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Thermodynamic Evaluation of Combined Cycle

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journal homepage: www.elsevier.com/locate/enconman

Nico Woudstra *, Theo Woudstra, Armando Pirone, Teus van der Stelt

Delft University of Technology, Energy Technology, Leeghwaterstraat 44, 2628 CA Delft, The Netherlands

a r t i c l e

i n f o

Article history:

Received 19 June 2008

Received in revised form 18 May 2009

Accepted 13 December 2009

Available online 21 January 2010

Keywords:

Combined cycle plants

Exergy analysis

Internal exergy efciency

Exergy ow diagrams

Value diagrams

Cycle-Tempo

a b s t r a c t

The application of the exergy concept for the thermodynamic evaluation of energy conversion systems

and chemical plants is steadily growing. However the general application of this concept is complicated

by the large variety of parameters that is used to present the results of such evaluations. Easily understandable diagrams that offer a quick overview of the main results of such an evaluation will be very

helpful.

Large power plants, as for example combined cycle plants, consist of a large number of apparatuses.

The thermodynamic modeling of these plants requires the computation of the thermodynamic properties

at inlets and outlets of all apparatuses. These results allow for the calculation of the exergy values at all

considered points after dening an appropriate environment. Using these exergy values exergy losses and

efciencies of all considered apparatuses can be determined.

However, additional parameters and methods for presenting losses are necessary to understand the

origin of exergy losses and the options for further improvements. Exergy efciencies of power cycles

show the actual losses but do in general not clearly indicate the potential for improvement. The use of

the so-called internal exergy efciency of a power cycle will be helpful to understand this potential. Also

value diagrams and exergy ow diagrams are very useful to understand the thermodynamic performance

of complicated systems.

In this paper the application of these tools is demonstrated for the evaluation of alternative designs of

combined cycle plants. Three system designs are established for this purpose and modeled using the

computer program Cycle-Tempo. The considered combined cycles use the same gas turbine but have different steam bottoming cycles. Differences do originate from the number of pressure levels at which

steam is generated in the HRSG (Heat Recovery Steam Generator). The evaluation includes respectively

a single pressure, double pressure and triple pressure HRSG. The steam pressures are optimized with

regard to overall plant efciency using a multi-parameter optimization procedure.

The evaluation shows that the application of the internal exergy efciency of a power cycle is in particular useful if the temperature of heat transfer from the cycle will be affected by the cycle performance,

i.e. in the case of gas turbine cycles. The value diagrams show how the increasing number of pressure levels of steam generation will reduce the losses due to heat transfer in the HRSG but also the exergy loss

due to the exhaust of ue gas to the stack. The exergy ow diagrams show that the main exergy losses

of combined cycle plants occur in the combustion process. Possibilities to reduce these losses are limited.

Serious improvement of the efciencies of future combined cycle plants is conceivable by applying high

temperature fuel cells.

2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

1. Introduction

Exergy analysis is frequently used for the thermodynamic evaluation of power plants. In general an exergy analysis will provide

additional knowledge about the thermodynamic losses in the system. However the signicance of an exergy analysis depends on

the insight that will be achieved with regard to the origin of losses

and the options for loss reductions. Therefore, graphs that allow a

* Corresponding author. Tel.: +31 15 278 2178; fax: +31 15 278 2460.

E-mail address: n.woudstra@tudelft.nl (N. Woudstra).

0196-8904/$ - see front matter 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

doi:10.1016/j.enconman.2009.12.016

very helpful; together with appropriate parameters that clearly

indicate the thermodynamic performance and the improvement

potential, they are essential during the search for system optimization. In this paper unusual methods to present system performance

and exergy losses like exergy ow diagrams, value diagrams and

the internal exergy efciency of thermal power cycles are described and demonstrated for the evaluation of alternative designs

of Combined Cycle (CC) plants.

The combination of a gas turbine with a steam turbine cycle in a

so-called CC plant appeared to be very successful. The combined

1100

Nomenclature

ex

Ex

Exloss

ExQ

h

LHVfuel

m

Q

s

T

TC

TH

T0

T

TC

TH

W

Wrev

exergy (kJ)

exergy loss (kJ)

exergy of an amount of heat (kJ)

specic enthalpy (kJ/kg)

lower heating value of the fuel (kJ/kg)

mass (kg)

heat (kJ)

specic entropy (kJ/kg K)

temperature (K)

temperature of heat transfer from the cycle (K)

temperature of heat transfer to the cycle (K)

temperature of the environment (K)

thermodynamic equivalent temperature of heat transfer

(K)

thermodynamic equivalent temperature of heat transfer

from the cycle (K)

thermodynamic equivalent temperature of heat transfer

to the cycle (K)

work (kJ)

work from a reversible power cycle (kJ)

is sufciently available for electricity generation. Combined cycle

plants can achieve thermal efciencies up to 60%, based on the

LHV of the fuel, with present day gas turbine technology. The recent increase of fuel prices will stimulate the search for further

improvements. Detailed insight in the thermodynamic performance of combined cycle plants is necessary for the evaluation

of the various options proposed to improve the system efciency.

A variety of system improvements is investigated in Refs. [112].

In almost all papers any kind of exergy evaluation, based on preceding ow sheet calculations, is used to elucidate the effects of

system modications. Only in [2] no explicit results of exergy calculations are shown. The added value of the exergy evaluations is

not always obvious.

Results from exergy calculations are usual presented as exergy

losses (frequently called exergy destruction) in system components (like combustors, heaters, compressors and expanders) or

subsystems and relative exergy losses (exergy destruction rates).

Relative exergy losses are usually dened as the exergy loss divided by the total exergy supplied to the system by the fuel. Several references present (relative) mainly exergy losses of

subsystems [4,5,7,8,10]. Data are presented in tables or bar graphs.

More detailed results of exergy calculations are tabulated in

[1,3,12]. In Refs. [3,9] the exergy concept has been used also for

an economic assessment of system alternatives. It is obvious that

a nal optimization of energy conversion systems has to be based

on economic considerations. However, a separate thermodynamic

evaluation will be useful to understand the thermodynamic

strengths and weaknesses of the system congurations under consideration. Furthermore, the selection of arbitrary data for avoidable thermodynamic inefciencies and cost numbers, needed for

the exergoeconomic analysis, might hamper the credibility of the

results. Nevertheless, an exergoeconomic evaluation is considered

to be a useful but additional step in the nal phase of plant

optimization.

