What Are Turbine Expanders And How Important Are They

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If you need turbine troubleshooting then contacting AJSS is the best decision you will make, as our expert team of industry experts can help you. Our superior turbine maintenance courses will give you or your team the knowledge and skills to maintain gas turbine engines in a number of industries around the globe. Getting into this growing and lucrative industry requires the right hands on experience, as well as technical training, which is where we excel.


An expansion turbine or turboexpander is a device that uses an expansion process to produce work from the pressure energy of gas or steam. Turboexpanders are used across wide range of operating temperatures and are most likely to be found in large gas flow applications.

Expansion Turbines produce work by expanding the pressurized fluid.  In this process, they reduce its temperature significantly by the Joule-Thomson effect. If they are used for chilling purposes the mechanical work would become a byproduct, and if reducing pressure is the main goal, the heat recovery becomes the byproduct of the turboexpander. Low-grade process gas, waste heat, or waste gas pressure letdown can be used for significant energy recovery.  Centrifugal turboexpanders are extensively used for this purpose due to their high reliability.  Such fluids might otherwise just be discharged to atmosphere without making use of the energy contained.


Turboexpanders work based on laws of thermodynamics and fluid-dynamics. They must be designed to handle a wide range of flowrates and pressures. They can achieve significantly high efficiency at their rated design point and maintain a high level of efficiency over a large range of operation.

Turboexpanders consist of a Radial Inflow Expansion Turbine and a Centrifugal Compressor. A single shaft connects the wheels together. Gas or steam enters through the Variable Guide Vanes (VGV’s) and hits the expansion wheel, causing it to rotate. The remaining gas has lost significant energy and exits the wheel at significantly lower temperature. This gas is then used in a designated plant process. The expander nozzles are used to control downstream conditions such as pressure and flowrate.


Due to the rapid temperature reduction, some risks are associated with operation of the turbo-expanders. To get more information on this matter or for further help contact us at https://ajss.com.au/training/.


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