# Journal of Thermal Science Vol.16, No.

1

84―89

DOI: 10.1007/s11630-007-0084-4

Article ID: 1003-2169(2007)01-0084-06

Performance Improvement of Combined Cycle Power Plant Based on the Optimization of the Bottom Cycle and Heat Recuperation

Wenguo XIANG (wgxiang@seu.edu.cn), Yingying CHEN

(Education Ministry Key Laboratory of Clean Coal Power Generation and Combustion Technology, Southeast University, Nanjing 210096, China)

Many F class gas turbine combined cycle (GTCC) power plants are built in China at present because of less emission and high efficiency. It is of great interest to investigate the efficiency improvement of GTCC plant. A combined cycle with three-pressure reheat heat recovery steam generator (HRSG) is selected for study in this paper. In order to maximize the GTCC efficiency, the optimization of the HRSG operating parameters is performed. The operating parameters are determined by means of a thermodynamic analysis, i.e. the minimization of exergy losses. The influence of HRSG inlet gas temperature on the steam bottoming cycle efficiency is discussed. The result shows that increasing the HRSG inlet temperature has less improvement to steam cycle efficiency when it is over 590ºC. Partial gas to gas recuperation in the topping cycle is studied. Joining HRSG optimization with the use of gas to gas heat recuperation, the combined plant efficiency can rise up to 59.05% at base load. In addition, the part load performance of the GTCC power plant gets much better. The efficiency is increased by 2.11% at 75% load and by 4.17% at 50% load.

Keywords: Heat Recovery Steam Generators (HRSG); Thermodynamic optimization; Exergy analysis; Combined cycle power plant; Efficiency; Heat rate

Introduction

In the current technology the most efficient energy conversion system is the combined cycle power plant, i.e. the arrangement of a gas turbine with a steam bottoming cycle. In a typical combined cycle, exhaust heat from the gas turbine is recovered in a heat recovery steam generator (HRSG). Major gas turbine manufacturing companies, including General Electric, ABB-Alstom, Westinghouse Siemens and Mitsubishi, offer the F class gas turbine combined plants of power 250–400 MW, with efficiency claimed up to 58%. Because the combined cycle offer higher thermal efficiency and meet the need of air pollution deduction, such as sulfur dioxides, greenhouse gases, solid particulates, the GTCC projects in China are now

Received: October 2006 Wenguo XIANG: Associate Professor

and will be continuously expanded, reaching an estimated 20,000 MW per year. In recent Chinese five-year plan 54 GTCC installations are included, some of which are in operation and the other are being built. Studies of the thermal efficiency improvement of the GTCC power plant are of great interest to GTCC Power Producer in China and also essential for reducing energy consumption. For this reason, how to increase the base load and part load efficiency of a GTCC power plant is the major purpose for this study. General Electric PG9351FA, a combined cycle with three-pressure reheat heat recovery steam generator (HRSG) is selected for study in this paper. The combined cycle process couples the Brayton cycle with a bottoming Rankine cycle. The basic idea is to

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Improvement of combined cycle power plant based on optimization of bottom cycle and heat recuperation 85

Nomenclature CC combined cycle C.C. combustion chamber Cg specific heat (J/kg K) CW circulating water D mass flow (kg/s) EC economizer EV evaporator Ex exergy flow (W) G generator h enthalpy(kJ/kg) HRSG heat recovery steam generator HP high pressure I exergy losses (W) IP intermediate pressure LP low pressure PP pinch point Qth total thermal input (W) R regeneration RH reheater recover the energy contained in the exhaust gases from gas turbine in a steam generation process. The gas turbine - the “topping cycle” - provides, in a process configuration with a heat recovery steam generator (HRSG), about two thirds of the total useful power. The remaining one third comes from utilization of the waste-heat in the steam process, or “bottoming cycle”. In modern heavy-duty gas turbine combined cycle with a triple pressure reheat arrangement is widely used in order to increase the power output of the steam bottoming cycle. Study shows that the net efficiency of the combined cycle with a triple-pressure reheat steam process is 2% more than that of a dual pressure arrangement. The GTCC power plant with a triple-pressure HRSG with steam reheat can easily reach an efficiency above 55%. The ABB-Alstom combined cycle plant with GT26 reheat gas turbines claims 58% efficiency and the same value to Siemens V94.3A GTCC. A gas turbine, with steam cooling of the turbine blades and nozzles, combined with an advanced HRSG is reported to operate at an efficiency level of 60% by GE. To increase the power system efficiency, it is necessary to optimize the HRSG, which serves as the critical link between the gas turbine cycle and the steam turbine cycle with the objective of increasing the steam turbine output. HRSG performance has a large impact on the overall performance of the combined cycle power plant. HRSG optimization has been investigated in several studies. Thermodynamic optimization is based on the minimization of exergy losses, while the thermoeconomic optimization is based on the minimization of the total HRSG cost [1]. Manuel Valdes performed two kinds of analysis to the efficiency improvement of a