A graphical presentation of results from exergy calculations appears not to be very common. In [4] the results are summarized in

combined energy and exergy diagrams. In [11] the magnitudes of

the exergy ows are shown in a simplied system ow diagram.

Refs. [5,6,10] show trends in (summarized) exergy values and exer-

gex, intern internal exergy efciency of an irreversible power cycle

()

Indices

bc

C

H

in

out

tc

bottoming cycle

cold

hot

inlet

outlet

topping cycle

Abbreviations

CC

Combined Cycle

GT

gas turbine (cycle)

HP

high pressure

HRSG

Heat Recovery Steam Generator

IP

intermediate pressure

LP

low pressure

ST

steam turbine (cycle)

T,h-diagrams are used to illustrate the results of HRSG optimization. However, these diagrams do not explicitly show exergy values

or exergy losses.

Exergy efciencies, also called second law efciencies, are not

used abundantly in the referred papers. Refs. [3,5] show well specied exergy efciencies of plant components. Many of the other

references mainly present exergy efciencies of power cycles

and/or the considered power plants. With respect to thermal plant

and cycle efciencies, the added value of exergy efciencies is very

limited. For a comparison of the performance of plants and plant

components well specied exergy efciencies can be useful. Without clear specication exergy efciencies, like other efciencies,

are mainly causing confusion.

In this paper an attempt is made to present a comprehensive

and systematic evaluation of the thermodynamic performance of

power plants. For this purpose three system designs of CC plants

are established and modeled by using Cycle-Tempo [13], a ow

sheeting program for the evaluation and optimization of energy

conversion systems, developed at the Delft University of Technology. Since 1982 the program is applied by various universities, research organizations and industries worldwide. Calculation

procedures are based on the rst and second of thermodynamics.

Irreversibilitys have to be specied by the user; for specic apparatuses the program can provide default values. Optimization routines are available for multi-parameter optimization and the

calculation of exergy values is done by a postprocessor. The graphical user interface allows the user to establish easily various diagrams (T,s-diagrams, T,Q-diagrams and value diagrams) that will

visualize the calculated results. Comprehensive information,

including the program manual, is available from the Cycle-Tempo

website [13].

The system designs are based on the same gas turbine, but differ

with regard to the steam turbine cycle. Steam cycles are derived for

respectively single pressure, double pressure and triple pressure

HRSGs. The steam pressures are optimized using a multi-parameter optimization routine as available in the program. Cycle-Tempo

also calculates exergy values of all uid ows of the system by

using the composition of air from the environment, saturated with

water vapor, at a temperature of 15 C as the reference state.

1101

of all apparatuses as specied for the system, and is able to draw

value diagrams. Also exergy ow diagrams are presented for the

considered plants.

Before presenting the results of the system calculations the

internal exergy efciency of power cycles and the value diagram

will be described rst. Internal exergy efciencies have to be calculated by using the thermodynamic equivalent temperature of heat

transfer to and from the cycle. Therefore it is also discussed how

this parameter can be calculated or estimated.

TC

W rev 1

QH

TH

TC

W gex; intern 1

QH

TH

2.1. The internal exergy efciency of power cycles

gth; rev

W rev

TC

1

QH

TH

For real systems the efciency will always be lower because of friction and other losses in the cycle. If the effect of all losses in the cycle is included in the so-called internal exergy efciency (gex, intern)

the thermal cycle efciency can be written as:

gth

W

gex;

QH

intern

TC

1

TH

The Eqs. (1) and (2) show that the internal efciency is actually dened as:

gex; intern

W

W rev

This means that the internal exergy efciency is dened as the ratio

of two amounts of work. The internal exergy efciency can be used

to assess the thermodynamic quality of a power cycle or a combination of power cycles. In other papers this efciency is also called

second law efciency (i.e. [19]) but as efciencies based on the

second law can be dened in different ways a more specic name

is preferred.

The work derived from an amount of heat can determined for a

reversible cycle respectively an irreversible cycle then becomes:

Heat transfer to and from a power cycle in general does not occur at

constant temperatures. However to enable the universal use of Eqs.

(1), (2), (4), and (5) the constant temperatures of heat transfer have

to be replaced by the thermodynamic equivalent temperature (T).

Then the general equation for the efciency of a thermal power cycle becomes:

in Fig. 1. From the second law of thermodynamics we know that

the efciency of a reversible cycle depends only on the temperatures at which heat is transferred to and from the cycle. By applying the thermodynamic temperature (Kelvin temperature) the

thermal efciency of a reversible power cycle can be calculated

using the following equation:

TC

!

6

TH

In this system all heat transferred from the topping cycle is transferred to the bottoming cycle. However the temperatures of heat

transfer are not the same. Thus an exergy loss will occur in the

intermediate reservoir due to heat transfer.

Eq. (2) can be applied for the separate cycles as well as for the

combined cycle. For the combined cycle can be written:

W W bc

gth tc

gex;

Q H; tc

gex;

intern;

CC gth;

intern; CC

1

TC

TH

7

rev

Thus the internal efciency of the combined cycle (gex, intern, CC) not

only includes the losses of the separate power cycles but also the

losses of the intermediate reservoir.

2.2. The thermodynamic equivalent temperature of heat transfer

Heat transfer to or from a uid ow will in general change the

temperature of the ow; only in case of phase changes of pure uids the temperature will remain constant. The exergy of the transferred heat can be determined with the following equation:

ExQ

out

in

T0

dQ

1

T

that, if the same amount of heat is transferred to the system at that

specic temperature, the exergy transferred to the system will be

the same as in the case of the varying temperature, thus:

hot reservoir

TH

QH

topping

cycle

hot reservoir

TH

W tc

Q C,tc T C,tc

intermediate

reservoir

QH

Q H,bc TH,bc

W

bottoming

cycle

QC

W bc

QC

TC

cold reservoir

Fig. 1. General model of thermal power cycles.

TC

cold reservoir

Fig. 2. General model of a combined cycle system.

1102

ex in

ex out

Q

Fig. 3. System of heat transfer to a uid.

