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

with regeneration, inter-cooling and reheating

Santiago del Rio Oliveira ⇑, Vicente Luiz Scalon 1, Vitor Pereira Repinaldo 1

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Unesp University, Av. Eng. Luiz Edmundo C. Coube 14-01, Neighborhood: Vargem Limpa,

17033-360 Bauru, SP, Brazil

a r t i c l e i n f o a b s t r a c t

Article history: A mathematical model is developed for an irreversible Brayton cycle with regeneration,

Received 18 August 2014 inter-cooling and reheating. The irreversibility are from the thermal resistance in the heat

Received in revised form 30 December 2014 exchangers, the pressure drops in pipes, the non-isentropic behavior in the adiabatic

Accepted 4 February 2015

expansions and compressions and the heat leakage to the cold source. The cycle is

Available online 6 March 2015

optimized by maximizing the ecological function, which is achieved by the search for

optimal values for the temperatures of the cycle and for the pressure ratios of the ﬁrst stage

Keywords:

compression and the ﬁrst stage expansion. The advantages of using the regenerator,

Brayton cycle

Ecological optimization

intercooler and reheater are presented by comparison with cycles that do not incorporate

Intercooler one or more of these processes. Optimization results are compared with those obtained by

Regenerator maximizing the power output and it is concluded that the point of maximum ecological

Reheat function has major advantages with respect to the entropy generation rate and the thermal

Irreversibility efﬁciency, at the cost of a small loss in power.

Ó 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

1. Introduction

Brayton cycle is the ideal thermodynamic cycle used for the gas turbine analysis. Its usefulness varies from stationary

power generation to applications in transport, and also presents an advantageous relationship between high power output

and low weight of machinery. Due to its high applicability the search for improving its performance has been the goal of

several papers, specially the optimizations based on the ﬁnite time thermodynamics.

Curzon and Ahlborn [1] conducted one of the ﬁrst studies in this area, ﬁnding that the thermal efﬁciency of an endore-

pﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃ

versible Carnot cycle at maximum power is equal to 1 T L =T H . Leff [2] expanded this same analysis for Brayton, Otto,

Diesel and Atkinson cycles, and found that the efﬁciencies at maximum work to these cycles are equal to that obtained

by Curzon and Ahlborn [1]. Bejan [3] studied the optimum distribution of the conductance between heat exchangers for a

Brayton cycle when the power is maximized and introduced a model to quantify the heat leakage. Ibrahim et al. [4]

optimized the power output for the Carnot and Brayton cycles considering both thermal reservoirs with ﬁnite and inﬁnite

thermal capacitance rates. Wu and Kiang [5] studied the effects of incorporating non-isentropic processes in compressor

and turbine for the power output optimization of a Brayton cycle. Chen [6] observed that the addition of other kinds of

⇑ Corresponding author. Tel.: +55 (14) 3103 6119, Cell phone: +55 (14) 99612 6900.

E-mail addresses: santiago@feb.unesp.br (S. del Rio Oliveira), scalon@feb.unesp.br (V. Luiz Scalon), vitor_repinaldo@hotmail.com (V. Pereira Repinaldo).

1

Tel.: +55 (14) 3103 6119.

http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.apm.2015.02.029

0307-904X/Ó 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

S. del Rio Oliveira et al. / Applied Mathematical Modelling 39 (2015) 6830–6844 6831

Nomenclature

C_ I internal conductance rate of the heat engine [W/K]

C_ p heat capacity rate at constant pressure of the working ﬂuid [W/K]

E_ ecological function [W]

E_ dimensionless ecological function

k speciﬁc heat ratio [dimensionless]

N number of transfer units [dimensionless]

p pressure [Pa]

Dp pressure drop [Pa]

Q_ heat transfer rate [W]

Q_ dimensionless heat transfer rate

rP pressure ratio [dimensionless]

S_ g entropy generation rate [W/K]

S_ g dimensionless entropy generation rate

T temperature [K]

T dimensionless temperature

U overall heat transfer coefﬁcient [W/m2 K]

v speciﬁc volume [m3/kg]

W _ power output [W]

W _ dimensionless power output

x isentropic temperature ratio for the low pressure compressor [dimensionless]

y isentropic temperature ratio for the high pressure turbine [dimensionless]

Greek letters

e heat exchanger effectiveness [dimensionless]

g thermal efﬁciency, isentropic efﬁciency [dimensionless]

q pressure drop parameter [dimensionless]

Subscripts

0 environment

C compressor

Carnot Carnot cycle

E corresponding to ecological optimization

G global

H hot side

I heat leakage

L cold side

max maximum

R regenerator

s isentropic

T turbine

W corresponding to power optimization

irreversibility, in addition to the thermal resistance between working ﬂuid and reservoirs, makes appear a point of maximum

thermal efﬁciency which has a ﬁnite amount of power, unlike the endoreversible cycles [1,2,7].