S SH T THP TIP TIT TLP W Greek letters Subscripts 0 g GT s ST w in out

entropy (kJ/kg) superheater temperature (℃) high pressure turbine intermediate pressure turbine turbine inlet temperature low pressure turbine power (W) efficiency(%) ambient state exhaust gas gas turbine steam steam turbine water inlet parameter outlet parameter

η

GTCC power plant: one thermodynamic and the other thermoeconomic [2]. Energy and exergy analysis were selected to study a combined cycle power plant by using the data taken from its units in operation to identify the potential for improving efficiency of the system. Study shows that combustion chambers, gas turbines and heat recovery steam generators (HRSG) are the main sources of irreversibilities representing more than 85% of the overall exergy losses[3]. Alessandro Franco proposes a method to optimize the operative parameters of a HRSG in order to improve the overall efficiency of combined cycle plants. The method includes two different objective functions: one given by the exergetic losses due to the heat transfer between fluids; the other represented by a cost, sum of the cost of the HRSG and the cost of the exergy losses [4,5]. Optimization of heat recovery steam generator (HRSG) with the use of parallel sections and of limit subcritical conditions (up to 220 bar) is proposed in his another paper. The HRSG optimization is sufficient to obtain combined cycle plant efficiencies of the order of 60% while, joining HRSG optimization with the use of AlstomGT26 gas turbine reheat and gas to gas recuperation can lead the efficiency of the whole plant to the limit value of 65%[6]. Regarding the gas turbine technology, much work such as how to increase the firing temperature is done by gas turbine manufactures, universities etc., in order to raise the efficiency of gas turbine and its combined cycle. But we should notice the problems that how to decrease the compressor energy consumption under the same pressure ratio and how to use the gas turbine exhaust waste heat efficiently. Intercooling and reheat can be used to increase gas turbine cycle efficiency, but in this

86

Journal of Thermal Science, Vol.16, No.1, 2007 Table 1 Main data at base load for the GTCC simulation Parameter (unit) Value 15 Ambient temperature (℃) Atmospheric pressure (kPa) 101.32 Relative humidity 0.60 Fuel: Natural gas, LHV (kJ/kg) 48686.3 3.1/185 Supply conditions after preheated (MPa/℃) GE PG9351FA gas turbine Gross power (MW) 256 Maximum compression isentropic efficiency(%) 90 Combustion efficiency (%) 99 Turbine’s isentropic-efficiency (%) 93 Electricity-generator's efficiency (%) 98.5 1350 Turbine’s inlet-temperature (℃) 615 Turbine’s outlet-temperature (℃) Steam cycle with three pressure levels and re-heating 9.6/565 High-pressure steam (MPa/℃) Intermediate-pressure steam and re-heating (MPa/℃) 2.2/565 0.39/295 Low-pressure steam (MPa/℃) Operating-pressure of Condenser (kPa) 4.82 HRSG 70 Gas-exiting temperature (℃) Steam turbine Isentropic efficiency of high-pressure turbine 0.88 0.91 Isentropic efficiency of intermediate pressure turbine Isentropic-efficiency of low-pressure turbine 0.90 Balance of plant Pump isentropic efficiency (%) 75 Net total electric power (MW) 396 Net plant efficiency (%) 57.4

paper more attention is paid to discussing the use of gas turbine exhaust waste heat, especially when gas turbine operated under part load.

Assumption

The thermal scheme of the GTCC power plant selected for this study is shown in Fig. 1. The main characteristics are: General Electric PG9351FA gas turbine. Three pressure reheat HRSG without supplementary firing as displayed in Fig. 1. A high (HP), intermediate (IP) and low-pressure (LP) steam turbine and the LP one has a double flow with down exhaust. Deaerator condenser with a cooling system that has a wet tower. Feedwater pumps: the LP pump at the condenser outlet, the IP pump and the HP pump are responsible for elevating the water pressure to high and intermediate levels. LP bulb is used as the IP and HP feedwater tank. In addition, a circulating pump is used to take most of the water from LP economizer outlet to the inlet mixing with the condensate in order to ensure the economizer inlet temperature. Natural-gas supply: the fuel is preheated by water taken from IP economizer outlet and then to condenser.