ExQ

out

in

T0

T0

Q

dQ 1

1

T

T

higher than the corresponding values of the reversible cycle (points

20 and 40 ). When applying Eq. (13) it will be obvious that the thermodynamic equivalent temperature of heat transfer to the cycle,

resulting in the temperature increase from point 2 to point 3, will

be higher in the case of the irreversible cycle than in the case of the

reversible cycle. The same must be concluded with regard to the

thermodynamic equivalent temperature of heat transfer from the

cycle. The effect will be quantied for some of the considered cycles in Section 3.2.1.

balance for this system can be written as follows:

thermal power plants [14]. In Fig. 5 the value diagram of an open,

internal combustion gas turbine cycle is shown, assuming that

compression and expansion occurs in a reversible way, thus without friction. As the length of the horizontal axis equals the specic

exergy of the fuel supplied to the gas turbine and the length of the

vertical axis is one (with T0 as the origin and T = innite as the

upper limit) the total area of the diagram equals the specic exergy

of the fuel. In the case of natural gas the specic exergy of the fuel

is somewhat higher than the lower heating value (LHVfuel) of the

fuel. The upper curve in the diagram represents the temperature

increase of the gases in the combustor, assuming that air and fuel

enter the combustor at the same temperature. The area below this

curve equals the exergy of the heat that is transferred to the gas

turbine cycle (see Eq. (8)). Then it must be concluded that the

slantly shaded area is the difference in exergy between the situation before and after combustion; thus this area represents the

exergy loss of combustion. As the lower curve represents the temperature decrease of the ue gas during cooling from gas turbine

exit temperature to ambient temperature T0, the area below this

curve represents the exergy of the heat from the ue gas leaving

the gas turbine. In the case of a single gas turbine cycle the exergy

of the ue gas will be lost as the exhaust gases are cooled by mixing with ambient air. In CC plants the exergy from the ue gas is

utilized in a bottoming steam cycle as shown in Fig. 6 for a single

pressure steam cycle. The vertical shaded area represents the exergy losses due to heat transfer in the Heat Recovery Steam Generator (HRSG) and due to the residual heat of the ue gas which is

discharged to the atmosphere. In the case of a single pressure

10

uid ow. The exergy loss due to friction is almost negligible in

most technical applications. Combining Eqs. (9) and (10) and

neglecting the exergy loss in the system will result in the following

equation:

T0

m hout hin T 0 sout sin 1

m hout hin

T

11

temperature of heat transfer becomes:

hout hin

sout sin

12

considered to be an ideal gas with constant specic heat (cp). Under

these circumstances Eq. (12) can be written as follows:

T out T in

ln TTout

in

13

not easily allow for the exact calculation of efciency values. By

denition the internal cycle efciency compares the power from

the irreversible cycle with the corresponding reversible cycle (see

Eq. (3)). However inlet and outlet conditions will never be the

same for these cycles since the conditions of the real cycle are affected by the irreversibilitys in the cycle. This can be demonstrated

by considering a simple (closed cycle) gas turbine cycle as shown

in Fig. 4. The outlet temperatures of the compression and expan-

p2

(1-

T0

p1

2

4

2'

p2 > p1

4'

0

W shaft

T0

Q flue gas

LHV

ex fuel

s

Fig. 4. Simple gas turbine cycle (closed cycle).

Ex loss, combustion

Ex flue gas

1103

T0

T

Temperature [C]

(1-

600

500

400

300

200

100

W shaft, ST

Entropy [kJ/kg.K]

W shaft, GT

Q steam

LHV fuel

ex fuel

Ex loss, combustion

Ex loss, stack

Ex loss, condenser

600

Temperature [C]

0

500

400

300

200

100

Table 1

Overall results and some characteristic data of the combined cycle plants.

1 press.

2 press.

3 press.

MWe

364.26

0.5514

374.84

0.5674

0.0160

379.13

0.5739

0.0225

Fuel ow

Pressure ratio

Turbine inlet temp. (ISO)

GT outlet temp.

Stack temperature

MW

C

C

C

660.62

17.12

1227.81

581.60

160.78

660.62

17.12

1227.81

582.43

119.03

660.62

17.12

1227.81

583.92

81.88

HP inlet temp.

HP inlet press.

IP inlet temp.

IP inlet press.

LP inlet temp.

LP inlet press.

Condenser press.

C

Bar

C

Bar

C

Bar

Bar

550.00

41.54

550.22

9.261

549.75

112.9

550.96

11.62

0.02643

0.02643

550.40

175.0

552.31

31.45

226.68

2.711

0.02643

these losses is possible by generating steam at two or more pressure levels in the HRSG.

3. The combined cycle plants

3.1. Plant designs

System congurations have been established for three different

combined cycle plants. The plants are characterized by the number

of pressure levels for steam generation in the HRSG. The same gas

turbine data, based on published data of the Siemens V94.3A [15],

are used for all plants. The gas turbine is fuelled with natural gas

(Slochteren quality). Overall results and some characteristic data

of the plants are presented in Table 1.

The results conrm that increasing the number of pressure levels at which steam is generated in the HRSG will result in signicant higher overall thermal efciencies (1.60% and 2.25% (points)).

600

Temperature [C]

Units

Overall results

Net electrical power

Thermal efciency

Increase in efciency

Entropy [kJ/kg.K]

500

400

300

200

100

Entropy [kJ/kg.K]

Fig. 7. (a) T,s-diagram of the single pressure steam cycle. (b) T,s-diagram of the

double pressure steam cycle. (c) T,s-diagram of the triple pressure steam cycle.

turbine inlet temperature (ISO temperature) of 1227.81 C. It is

arbitrarily assumed that the increased complexity of the HRSG will

result in a higher pressures loss of the ue gases. The increased

pressure loss of the 2 and 3 pressure alternatives has caused somewhat higher GT outlet temperatures.

Steam turbine data are chosen without considering constructional limitations. The steam turbine cycles are single reheat cycles

with steam turbine inlet temperatures of 550 C. The slight deviations from this temperature are caused by the calculation process.