Angulo-Brown [8] introduced an ecological criterion, E ¼ W _ T L S_ g , for the optimization of a Carnot cycle, where W

_ is the

power output and S_ g is the entropy generation rate, and obtained the efﬁciency under conditions of maximum ecological

function is close to the average between the Carnot efﬁciency and the Curzon and Ahlborn efﬁciency [1]. Yan [9] suggested

_ T 0 S_ g ; in case the temperature of

that the proposed ecological function would make more sense if the expression was E_ ¼ W

the cold reservoir TL is different from the environment T0, and this modiﬁcation was accepted by subsequent authors. The

ecological function was used for optimization of endoreversible and irreversible Carnot and Brayton cycles by several

authors [10–14]. Ust et al. [15] also utilized this criterion for the analysis of a Brayton heat engine with regeneration. In

all these studies it is observed that such optimization leads to greater thermal efﬁciencies along with lower entropy genera-

tion rates, at the cost of a small drop in power, when compared with the same cycle operating at maximum power

conditions.

6832 S. del Rio Oliveira et al. / Applied Mathematical Modelling 39 (2015) 6830–6844

Ust et al. [16] presented a modiﬁcation of the ecological function named ecological coefﬁcient of performance,

ECOP ¼ W=T_ _

0 Sg ; which is used for the optimization of an irreversible Dual cycle. Such optimization was then expanded to

the analysis of an irreversible Brayton cycle by Ust et al. [17], and also to an irreversible regenerative Brayton cycle by

Ust et al. [18]. The results of using this type of criterion indicate an improvement in the thermal efﬁciency and in the entropy

generation rate when compared with the optimization of ecological function, but resulting in a considerable decrease in the

power output.

Another optimization criterion usually employed in ﬁnite time thermodynamics is the power density, which was ﬁrst

introduced by Sahin et al. [19] for the optimization of a reversible Brayton cycle. This criterion is given by the ratio between

the power output W _ and the maximum speciﬁc volume of the cycle vMAX, P ¼ W= _ v MAX ; and used by Chen et al. [20] for the

optimization of an endoreversible Brayton with variable temperature reservoirs. Chen et al. [21] also did this optimization

for an irreversible intercooled regenerated Brayton cycle with optimal allocation of inventory for heat exchangers. The power

density optimization is shown to have a strong inﬂuence in reducing the size of power cycles.

The use of modiﬁcations in the Brayton cycle also is very important in improving the performance of a gas turbine and

therefore used together with the concepts of ﬁnite time thermodynamics for the cycle optimization. These kind of studies

include regeneration [12,15–19], inter-cooling [18,17–19] and reheating [18,19]. Haseli [22] optimized a regenerative

Brayton cycle using as criterion a modiﬁed second law efﬁciency. Wang et al. [23] optimized the power output of an

endoreversible closed intercooled regenerated Brayton cycle along with an optimal allocation of inventory for heat

exchangers. Also related to these types of reservoirs, Tyagi et al. [24] performed a thermodynamic analysis for a Brayton

cycle with regeneration, inter-cooling and reheating, analytically optimizing the power output and the thermal efﬁciency.

Sánchez-Orgaz et al. [25] modeled and optimized a Brayton cycle with respect to the power and efﬁciency incorporating

these same modiﬁcations, but with an arbitrary number of compressors and turbines.

Analysis for the maximum efﬁciency and the maximum power are also performed in models of internal combustion

engines. Zhao and Chen [26] analyzed the performance for an irreversible Dual cycle, which can be reduced to Otto and

Diesel cycles, optimizing the power and the efﬁciency and comparing the results for the three cycles. Lin and Hou [27] uti-

lized a new model for the types of heat loss found in internal combustion heat engines in order to analyze its inﬂuence on the

results for the maximum efﬁciency and maximum power for an air standard Miller cycle. Huijun et al. [28] developed an

exergoeconomic study of an irreversible closed Brayton cycle combining cooling, heating and power plant.