Fig. 1 The simplified thermal scheme of combined cycle with three pressure reheat heat recovery steam generator

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Improvement of combined cycle power plant based on optimization of bottom cycle and heat recuperation 87

The most important parameters of the GTCC described above are presented in Table 1. Some of the data come from Qishuyan GTCC power plant, Jiangsu, China, and the other are from the GE handbooks [7,8]. The data are used to study the performance optimization of GTCC power plant. Methodology In order to evaluate the performance of a combined cycle, energy analysis and exergy analysis are used to establish the system model. The plant efficiency of the combined cycle without supplementary firing can be expressed as follows;

The exergy input to the steam turbine in Eq. (7) is considered as the overall steam exergy from the HRSG and the exergy losses in the steam pipeline are negligible.

**Results and Discussion
**

Thermodynamic optimization at the base load Based on the HRSG configuration the heat exchange between steam/water side and gas side is simulated to analyze the steam parameter affection on the combined cycle efficiency. The thermodynamics optimization of the combined cycle is under subcritical condition and the result is shown in Table 2. The HP steam temperature and the reheat steam temperature are remained 565℃, and when the HP and IP pressure is raised to the optimal value the efficiency of steam bottoming cycle increases from 38.6% to 39.2%, that of HRSG from 87.34% to 89%,and that of combined cycle from 57.74% to 58.48%. Also at 75% load, the plant efficiency of combined cycle increased by 1.35%, and at 50% load by 3.18%.

Table2 Comparison of the steam parameters before and after optimization at base load Pressure (MPa) design HP IP LP RH 9.62 2.16 0.366 2.36 optimal 21.7 2.82 0.22 2.82 Steam flow (kg/s) design 77.86 10.9 11.42 82.00 7.70 15.25 6.8 13 9 PP (K) 5.5 8.9 9 optimal design optimal

ηCC =

WGT + WST = ηGT + (η R − ηGT )η HRSGη ST (1) Qth

and the plant exergy efficiency of combined cycle is

η Excc =

WGT + WST Ef

(2)

According to the exergy flow balance of the whole HRSG, considered as an open system, the exergy losses I HRSG of the HRSG is given by:

I HRSG = Ex g ,in + Exw,in + Exs ,in − Exs,out − Ex g ,out (3)

In Eq. (3) the terms Exw,in and Ex g ,out are zero because the inlet temperature of water is equal to the ambient temperature, and the exhaust gas from the HRSG can not be used any more, so the residual exergy of the gas can be considered zero too. The exergy losses related to the heat losses to the environment are not taken into consideration also. Assuming the exhaust gas pressure approaches atmospheric pressure, the exhaust gas exergy flow Exg can be expressed by:

Tg ⎤ ⎡ Exg ,in = c pg ⎢ Tg − T0 − T0 ln ⎥ ⋅ Dg T0 ⎦ ⎣

(

)

(4)

**while the steam or the feedwater exergy Exw, s is calculated by:
**

Exw, s = ⎡( h − h0 ) − T0 ( s − s0 ) ⎤ ⋅ Dw, s ⎦ ⎣

(5)

* so exergy loss rate η Ex , HRSG of the whole HRSG is

defined as:

* η Ex, HRSG =

I HRSG Exg ,in

(6)

Influence of HRSG inlet temperature on the efficiency of steam bottoming cycle For a given HRSG configuration, the efficiency of the steam bottoming cycle is the function of inlet gas temperature of HRSG, as shown in Fig. 2. From Fig. 2 it appears that there is an upper limit value for the inlet temperature of the exhaust gas to HRSG. This means that, the increase in HRSG inlet temperature over a value of 590℃ will lead to a less increase in the efficiency of steam bottoming cycle. This can also be confirmed by the analysis of the exergy losses rate in HRSG and turbine exergy efficiency, as shown in Fig. 4. By the temperature of 620℃, the exergy losses rate in HRSG will be minimal. Brayton cycle with partial gas to gas recuperation It is meaningless to raise the HRSG gas inlet temperature in order to increase the steam cycle efficiency when the inlet temperature is over 590℃. If the temperature is higher than 590℃, it is necessary to use part of its exhaust energy in gas turbine side. For PG9351, the

Eq.(6) represents the objective function which should be minimized during the thermodynamic optimization of the HRSG. The exergy efficiency of steam turbine is given by: WST η ExST = (7) Exs ,out − Exs ,in

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Journal of Thermal Science, Vol.16, No.1, 2007