Steam pressures are the result of a multi-parameter optimization

that minimizes the overall exergy losses. In the case of the single

pressure steam cycle steam is generated only at a pressure level

corresponding to the HP turbine inlet pressure. After expansion

in the HP turbine steam is reheated in the HRSG and further expanded in the IP and LP turbine. In the HRSG of the double pressure

system steam is generated at pressure levels corresponding with

the inlet pressure of the HP and IP turbines. Expanded steam from

the HP steam turbine is mixed with steam from the IP steam generator before it is reheated to the IP turbine inlet temperature. In

1104

31

31

3

2

3

HPT

IPT

301

LPT

304

306

1

5

5

41

323

301

304

305

306

302

303

302

303

H

307

305

361

325

42

6

7

320

322

359

324

403

323

403

321

322

404

HP-EVAP

402

402

321

9

378

43

401

319

360

320

IP-SH

HP-ECO 3

401

358

359

H

318

44

10

308

8

11

IP-EVAP

355

357

319

358

H

356

356

357

12

355

13

317

61

45

H

HP-ECO 2

IP-ECO 2

354

354

H

LP-Super Heater

366

46

14

318

377

10

62

15

353

363

LP-EVAP

365

376

H

374

373

375

364

16

316

Dearator

11

63

47

317

311

LP-ECO

362

353

372

313

361

H

IP-ECO 1

17

371

352

351

352

351 313

314

312

HP-ECO 1

64

315

312

314

316

H

315

341

48

18

12

343

19

DA-evap 342

H

342

20

341

309

311

310 331

331

332

H

310

308

309

307

21

15

Stack

HRSG at three pressure levels corresponding with the inlet pres-

sure of the HP, IP and LP steam turbines. Steam from the LP steam

generator is mixed with the IP outlet ow. The temperature of the

1105

Table 2

Results of the gas turbine cycles.

Gas turbine cycle

Table 3

Results of the steam turbine cycles.

Units

1 press.

2 press.

3 press.

MW

MW

660.62

251.36

0.3805

1040.0

660.62

250.75

0.3796

1040.0

660.62

249.65

0.3779

1040.0

521.1

521.4

521.9

T H;

gth, rev, GT

gex, intern, GT

0.4989

0.7626

0.4987

0.7612

0.4982

0.7586

Exergy balance

Combustor

Fuel exergy

Exergy loss combustor

Exergy transferred to GT cycle

MW

MW

MW

691.48

204.61

486.87

691.48

204.61

486.87

691.48

204.61

486.87

MW

MW

MW

41.27

251.36

194.24

0.8590

41.20

250.75

194.92

0.8589

41.10

249.5

196.12

0.8586

Heat ow to cycle (LHV)

Net electrical power from cycle

gth, GT

TH

T C;

GT

GT cycle

Internal exergy loss

Net electrical power

Exergy of exhaust gas

gex, GT cycle

the IP steam turbine. The condenser pressure is based on the availability of cooling water of 12 C at condenser inlet and a temperature increase of 7 K. The three steam turbine cycles are presented

in the T,s-diagram in Fig. 7ac.

Detailed system models have been established which are applied for design point calculations. Fig. 8 shows the conguration

of the system model of the CC plant with 3 pressure HRSG. Steam

turbine efciencies are calculated by Cycle-Tempo. The applied calculation method is based on [17] and results in somewhat conservative values for the steam turbine efciencies.

3.2. Evaluation of system results

3.2.1. Gas turbine cycle

The amount of fuel supplied per second to the gas turbine

(17.387 kg/s) is the same for all three systems. The corresponding

heat ow (660.62 MW) is based on the lower heating value of the

fuel. The exergy ow of the fuel, as shown in Table 2, is

691.48 MW. The exergy loss due to combustion is 204.61 MW; this

means that 29.59% of the exergy transferred to the plant is lost during combustion. The exergy efciency of the combustion process is

then 70.41%. Table 2 shows that the generated net electrical power

by the gas turbine cycle is not the same for the three systems. The

differences in net electrical power result from differences in GT

outlet pressure. It was arbitrarily assumed that a higher number

of pressure levels should result in higher gas side pressure losses

of the HRSG. The assumed overall pressure losses are 24, 29 and

38 mbar respectively. Therefore the thermal cycle efciency (gth,

GT) slightly decreases if the number of pressure levels increases.

The thermal efciency of the cycle (gth, GT) represents the fraction

of the heat ow to the cycle that is converted into electrical power.

The thermodynamic equivalent temperature of heat transfer to

the GT cycle (T H ) is calculated by applying Eq. (13), with the compressor outlet temperature as Tin and the turbine inlet temperature

as Tout. Because of the combustion process it is not possible to apply Eq. (12). Therefore, and because of the high temperature increase due to combustion, the calculated value is not very

accurate. The inaccuracy can be checked by comparing the exergy

efciency of combustion. The exergy efciency of combustion can

be calculated using the data from the system calculation; then:

gex, combustion = 0.7041. But the exergy efciency of combustion

can also be estimated by using the thermodynamic equivalent

temperature of heat transfer; the estimated value then becomes:

Units

1 press.

2 press.

3 press.

MW

MW

MW

400.28

300.73

112.90

0.3754

522.7

400.90

329.72

124.09

0.3763

529.7

402.02

355.91

129.48

0.3638

526.6

TC

295.2

295.2

295.2

gth, rev, ST

gex, intern, ST

0.4352

0.8626

0.4427

0.8501

0.4394

0.8279

MW

MW

MW

MW

133.51

112.90

4.38

16.23

0.8743

149.27

124.09

4.79

20.39

0.8589

160.32

129.48

5.27

25.57

0.8351

Heat ow from GT exhaust gas

Heat ow to ST cycle

Net electrical power from cycle

gth, ST

ST

Exergy balance

Exergy from HRSG to ST cycle

Net electrical power

Exergy from ST cycle to condenser

Internal exergy loss

gex, ST cycle

value and the estimated value based on T H appears to be less than

3% (relative).

The thermodynamic equivalent temperature of heat transfer

from the cycle (T C; GT ) is also calculated by applying Eq. (13) using

the turbine outlet temperature as Tin and the temperature of the

environment (288.15 K) as Tout. A more accurate value can be obtained by applying Eq. (11). The differences between these values

have only a limited effect on the exergy values that will result from

these temperatures (about 1%). For this evaluation the accuracy of

the presented values is supposed to be sufcient. Because of the

different exhaust pressures of the three cases, the gas turbine exit

temperatures and therefore also the thermodynamic equivalent

temperatures of heat transfer from the cycle are slightly different.

The thermal efciencies of the reversible cycle (gth, rev, GT) are

calculated using the temperatures T H and T C; GT . The determination

of these values is based on temperatures of the irreversible process.

