Gas turbines have been accepted in naval surface ship applications, and considerable effort has been made to improve their fuel consumption, particularly at part-load operation. This is an important parameter for shipboard engines because both propulsion and electrical-generator engines spend most of their lives operating at off-design power. An effective way to improve part-load efficiency of recuperated gas turbines is by using a variable power turbine nozzle. This paper discusses the successful use of variable power turbine nozzles in several applications in a family of engines developed for vehicular, industrial, and marine use. These engines incorporate a variable power turbine nozzle and primary surface recuperator to yield specific fuel consumption that rivals that of medium speed diesels. The paper concentrates on the experience with the variable nozzle, tracing its derivation from an existing fixed vane nozzle and its use across a wide range of engine sizes and applications. Emphasis is placed on its potential in marine propulsion and auxiliary gas turbines.

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