In this paper, the optimization criterion introduced by Angulo-Brown [8] and called ecological function is used as an

alternative for power and efﬁciency maximization. The ecological optimization is done to improve the performance of an

irreversible Brayton cycle with regeneration, inter-cooling and reheating through optimal design parameters. The analysis

will be performed in order to demonstrate the effect of addition of these processes in cycle performance. The results of

this kind of optimization will also be compared with the maximization of power output. Thus, the work aims to show the

beneﬁts brought by the ecological optimization and by the addition a regenerator, an inter-cooler and a reheater. The main

difference of this study and those found in the literature is the dual optimization of Brayton cycle using the concept of

ecological function. The ﬁrst optimization calculates the optimal temperature cycle for each state. The second optimization cal-

culates the compression and expansion ratios optimized in the ﬁrst stage of the compressor and the ﬁrst stage of the turbine.

2. Theoretical model

The path taken by the properties of the working ﬂuid of the power plant is shown in the T–s diagram presented by Fig. 1

for an irreversible regenerate Brayton cycle with inter-cooling and reheating. In process 1–2 the working ﬂuid enters the ﬁrst

compressor at state 1 and suffers an irreversible adiabatic compression to reach state 2, with the process 1–2s representing

the process performed ideally (isentropic process).

The next process 2–3 represents the heat rejection Q_ L2 from the working ﬂuid to a thermal reservoir at constant

temperature TL during the inter-cooling between the compressors. This way, as in process 1–2, the process 3–4 is an

irreversible adiabatic compression with the point 4s indicating the exit state of the second compressor if the process was

performed isentropically.

The working ﬂuid then enters the regenerator at state 4 and suffers a process of heating to the state 4R due to heat

exchange with the exhaust gases leaving the low pressure turbine. This heat transfer rate is given by Q_ R .

From the state 4R occurs a heat addition process Q_ H1 , provided by the thermal reservoir at constant temperature TH, caus-

ing the working ﬂuid to reach state 5. In process 5–6 occurs an irreversible adiabatic expansion in the high pressure turbine.

The reversible process is represented by the path 5–6s. After this the working ﬂuid suffers another heat addition Q_ H2 , due to

the reheating process between turbines, to reach state 7.

The adiabatic expansion that occurs in the low pressure turbine is irreversible for the process 7–8 and reversible for the

process 7–8s. The exhaust gases that leaves the last turbine are cooled in the regenerator to state 8R, providing a heat

transfer rate Q_ R to the working ﬂuid that leaves the high pressure compressor at state 4.

Finally, the working ﬂuid is cooled to initial state 1 rejecting heat Q_ L1 to the thermal reservoir with temperature TL.

There is also considered a heat leakage Q_ I from thermal reservoir at temperature TH to the reservoir at temperature TL.

Equations for the different rates of heat transfer that occurs with the working ﬂuid can be written as [3,10–15,18,20,21]:

S. del Rio Oliveira et al. / Applied Mathematical Modelling 39 (2015) 6830–6844 6833

Q_ H1 ¼ C_ p eH1 ðT H T 4R Þ ¼ C_ p ðT 5 T 4R Þ; ð1Þ

Q_ H2 ¼ C_ p eH2 ðT H T 6 Þ ¼ C_ p ðT 7 T 6 Þ; ð2Þ

Q_ L1 ¼ C_ p eL1 ðT 8R T L Þ ¼ C_ p ðT 8R T 1 Þ; ð3Þ

Q_ L2 ¼ C_ p eL2 ðT 2 T L Þ ¼ C_ p ðT 2 T 3 Þ; ð4Þ

Q_ R ¼ C_ p eR ðT 8 T 4 Þ ¼ C_ p ðT 4R T 4 Þ ¼ C_ p ðT 8 T 8R Þ; ð5Þ

where the effectiveness e for the heat exchangers are deﬁned as [10–14,18,20,21]:

NR

eR ¼ ; ð10Þ

1 þ NR

and with the number of transfer units being:

U H1 AH1

NH1 ¼ ; ð11Þ

C_ p

U H2 AH2

NH2 ¼ ; ð12Þ

C_ p

U L1 AL1

NL1 ¼ ; ð13Þ

C_ p

U L2 AL2

NL2 ¼ ; ð14Þ

C_ p

U R AR

NR ¼ : ð15Þ

C_ p

6834 S. del Rio Oliveira et al. / Applied Mathematical Modelling 39 (2015) 6830–6844

As the processes in the compressors and turbines are irreversible, the isentropic efﬁciencies are deﬁned as

[4,11,14,15,18,20–22]:

T 2S T 1

gC1 ¼ ; ð16Þ

T2 T1

T 4S T 3

gC2 ¼ ; ð17Þ

T4 T3

T5 T6

gT1 ¼ ; ð18Þ

T 5 T 6S

T7 T8

gT2 ¼ : ð19Þ

T 7 T 8S

Two isentropic temperatures ratios x and y related to the low pressure compressor and high pressure turbine,

respectively, are also deﬁned. These ratios are also functions of the pressure ratios of these processes [18,20–22]:

k1

T 2S p2 k k1

x¼ ¼ ¼ rPC1

k

; ð20Þ

T1 p1

k1

T5 p5 k k1

y¼ ¼ ¼ r PT1

k

: ð21Þ

T 6S p6

The irreversibility that arises due to the heat leakage Q_ I is considered using the linear model proposed by Bejan [3]:

Q_ I ¼ C_ I ðT H T L Þ; ð22Þ

Therefore, the heat transfer rate provided by the high temperature reservoir is given by Q_ H , which is the sum of Eqs. (1),

(2) e (22):

Q_ H ¼ Q_ H1 þ Q_ H2 þ Q_ I ; ð23Þ

and the heat transfer rate rejected to the low temperature reservoir é deﬁned by Q_ L , which is the sum of Eqs. (3), (4) e (22):

Q_ L ¼ Q_ L1 þ Q_ L2 þ Q_ I : ð24Þ

The heat transfer processes are considered non isobaric with pressure drops given by Dp. These pressure drops are

quantiﬁed by the following parameters [22]:

ðk1Þ ðk1Þ

p5 k pH1 DpH1 k

qH1 ¼ ¼ ; ð25Þ

p4 pH1

ðk1Þ ðk1Þ

p7 k pH2 DpH2 k

qH2 ¼ ¼ ; ð26Þ

p6 pH2

ðk1Þ ðk1Þ

p1 k pL1 DpL1 k

qL1 ¼ ¼ ; ð27Þ

p8 pL1

ðk1Þ ðk1Þ

p3 k pL2 DpL2 k

qL2 ¼ ¼ : ð28Þ

p2 pL2

From Eqs. (1)–(5) and (16)–(21) the following temperature relations are obtained:

T 8R ¼ ðT 4 T 8 ÞeR þ T 8 ; ð29Þ

T 2S ¼ xT 1 ; ð31Þ

T 2 ¼ T 1 þ ðT 2S T 1 Þ=gC1 ; ð32Þ

S. del Rio Oliveira et al. / Applied Mathematical Modelling 39 (2015) 6830–6844 6835

T 4S ¼ ðT 4 T 3 ÞgC2 þ T 4 ; ð34Þ

T 4R ¼ ðT 8 T 4 ÞeR þ T 4 ; ð35Þ

T 6S ¼ T 5 =y; ð37Þ

T 6 ¼ ðT 6S T 5 ÞgT1 þ T 5 ; ð38Þ

T 8S ¼ T 7 ðT 7 T 8 Þ=gT2 ; ð40Þ

where the relations are written in dimensionless form dividing them by TH to generalize the results.

The combination of Eqs. (29)–(40) results in temperature relations as functions only of the dimensionless T 4 and T 8 :

T 1 ¼ a1 T 4 þ b1 T 8 þ c1 ; ð41Þ

T 2S ¼ xða1 T 4 þ b1 T 8 þ c1 Þ; ð42Þ

T 2 ¼ a2 T 4 þ b2 T 8 þ c2 ; ð43Þ

T 3 ¼ a3 T 4 þ b3 T 8 þ c3 ; ð44Þ

T 4S ¼ a4 T 4 þ b4 T 8 þ c4 ; ð45Þ

T 5 ¼ a5 T 4 þ b5 T 8 þ c5 ; ð46Þ

T 6 ¼ a6 T 4 þ b6 T 8 þ c6 ; ð48Þ

T 7 ¼ a7 T 4 þ b7 T 8 þ c7 ; ð49Þ

T 8S ¼ a8 T 4 þ b8 T 8 þ c8 : ð50Þ

The dimensionless coefﬁcients that arose from the combination procedure are listed here:

a1 ¼ eR ð1 eL1 Þ b1 ¼ ð1 eL1 Þð1 eR Þ c1 ¼ eL1 T L =T H

a2 ¼ a1 ðx 1 þ gC1 Þ=gC1 b2 ¼ b1 ðx 1 þ gC1 Þ=gC1 c2 ¼ c1 ðx 1 þ gC1 Þ=gC1

a3 ¼ a2 ð1 eL2 Þ b3 ¼ b2 ð1 eL2 Þ c3 ¼ c2 ð1 eL2 Þ þ eL2 T L =T H

a4 ¼ a3 ð1 gC2 Þ þ gC2 b4 ¼ b3 ð1 gC2 Þ c4 ¼ c3 ð1 gC2 Þ

:

a5 ¼ ð1 eH1 Þð1 eR Þ b5 ¼ eR ð1 eH1 Þ c5 ¼ eH1

a6 ¼ a5 ½ð1 gT1 Þy þ gT1 =y b6 ¼ b5 ½ð1 gT1 Þy þ gT1 =y c6 ¼ c5 ½ð1 gT1 Þy þ gT1 =y

a7 ¼ a6 ð1 eH2 Þ b7 ¼ b6 ð1 eH2 Þ c7 ¼ c6 ð1 eH2 Þ þ eH2

a8 ¼ a7 ðgT2 1Þ=gT2 b8 ¼ ½b7 ðgT2 1Þ þ 1=gT2 c8 ¼ c7 ðgT2 1Þ=gT2

The relations for T 8R and T 4R , given respectively by Eqs. (29) and (35), did not need to be modiﬁed because these relations

are already functions of T 4 and T 8 . Using the second law of thermodynamics to the working ﬂuid path and considering the

cycle 1-2S-3-4S-4R-5-6S-7-8S-8R-1 the following relation is obtained [10,12,18,21]:

k1

T3 T5 T7 T1 p3 p5 p7 p1 k

¼ : ð51Þ

T 2S T 4S T 6S T 8S p2 p4 p6 p8

Eq. (51) is simpliﬁed substituting Eqs. (20), (21), (25)–(28) and using dimensionless forms for the temperatures:

T 3 T 7 y ¼ T 4S T 8S xqG ; ð52Þ

6836 S. del Rio Oliveira et al. / Applied Mathematical Modelling 39 (2015) 6830–6844

qG ¼ qH1 qL1 qH2 qL2 : ð53Þ

Substituting Eqs. (44), (45), (49) and (50) in Eq. (52) a quadratic equation is obtained:

A1 T 24 þ A2 T 4 þ A3 ¼ 0; ð54Þ

where:

A1 ¼ a4 a8 qG x a3 a7 y; A2 ¼ a9 T 8 þ a10

;

A3 ¼ a11 T 28 þ a12 T 8 þ a13

and:

a9 ¼ ða4 b8 þ a8 b4 ÞqG x ða3 b7 þ a7 b3 Þy a10 ¼ ða4 c8 þÞa8 c4 qG x ða3 c7 þ a7 c3 Þy

a11 ¼ b4 b8 qG x b3 b7 y a12 ¼ ðb4 c8 þ b8 c4 ÞqG x ðb3 c7 þ b7 c3 Þy :

a13 ¼ c4 c8 qG x c3 c7 y

qﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃ qﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃ

2

A2 þ A22 4A1 A3 a9 T 8 a10 þ ða9 T 8 þ a10 Þ 4A1 ða11 T 28 þ a12 T 8 þ a13 Þ

T4 ¼ ¼ : ð55Þ

2A1 2A1

With Eq. (55) all the temperature relations previously obtained can now be described as a function of T 8 only. Using the

ﬁrst law of thermodynamics the power output is given by the difference between the rates of heat transfer Q_ H and Q_ L ,

provided by Eqs. (23) and (24):

_ ¼ Q_ H Q_ L ¼ Q_ H1 þ Q_ H2 Q_ L1 Q_ L2 :

W ð56Þ

Substituting Eqs. (1)–(4) into Eq. (56) yields:

_ ¼ C_ p eH1 ðT H T 4R Þ þ C_ p eH2 ðT H T 6 Þ C_ p eL1 ðT 8R T L Þ C_ p eL2 ðT 2 T L Þ:

W ð57Þ

Dividing Eq. (57) by C_ p T H and utilizing Eqs. (29), (35), (43) and (48) an equation for the dimensionless power output is

obtained:

W _ C_ p T H ¼ d1 T 4 þ d2 T 8 þ d3 ;