This is in principle not correct, but it is the only available data from

the system calculation. The inaccuracies resulting from this approach are discussed in chapter 4.

The internal exergy efciency of the cycle (gex, intern, GT) is calculated as the ratio between the irreversible and the reversible thermal efciency (see Eq. (7)). Differences between the values of the

alternative plants are only due to the differences in gas turbine

outlet temperature caused by the difference in pressure loss of

the HRSGs. The internal exergy efciency of the gas turbine cycles

is approximately 76% when using the calculated values for gth, rev,

GT and gth, GT.

In Table 2 also some calculated exergy values are shown. The

fuel exergy, the exergy loss of combustion and the exergy transferred to the gas turbine cycle are the same for the considered

cases. The exergy loss of the gas turbine cycle, the net electrical

power and the exergy of the exhaust gas show slight differences

due to the differences in the gas turbine exhaust temperature.

The exergy efciency of the cycle is calculated using the following

equation:

gex;GT cycle

Exproduct

Pelectr; net

Exsource

Exto GT cycle Exexhaust gas

14

cycle are almost 86% which is much higher than the values calculated for the internal exergy efciencies of the cycles. The differences between these parameters are discussed in chapter 4.

3.2.2. Steam turbine cycle

The results of the calculations of the steam turbine cycle are

shown in Table 3. The heat ow that can be obtained from the

1106

on the assumption that water vapor in the ue gas will remain in

the vapor phase. Then, approximately 400 MW of heat can be extracted from the gas turbine exhaust gas. In the case of the single

pressure system only 300.73 MW from 400.28 MW is transferred

to the steam turbine cycle. The net electrical power from the steam

turbine cycle is 112.90 MW which results in a thermal efciency of

the (irreversible) steam cycle (gth, irrev, ST) of 0.3754. This efciency

is determined by dividing the net electrical power from the ST cycle by the heat transferred to the ST cycle. It appears that the part

of the heat from the GT exhaust gas that is transferred to the ST cycle is strongly affected by the number of pressure levels at which

steam is generated in the HRSG. In the case of the triple pressure

system the heat ow to the ST cycle is about 18% higher then in

the case of the single pressure system. The increase of heat extracted in the HRSG results in a lower outlet temperature of the

ue gas (=stack temperature, see Table 1) and in a strong reduction

of the heat lost through the stack. However the generated net electrical power is not only determined by the heat transferred to the

cycle. It appears that also the thermal efciency of the cycle (gth, ST)

is affected by the number of pressure levels; Table 3 shows that it

has a higher value in the case of the double pressure system and a

lower value in case of the triple pressure system.

The thermodynamic equivalent temperature of heat transfer to

the cycle (T H; ST ) is calculated by applying Eq. (12). As heat is transferred to the cycle in different heat exchangers, this equation has to

be modied into:

P

Um hout hin

T P

Um sout sin

15

higher temperature of heat transfer to the cycle (529.7 K); the temperature of the triple pressure system however appears to be

slightly lower than for the double pressure system (526.6 K), mainly

due to the larger decrease of the ue gas temperature. Heat is transferred from the ST cycle at constant temperature in the condenser.

Then, the condenser temperature is the temperature of heat transfer from the ST cycle (T C ). This temperature is the same for all cases.

The thermal efciency of the reversible cycle (gth, rev, ST) is calculated by using the thermodynamic equivalent temperatures of heat

transfer to and from the cycle. As the temperature of heat transfer

from the cycle is constant, the thermal efciency of the reversible

cycle is only a function of the thermodynamic equivalent temperature of heat transfer to the cycle (T H; ST ). Thus the highest value is

obtained for the two pressure case.

The internal exergy efciency of the steam cycle (gex, intern, ST) is

calculated again as the ratio between the irreversible and the

reversible thermal efciency. It appears that the internal cycle efciency of the steam turbine cycle decreases if the number of pressure levels is increased. The accuracy of the internal efciencies is

limited since the exergy losses that are determining these efciencies strongly depend on assumed performance data. But it seems to

be plausible that the higher complexity of the 3 pressure steam

cycle and the addition of steam at lower pressure and temperature

than the live steam will result in higher internal losses of the cycle.

As:

intern; ST

gth;

rev; ST

Q_ H to ST

16

by the increase of heat transfer to the cycle. However the higher

internal losses mitigate the effect of the higher heat ow to the

ST cycle.

The exergy transferred in the HRSG to the steam cycle is calculated by summarizing the exergy transfer to the steam cycle in all

heat exchangers of the HRSG:

Table 4

Results of the combined cycle plants.

Combined cycle plant

Units

1 press.

2 press.

3 press.

TH

MW

MW

660.62

364.26

0.5514

1040.0

660.62

374.84

0.5674

1040.0

660.62

379.13

0.5739

1040.0

TC

295.2

295.2

295.2

gth, rev, CC

gex, intern, CC

gex, CC

0.7162

0.7699

0.8070

0.7162

0.7923

0.8157

0.7162

0.8014

0.8195

Exergy balance

Fuel exergy

Net electrical power

Overall exergy loss

Exergy efciency CC plant

MW

MW

MW

691.48

364.26

327.22

0.5268

691.48

374.84

316.64

0.5421

691.48

379.13

312.35

0.5483

Heat into cycle

Net electrical power

gth, CC

Exto ST in HRSG

Um;w exout;

exin;

17

levels has a signicant effect on the exergy ow to the steam turbine cycle (+12% in case of double pressure and +20% in case of triple pressure). However also the transfer of exergy from the steam

cycle to the condenser increases as well as the internal exergy loss

of the steam cycle. Therefore the net generated electricity is not

proportional to the exergy ow to the cycle.

The exergy efciency of the steam turbine cycle is calculated in

the same way as for the gas turbine cycle. The following equation is

used:

gex; ST cycle

Exproduct

Pelectr; net

Exsource

Exto ST cycle Exto condenser

18

The differences between the internal cycle efciency (gex, intern, ST)

and the exergy efciency of the cycle (gex, ST cycle) are much lower

than in the case of the gas turbine cycle.

3.2.3. Combined cycle plant

The CC plants are evaluated assuming that the gas turbine cycle

and the steam turbine cycle together are considered to be one thermal power cycle. The overall results of the CC plants are shown in

Table 4. The net electrical power generated by the combined cycle

equals the sum of the net electrical powers from the gas turbine

cycle and the steam cycle. Then the thermal efciency of the combined cycle increases from 0.5514 for the single pressure plant to

0.5739 for the triple pressure plant.

