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Combined Cycle Power Plant

Introduction
This case study demonstrates the modeling of a Combined Cycle (CC) power plant of a High
Temperature Gas-Cooled Reactor (HTGR). The nuclear reactor is not modeled in detail as the focus
of this case study is not on the reactor but on the CC Power Conversion Unit (PCU).
System Description
The lay-out of the system is shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1: Layout of combined cycle power plant.


HTR
PT Comp
Process HX
IPT HPT LPT
Boiler
Reheater
Generator
Generator
Condenser
IHX
900 ºC
852 ºC
540 ºC
539 ºC
223 ºC
381 ºC
484 kg/s
113 kg/s
173 kg/s
417 MW
323 MW
41 MW
160.6 MW
56 MW
Thermal efficiency =51 %
Rankine cycle
Steam
Helium
20 % Helium
80 % Nitrogen
210 MW

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The plant consists of three closed loops that are connected through two heat exchangers. The first
loop is a helium loop that consists of a blower, a High Temperature Gas-Cooled Reactor (HTGR) and
an intermediate heat exchanger (IHX).

The second is a Brayton cycle that consists of a compressor, a turbine, an IHX and a steam generator.
The working fluid for the Brayton cycle is a mixture of 20 percent helium and 80 percent nitrogen. In
parallel over the IHX is another heat exchanger called the process heat exchanger that can supply
heat to e.g. a sulphur iodine hydrogen production plant.

The third is a bottoming Rankine cycle that consists of the following components: a steam generator,
three steam turbines (high pressure, intermediate pressure and low pressure), condenser and two
condensate pumps.
Objective of simulation
The objective of the example is twofold. Firstly it is to predict the steady-state performance of the plant
and secondly it is to investigate the behavior of the plant in a situation where the mass flow through
the process heat exchanger changes from 0 to 70 kg/s during a 35 second period.
Flownex model
The Flownex model of the system is shown in Figure 2.
The reactor is modeled as a pipe with a specified constant exit temperature of 900 ºC. The reason
why the reactor is not modeled in detail is that the focus of the simulation, as mentioned earlier, is not
on the reactor but on the on the CC PCU.
Three controllers are used to control the speed of the helium blower and the two condensate pumps
that form part of the Rankine cycle. The blower speed controller senses the IHX exit temperature and
controls the speed so as to keep this temperature constant. The controller on the high pressure
condensate pump attempts to keep the boiler exit temperature constant while the controller on the low
pressure condensate pump attempts to keep the mass source at node 1 zero.
Description of simulation
First a steady-state simulation was done and the results of this simulation was then used as initial
conditions for a transient simulation. With the transient simulation the mass flow through the IHX was
ramped up from 0 to 70 kg/s over a 35 second period.
Results
Figure 3 shows the variation in mass flow through the IHX, the helium loop and in the Rankine cycle
with time.
Interesting to note is that the mass flow in the helium loop increases as the IHX mass flow increases.
The mass flow in the steam cycle, however, stays constant.

Figure 4 shows the variation in temperature at a few positions in the plant with time. The temperature
stays mostly constant except at the exit of the IHX where the temperature increases drastically as the
mass flow through the IHX increases. This is as expected.



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26
P T
27
1
P T
10
P T
20
P T
2
P T
32
P
36
P T
21
M
37
M
5
17
18
4
14 8
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11 12
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3 19
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23 25
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28 29
33
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34 35
31
3
8
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16 19
20
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29 31
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36 38 FM
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2 FM
27 FM
28 FM
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9
17
18
32
30
37
39
25
1
5
35
7
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2
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40






















































Figure 2: Flownex model of the Combined Cycle High Temperature Reactor Gas-Cooled Nuclear Power Plant.
Blower
Reactor
Blower speed
controller
Compressor Turbine
HPT
IPT
LPT
Condenser
Pump
Pump
Pump speed
controller
Steam
generator
Reheater
Helium loop
Brayton cycle
(20 % helium, 80
% nitrogen)
Rankine cycle
(steam)
Intermediate heat
exchanger (IHX)

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0
50
100
150
200
250
0 50 100 150 200 250
Time [s]
M
a
s
s

f
l
o
w

[
k
g
/
s
]
E38 E35 E5

Figure 3: Variation in mass flow with time.

Conclusion
Flownex was used to simulate a complex combined cycle power plant that produces both electricity
and process heat. It was shown that with the appropriate control system the plant will operate stably
as the mass flow through the process heat exchanger is increased from 0 to 70 kg/s.

This case study also demonstrated Flownex’s ability do handle a network with different types of fluids
i.e. pure gasses, gas mixtures and two-phase fluid.

0
100
200
300
400
500
600
700
800
900
0 50 100 150 200 250
Time [s]
T
e
m
p
e
r
a
t
u
r
e

[
º
C
]
N1 N2 N7 N10 N12 N35 N29

Figure 4: Variation in temperature at a few positions in the plant with time.
Helium loop
Rankine cycle
IHX
IHX exit temperature