The origin of this technology lies in the implementation of the solution to a problem affecting gas turbines performance. The higher the ambient temperatures the more severe is the problem affecting the gas turbines performance.
At higher ambient temperatures the specific volume of air increases, so the air mass flow rate into the gas turbine (constant volumetric flow) is decreased. Besides that, for an inlet air with higher specific volume the turbine needs to perform a higher air compression which decreases the turbine efficiency. All this explains why gas turbines efficiency and power output decrease at higher inlet air temperatures.
Unfortunately the problem described above takes place during power demand peak hours since it is during the hottest hours of the day (lower power output) that the power demand increases. It is at this time that electric power is the most costly and power cuts are more likely. On top of all that will be the failure to meet the power supply committed with the electric distribution network which will be subject to variable weather conditions.
To avoid these harmful effects on turbines performance, inlet air cooling systems have been developed to compensate the effect of higher ambient temperatures and take the turbine performance to the desired/optimal working conditions.