Heat transfer to the combined cycle occurs only in the combustor of the GT; therefore the (thermodynamic equivalent) temperature of heat transfer to the cycle is the same as for the gas turbine

cycle (1040 K). Heat transfer from the combined cycle to the environment occurs in the steam condenser (at 295.2 K). Thus the heat

transferred to the cycle as well as the thermal efciency of the

reversible cycle (gth, rev, CC) are the same for all the considered

cases. From Eq. (16) it will be clear that the differences in the thermal efciencies of the irreversible cycles are caused only by the differences in the internal efciencies of the cycles. Therefore

increasing the number of pressure levels for steam generation in

the HRSG will increase the internal efciencies (gex, intern, CC) from

0.7699 for the single pressure case to 0.8014 for the triple pressure

case.

The exergy efciency of the combined cycle can be calculated as

before for the GT and the ST cycles. But in this case also the exergy

that is discharged to the environment trough the stack has to be

subtracted in the denominator. The following equation is used:

Table 5

Exergy balance of the HRSG.

HRSG

Units

1 press.

2 press.

3 press.

Exergy balance

Exergy transferred from GT cycle

Exergy transferred to ST cycle

Exergy loss HRSG

Exergy ue gas to stack

MW

MW

MW

MW

194.24

133.51

29.64

31.09

194.92

149.27

23.12

22.53

196.12

160.32

18.99

16.81

gex; CC

Exproduct

Pelectr; net

Exsource

Exto GT cycle Exto stack Exto condenser

1107

the HRSG obviously inuences only the losses in the system parts

that have limited effect on the overall exergy loss of the CC plant.

More detailed insight into the effect of an increased number of

pressure levels can be obtained from the value diagrams of the

HRSGs. The value diagram for the single pressure case (Fig. 9)

shows that substantial exergy losses occur in most of the heat

exchangers and in particular in the stack. The value diagram for

the triple pressure case (Fig. 10) shows that further reductions of

the exergy losses in the HRSG and stack are possible. But it also

makes clear that further attempts to reduce these losses will have

only little effect.

19

The differences between the internal cycle efciency (gex, intern, CC)

and the exergy efciency of the cycle (gex, CC) are again much lower

than in the case of the gas turbine cycle.

The exergy balance of the combined cycle in Table 4 shows the

resulting overall exergy losses and the exergy efciencies of the

considered plants. The overall exergy loss is the difference between

the fuel exergy and the net electrical power; the exergy efciency

is calculated as the ratio of the net electrical power and the fuel

exergy and increases from 0.5268 for the single pressure case to

05483 for the triple pressure case.

The efciency increase results from differences of the heat

transfer in the HRSG. Therefore the exergy losses of the HRSG will

be discussed into more detail. The exergy balances of the HRSGs

are presented in Table 5. From the exergy transferred from the

GT cycle (194.24 MW) in the single pressure case 29.64 MW is lost

due to heat transfer in the HRSG, 133.51 MW is transferred to the

steam cycle and the remainder (31.09 MW) is passed to the stack.

It appears that by increasing the number of pressure levels the

reduction of the exergy loss to the stack is even higher than the

reduction of exergy loss due to heat transfer in the HRSG. The

reduction of exergy loss results in a signicant higher exergy transfer to the steam cycle for the triple pressure case (+20% when compared to the single pressure case). However the effect on the

overall plant efciency is somewhat mitigated by the slightly higher exergy losses of the ST cycle as shown in Table 3.

The effect of the increased number of pressure levels is demonstrated into more detail by the value diagrams of the HRSGs

shown in Figs. 9 and 10 for the single and triple pressure cases.

The shaded areas do represent the exergy loss. The temperature

curve of the ue gas, if cooled to environmental temperature after

leaving the stack, shows clearly the effect of condensing the water

vapor that is available in the ue gas.

An overview of all exergy losses and exergy ows of the

combined cycle plants is shown in the exergy ow diagrams

(Grassmann diagrams) in Figs. 11 and 12. The diagrams show the

reduced exergy losses of HRSG and stack for the triple pressure

case. However they also show that the larger exergy losses due

combustion and friction in the gas turbine cycle remain unaffected.

4. Discussion of results

4.1. Exergy ow diagram and value diagram

The exergy ow diagrams of the CC plants and the value diagrams of the HRSGs give a clear and useful overview of all exergy

losses. The exergy ow diagrams (Figs. 11 and 12) show that more

than 35% (205 + 41 MW) of the fuel exergy entering the CC plant is

lost due to combustion and friction in the gas turbine cycle. The

exergy losses in HRSG, stack and steam cycle together are only

11% (30 + 31 + 16 MW) in the case of the single pressure system

and are reduced to 9% for the triple pressure case. The increase

of the number of pressure levels at which steam is generated in

Different parameters are applied in the previous chapters to

indicate the performance of (sub)systems. The internal exergy efciency of the cycle as well as the exergy efciency are used for the

power cycles. The reason for this is that different questions have to

be answered during the evaluation of power cycles. The performance of real cycles is affected by irreversibilitys. The extent of

these irreversibilitys is expressed by the exergy efciency of the

cycle. But this efciency does not clearly show what the difference

is between the actual generated power and the power that would

have been generated in the case of a reversible cycle. For this purpose the internal cycle efciency has been introduced. The internal

efciency is by denition lower than the exergy efciency of the

cycle.

The relevance of these efciencies can be demonstrated by

comparing the exergy efciencies and the internal exergy efciencies of respectively the GT cycle, the ST cycle and the combined cycle. It appears that the differences between these efciencies are

rather small for the ST cycle and the combined cycle. However

large differences are calculated for the GT cycle: the internal exergy efciency for the single pressure case is 0.7626 whereas the

exergy efciency is 0.8590. It indicates that the difference in power

from a reversible GT cycle and the real GT cycle is much higher

than the exergy loss of the real cycle. This is caused by the fact that

in the case of a reversible cycle the temperature of the GT exhaust

gas will be lower and consequently the exergy that is transferred to

the GT exhaust gas will be far less than in the case of the real GT

cycle. Thus the difference between the internal efciency and the

exergy efciency will become higher if the exergy transfer from

the cycle is more affected by the performance of the cycle.

