There is no denying that the use of natural gas is quite prominent indeed here in the United States. As a matter of fact, natural gas is one of the top energy sources in this country – the second most consumed, as a matter of fact. But what exactly is natural gas used for? To answer that question simply: many things. Natural gas provides for a great deal of the modern conveniences we are so lucky to live with. It allows us to easily and effectively heat our homes throughout the winter months. In addition to this, it helps to generate electricity for buildings both residential and commercial. Especially during the winter months, when the sun sets very early indeed, this is something that changes our overall quality of life quite immensely. Natural gas is even used for industrial purposes, and for the purposes of transportation.
So it makes sense that here in the United States, where we use such a considerable amount of natural gas, we’d also be top producers of the substance as well. And that is very much the case. According to data reflective of the year of 2016, now four years in the past, we were the largest producer of natural gas on a global scale, certainly something that is very impressive. The actual amount of gas we produced is a staggering one – estimated around 750 billion cubic meters. And in the years that have transpired since that year of 2016, the amount of natural gas being produced by the United States and the United States alone is a high one indeed.
But how, exactly, are we producing this gas? Typically, through the use of gas turbines. Turbines, after all, have a long history of use – and effective use, for that matter – both here in the United States and all throughout the world. It was all the way back in the 1880s, now 150 years in the past, that steam turbines were first brought into use, predominantly for the purposes of energy production. Land based gas turbines have become equally as important, if not even more so, than the steam turbines of years past. As a matter of fact, there’s even more than one kind of land based gas turbine out there – the currently in use. As a matter of fact, there are two kinds that tend to be used most frequently. The heavy frame engine gas turbine is one of them and the gas turbine with an aeroderivative engine is the other.
But, of course, there are some critical differences between the gas turbine and the steam turbine. For one thing, temperatures tend to run much higher for gas turbines. Where modern steam turbines can run very hot, gas turbines can run still hotter. As a matter of fact, it is not uncommon at all for gas turbines to reach temperatures that are as high as 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit. In a somewhat stark comparison, steam turbines tend to run at only around 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit.
It should come as no surprise, therefore, that turbine inspection and turbine support services are very important indeed. Gas turbine inspection can help to ensure that disaster does not strike and that everything is functioning as it should be. But what exactly do these turbine services entail, especially when it comes to testing services? In many cases, borescope inspection will be performed. Borescope inspection is quite common for gas turbines (and in some cases borescope inspection will be used for steam turbines as well), as borescope inspection is relatively easy and cost effective to perform. Borescope inspection can help inspectors to get a better look at harder to reach parts of the turbine they are inspecting, making borescope inspection a truly invaluable tool in the inspector’s arsenal. In fact, many might even consider borescope inspection essential to the inspecting operation in question.
At end of the day, gas turbines play a hugely important role not just for the United States, but for countries all throughout the world as well. Ultimately, tools like borescope inspection therefore become equally as important, making gas turbines safe.