also allows for power production during the construction of an HRSG, making the system even more economical.

From the Kpone Thermal Power Plant in Ghana, supplying power to 7.5 million people, to installations in South America, Innova has built a worldwide reputation for managing heat as a resource. And in an industry where every joule matters, that’s pretty cool.