In the case of a steam cycles with near environmental condensing temperature the exergy transfer from the cycle is almost independent of the cycle efciency. Then the internal efciency is very

close to the exergy efciency. In that case the exergy efciency

indicates the achievable improvement rather well. This is also true

in the case of a combined cycle; however, it appears that the differences between the internal efciencies and the exergy efciencies

of the combined cycles are somewhat higher (for the single pressure case: gex, CC gex, intern, CC = 0.8070 0.7699 = 0.0371) than

in the case of the steam cycles (gex, ST cycle gex, intern, ST =

0.8743 0.8626 = 0.0117). The higher difference in the case of

the combined cycle is caused by the fact that the combined cycle

discharges exergy to the environment not only in the condenser

but also through the stack.

Thus, the exergy efciency of the cycle (or combined cycle) represents the extent of exergy losses in the cycle while the internal

exergy efciency indicates the differences between the reversible

and the irreversible cycle.

4.3. Further developments

The exergy efciencies of the CC plants differ from 0.5268 for

the single pressure case to 0.5483 for the triple pressure case;

1108

1

1 - T 0 / T [-]

HP Superheat 317

HP Evaporato 316

400

0.5

300

HP-ECO 313

DA evap 342

200

Preheater 308

Temperature [C]

800

700

600

500

Reheater 303

100

Stack 107

15

0

0

33.7

92.5

223

274

282 301

465

Fig. 9. Value diagram of the HRSG with steam generated at 1 pressure level.

1 - T 0 / T [-]

HP Evaporato 322

HP end ECO 319

IP superheat 358

IP Evaporato 357

HP-ECO 2 317

IP-ECO 2 354

LP-superheat 366

LP Evaporato 365

LP-ECO 362

IP ECO 1 352

HP ECO 315

D.A. evapora 342

Heat Exchgr. 309

0.5

Temperature [C]

800

700

600

HP Superheat 323

Reheater 303

500

400

300

200

100

Stack 15

15

0

0

59.1

103

154

198

204

240

270280

283

315

316

318

322332

356

467

Fig. 10. Value diagram of the HRSG with steam generated at 3 pressure levels.

(single pressure HRSG)

(triple pressure HRSG)

Ex fuel = 691 MW

Ex fuel = 691 MW

Ex to GT cycle = 487 MW

Ex to GT cycle = 487 MW

GT cycle Ex loss = 41 MW

GT cycle Exloss = 41 MW

Ex to HRSG = 194 MW

Ex to HRSG = 196 MW

HRSG Ex loss = 30 MW

HRSG Ex loss = 19 MW

Ex to SC = 134 MW

stack Exloss = 31 MW

Ex to SC = 160 MW

stack Exloss = 17 MW

PGT = 251 MW

Pe = 364 MW

condenser Ex loss = 4 MW

PST = 113 MW

Fig. 11. The exergy ow diagram (Grassmann diagram) of the CC plant with 1

pressure HRSG.

PGT = 250 MW

Pe = 379 MW

condenser Ex loss = 5 MW

PST = 129 MW

Fig. 12. The exergy ow diagram (Grassmann diagram) of the CC plant with 3

pressure HRSG.

19

00

00

17

15

00

00

13

11

00

90

70

0

30

50

0

1.000

0.900

0.800

0.700

0.600

0.500

0.400

0.300

0.200

0.100

0.000

efficiency

Carnot efficiency

actual efficiency

Fig. 13. The effect of the temperature of heat transfer to the cycle on the efciency

of a thermal power cycle (the actual efciency is based on an internal cycle

efciency of 0.80).

0.5739. These values are somewhat lower than the highest obtainable values (about 0.60) today. Thus, it must be concluded that

even the best performing combined cycles are wasting more than

40% of the available exergy from the fuel. Directions for further

improvements can be derived from Eq. (6) as well as from the exergy ow diagrams. The main options are: a further increase of the

temperature of heat transfer to the cycle and an increase of the

internal exergy efciency (by reducing the exergy losses within

the cycle).

The exergy losses within the cycle are the result of a trade-off

between driving forces for heat transfer etc. and capital costs.

Technology development and increased fuel prices will result in

a gradual reduction of these losses. The internal exergy efciencies

of the combined cycles today are about 80%, the remaining space

for further improvements is not very high. An increase of the internal exergy efciency to 85% or 90% will raise the plant thermal efciency with roughly 47% points; the necessary efforts will take

probably a long period of continued development.

The other option is the increase of the temperature of heat

transfer to the cycle. This can be achieved in several ways: increasing the gas turbine inlet temperature (TIT), increasing the pressure

ratio and applying one or more reheats. The effect of increased

temperatures of heat transfer is indicated in Fig. 13. The solid line

represents the Carnot efciency of a thermal power cycle that

transfers residual heat to the environment at environmental temperature; the dotted line represents the cycle efciency if an internal exergy efciency of 0.80 is applied. The calculated temperature

of heat transfer to the cycle of the systems considered in this paper

is 1040 K. Fig. 13 shows that with this temperature a thermal efciency of somewhat less than 60% can be achieved. This corresponds rather well with the value calculated for the triple

pressure plant. Temperatures higher than 13001400 K are necessary to reach efciencies that are signicantly higher than 60%. A

thermodynamic equivalent temperature of heat transfer to the cycle of about 1350 K can be obtained with a pressure ratio of 40 and

a TIT of 1700 C in case of a gas turbine without reheat; this will

result into thermal efciencies of CC plants of 6263%. Raising

the TIT to 1900 C will increase the thermal efciency with about

1% point. Today the gas turbine with the highest TIT is the GE Hseries (S109H, S107H) [16] with steam cooled blades. Further increase of the turbine inlet temperatures will require substantial efforts from gas turbine manufactures; because of the limited

benets it is not very likely that they will opt for this development.

The application of reheat is another option to increase the thermodynamic temperature of heat transfer to the cycle. The intro-

1109

attempt into this direction so far; further developments are not announced. Therefore, the prospects of combined cycle efciencies

signicantly higher than 60% in the future seem to be limited.