Fig. 2 Steam bottoming cycle efficiency as a function of HRSG gas inlet temperature

two flows. Partial gas to gas recuperation does not decrease the steam bottoming cycle efficiency, but can save the fuel consumption in Brayton cycle and increase the topping cycle efficiency. PG9351FA combined cycle exergy efficiency as a function of HRSG inlet temperature, i.e. the exhaust gas temperature from the exchanger, is simulated, as shown in Fig. 5 at the base load. The combined cycle exergy efficiency gets increased after partial gas to gas recuperation, and when the gas temperature from the exchanger is 600℃, the combined cycle exergy efficiency reaches its maximum value, with the exergy efficiency of 55.3%. Although the thermal efficiency of the whole combined cycle plant is raised by 0.37% through partial recuperation, the efficiency at the part load will get much better. As shown in Fig. 6, the combined cycle will operate at the best point when the gas to gas recuperation temperature is regulated at the point of 620℃ at 75% load. The combined cycle plant efficiency is as high as 57.13%,

Fig. 3 Steam turbine exergy efficiency and HRSG exergy loss as a function of HRSG inlet gas temperature

Fig. 5 GTCC thermal efficiency and exergy efficiency as a function of HRSG inlet temperature

Fig. 4 GTCC with partial gas to gas recuperation

gas turbine exhaust gas temperature reaches 615℃ at base load and even higher than 640℃ under 75% load. An interesting method used to increase the efficiency of the combined cycle plant is to heat the compressed air through partial gas to gas recuperation heat exchanger, with the thermodynamic scheme shown in Fig. 4. The compressed air from compressor is divided into two streams: one directly to combustion chamber and the other to the exchanger and then to combustion chamber, in which part of the compressed air takes in the heat released from the gas turbine exhaust gas. The gas temperature can be regulated by controlling the ratio of the

Fig. 6 Exergy efficiency as a function of HRSG inlet temperature at part load

0.78% more than before the recuperation, 2.11% more than without optimization. At the load of 50%, the best efficiency of the combined cycle plant is 54.25%, 4.17% more than that of original value. To Alstom GT26 post-combustion gas turbine combined cycle, the com-

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Improvement of combined cycle power plant based on optimization of bottom cycle and heat recuperation 89 combined-cycle power plant, Int. J. Energy Res. 2006; 30: 115―126 Alessandro Franco, Nicola Giannini, Optimum thermal design of modular compact heat exchangers structure for heat recovery steam generators, Applied Thermal Engineering, 25(2005): 1293―1313 Alessandro Franco, Alessandro Russo, Combined cycle plant efficiency increase based on the optimization of the heat recovery steam generator operating parameters, International Journal of Thermal Sciences, 41 (2002): 843― 859 Alessandro Franco, Claudio Casarosa, On some perspectives for increasing the efficiency of combined cycle power plants, Applied Thermal Engineering, 22(2002): 1501―1518 Gas turbine and combined cycle, http://www.gepower.com GE Gas Turbine Performance Characteristics, http:// www. gepower.com Deng Shimin, Wei Shirang, Lin Wanchao. Thermodynamic Analysis on Effect of Regenerative Heating of Extraction Steam for Combined Cycle, Chinese Journal of Electric Engineering, Vol.18(4), 1998: 275―278(in Chinese) Hong Hui; Jin Hong-guang; Liu Ze-long. Study on exergy evolution for feedwater heating combined cycle system, Chinese Journal of Electric Engineering, Vol.23(2), 2003: 144―148 (in Chinese) Manuel Valdes, Antonio Rovira, Ma Dolores Duran. Influence of the heat recovery steam generator design parameters on the thermoeconomic performances of combined cycle gas turbine power plants, Int. J. Energy Res. 2004; 28: 1243―1254 T.W. Song, J.L. Sohn, J.H. Kim, T.S.Kim, S.T. Ro. Exergy -based performance analysis of the heavy-duty gas turbine in part-load operating conditions., International Journal of Exergy, 2(2002): 105―112

bined cycle efficiency gets even higher (>60%) as Alessandro Franco has analyzed [6].

Conclusions

Combined cycle power plants meet the growing energy demand, and hence special attention must be paid to the optimization of the whole system. Thermodynamic optimization of HRSG can increase the efficiency of combined cycle power plant. Under the subcritical condition, the efficiency of F technology GTCC plant can get increased by at least 0.7% at base load from HRSG optimization. As to the HRSG inlet gas temperature, it is meaningless to raise the temperature in order to increase the steam cycle efficiency when the inlet temperature is over 590℃. If the temperature is higher than 590℃, it is necessary to use part of its exhaust energy through gas to gas recuperation. Recuperation can further increase the plant efficiency, especially when gas turbine is operated under partial load.

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Acknowledgement

The authors wish to acknowledge the financial support of NSFC (No.90410009) to this work.

References

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