Electrochemical conversion of fuels provides an opportunity to

avoid the large exergy losses that are inherent to thermal fuel conversion. In particular high temperature fuel cells have the potential

to enable plant efciencies over 80%. In [18] a study is presented

that investigates the conditions under which these high efciencies are conceivable using SOFCGT hybrid systems. The results

show that such high efciencies can be achieved without bottoming cycle and with rather moderate conditions for the gas turbine

as well as the fuel cell; the application of a bottoming cycle will enable a further increase of the plant efciency with 13% points.

Overall plant power is dominated by the performance of the gas

turbine, but can be much lower than for conventional power stations. It is obvious that the present state of the art of SOFC technology is insufcient to build SOFCGT hybrid plants, but the

perspective of very high conversion efciencies might justify substantial development efforts today.

5. Conclusions

The application of combined cycles has resulted in a signicant

increase of power plant efciencies during the last decades. Overall

plant efciencies of about 60% are achievable today if heat from the

gas turbine exhaust gases is efciently used. The evaluation of

exergy losses in combined cycle plants shows that these losses

are mainly dominated by the exergy losses of thermal combustion.

Possibilities to reduce these losses are limited. The exergy ow diagrams (Figs. 11 and 12) show that the highest losses are caused by

(thermal) combustion of the fuel. The further enhancement of

overall power plant efciencies to 70% or even higher will require

the development of high temperature fuel cell systems like SOFC

GT hybrid systems

The comparison of CC plants with increasing number of pressure levels of steam generation in the HRSG shows that the efciency gain of a triple pressure system in comparison with a

single pressure system is caused by the reduction of the exergy loss

of heat transfer in the HRSG as well as the lower exergy of the ue

gasses discharged to the stack. The last effect is even more important than the reduction of exergy losses due to heat transfer as can

be learned from the value diagrams of the HRSGs (Figs. 9 and 10).

In the case of the triple pressure system the remaining exergy

losses of heat transfer and ue gas discharge together are about

5% of the fuel exergy. A further increase of the number of steam

pressure levels in the HRSG does not seem to be really benecial;

it enables only a small reduction of the overall exergy loss of the

plant.

Different parameters can be used to assess the thermodynamic

performance of power plants or the different cycles. The traditionally used thermal efciency does not indicate thermodynamic

losses correctly as it does not consider for the temperature of heat

transfer to and from the cycles. Therefore the application of exergy

efciencies should be recommended. Exergy efciencies however

just show the actual losses in the considered situation but do not

indicate clearly the difference with the ideal case. In order to see

how far the actual performance differs from the performance in

the ideal (reversible) case, the internal exergy efciency of a cycle

is a better indicator, in particular if the exergy transferred from the

cycle is seriously inuenced by the performance of the cycle itself.

An estimated value of the internal exergy efciency can be calculated with limited accuracy using available data from system calculations. Very accurate values of the internal exergy efciency

will require the additional computation of the reversible cycle.

1110

usual evaluations.

References

[1] Ertesvg Ivar S, Kvamsdal Hanne M, Bolland Olav. Exergy analysis of a gasturbine combined-cycle power plant with precombustion CO2 capture. Energy

2005;30:539.

[2] Franco Alessandro, Casarosa Claudio. Thermoeconomic evaluation of the

feasibility of highly efcient combined cycle power plants. Energy

2004;29:196382.

[3] Cziesla Frank, Tsatsaronis George, Gao Zengliang. Avoidable thermodynamic

inefciencies and costs in an externally red combined cycle power plant.

Energy 2006;31:147289.

[4] Kanoglu Mehmet, Dincer Ibrahim, Rosen Marc A. Understanding energy and

exergy efciencies for improved energy management in power plants. Energy

Policy 2007;35:396778.

[5] Song TW, Sohn JL, Kim JH, Kim TS, Ro ST. Exergy-based performance analysis of

the heavy-duty gas turbine in part-load operating conditions. Exergy Int J

2000;2:10512.

[6] Reddy BV, Mohamed K. Exergy analysis of a natural gas red combined cycle

power generation unit. Int J Exergy 2007;4(2).

[7] Mohagheghi M, Shayegan J. Thermodynamic optimization of design variables

and heat exchangers layout in HRSGs for CCGT, using generic algorithm. Appl

Therm Eng 2008. doi:10.1016/j.applthermaleng.2008.02.035.

[8] Sanjay Y, Singh Onkar, Prasad BN. Energy and exergy analysis of steam cooled

reheat gassteam combined cycle. Appl Therm Eng 2007;27:277990.

[9] Borelli Samuel Jos Sarraf, de Oliveira Junior Silvio. Exergy-based method for

analyzing the composition of the electricity cost generated in gas-red

combined cycle plants. Energy 2008;33:15362.

[10] Fiaschi Daniele, Manfrida Giampaolo. Exergy analysis of the semi-closed gas

turbine combined cycle (SCGT/CC). Energy Convers Manage 1998;39(16

18):164352.

[11] Kakaras E, Doukelis A, Leithner R, Aronis N. Combined cycle power plant with

integrated low temperature heat (LOTHECO). Appl Therm Eng

2004;24:167786.

[12] Sue Deng-Chern, Chuang Chia-Chin. Engineering design and exergy analysis

for combustion gas turbine based power generation system. Energy

2004;29:1183205.

[13] <http://www.cycle-tempo.nl> [version June 2008].

[14] van Lier JJC. Bewertung der Energieumwandlung mit dem Exergiebegriff bei

der Strom- und/oder Wrmeerzeugung (Evaluation of energy conversion

processes for the generation of power and heat by applying the exergy

concept). Brennst.-Wrme-Kraft 1978;30.

[15] Gas Turbine World. Performance specs. 22nd ed.; 2004.

[16] Gas Turbine World. Performance specs. 25th ed.; 2008.

[17] Spencer RC, Cotton KC, Cannon CN. A method for predicting the performance

of steam turbine generators, 16,500 kW and larger. J Eng P 1963;249301.

Revised 1974 and reprinted by The General Electric Company.

[18] Bosch KJ, Woudstra N, van der Nat KV. Designing solid oxide fuel cell gas

turbine hybrid systems using exergy analysis. In: Fourth international

conference on fuel cell science, engineering and technology, June 1921,

Irvine, California [FuelCell2006-97084].

[19] Mago PJ, Chamra LM, Somayaji C. Performance analysis of different working

uids for use in organic Rankine cycles. Proc ImechE, vol. 221 part A: J Power

Energy; 2007. p. 25563.

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