_ ¼ W= ð58Þ

where:

d1 ¼ ðeH1 eL1 ÞeR eH1 a6 eH2 a2 eL2

d2 ¼ ðeL1 eH1 ÞeR eL1 b6 eH2 b2 eL2

:

d3 ¼ eH1 þ eL1 TTHL þ ð1 c6 ÞeH2 þ TTHL c2 eL2

Q_ L Q_ H Q_ L1 þ Q_ L2 þ Q_ I Q_ H1 þ Q_ H2 þ Q_ I

S_ g ¼ ¼ : ð59Þ

TL TH TL TH

Eq. (59) can be rewritten as a function only of the temperatures by substituting in it Eqs. (1)–(4) and Eq. (22):

S_ g ¼ : ð60Þ

TL TH

Dividing Eq. (60) by C_ p and substituting Eqs. (29), (35), (43) and (48) into Eq. (59) a dimensionless entropy generation rate

is obtained:

S_ g ¼ S_ g =C_ p ¼ d4 T 4 þ d5 T 8 þ d6 ; ð61Þ

where:

d5 ¼ ½ð1 eR ÞeL1 þ b2 eL2 TTHL þ eR eH1 þ b6 eH2 :

hqﬃﬃﬃﬃ qﬃﬃﬃﬃi2

C_ I TH TL TH

d6 ¼ C_ TL

T H eH1 þ eH2 ðc6 1Þ eL1 þ eL2 c2 T L 1

p

S. del Rio Oliveira et al. / Applied Mathematical Modelling 39 (2015) 6830–6844 6837

_ C_ p T H ¼ W

E_ ¼ E= _ ðT 0 =T H ÞS_ g : ð62Þ

Replacing Eqs. (58) and (61) in Eq. (62) leads to an equation for the ecological function that will be used to perform the

optimization:

E_ ¼ d1 T 4 þ d2 T 8 þ d3 ðT 0 =T H Þðd4 T 4 þ d5 T 8 þ d6 Þ: ð63Þ

_ given by Eq. (58), and the

The thermal efﬁciency g can be evaluated by the ratio between the dimensionless power W,

dimensionless heat transfer rate Q_ H , obtained by dividing Eq. (23) by C_ p T H :

_

W _

W

g¼ _ ¼ : ð64Þ

Q H =ðC_ p T H Þ Q_ H

To check the ability of the model to deliver results for more simple cycles and test the validity of the proposed model,

results were compared with the works of other authors through changes in design parameters. These changes eliminate

speciﬁc process cycle and the same parameters can be calculated for models where they were not included. To eliminate

the reheating process the following input data are used for: y = 1, qH2 = 1 e NH2 = 0. As for the inter-cooling, the parameters

related to the heat exchanger of this process and the low-pressure compressor were changed: x = 1, qL2 = 1 e NL2 = 0. With

this, both the processes related to the reheating and intercooling as related to the high pressure turbine and the low pressure

compressor are eliminated, which means that the model is reduced to an irreversible Brayton cycle only with regeneration.

The check is then made by comparing the results of this simple cycle with those obtained in the work of [17], that have

studied an irreversible regenerative Brayton cycle. Performing this comparison, the results were equivalent, indicating the

ability of the model to eliminate inter-cooling and reheating processes. To transform the model into an endoreversible

Brayton cycle with regeneration, the irreversibility due to heat loss and non-isentropic behavior in compressor and turbine

must be removed. This is done by setting C_ I =C_ p ¼ 0 and gC2 = gT2 = 1.

The results for the reduced model for an endoreversible Brayton cycle with regeneration showed up in accordance with

those presented in the work of [15]. For the elimination of the regeneration process, it can be used a value which reduces the

cycle to an even simpler model. For cases without regeneration the model was in line when compared to results obtained by

[12], for a Brayton cycle with heat loss and non-isentropic behavior of the turbine and compressor, and the results also agree

with the models developed by [4,11] for an endoreversible Brayton cycle.

In this section the following design parameters were used: g ¼ g ¼ g ¼ g ¼ 0:9; k ¼ 1:4; C_ I =C_ p ¼ 0:02;

C1 C2 T1 T2

x ¼ y ¼ 1:5; qH1 ¼ qH2 ¼ qL1 ¼ qL2 ¼ 0:97; N H1 ¼ N H2 ¼ N L1 ¼ N L2 ¼ N R ¼ 4 and TH/TL = 5. These parameters are utilized to

construct all of the ﬁgures, except in cases where there is some variation, in which the same will be appointed in the text

and in the graphics. Furthermore, it is assumed that the environment temperature is equal to temperature TL.

It was observed that the cycle temperatures are given as function of T 8 : Therefore, by varying the value of this tempera-

ture we obtain different results for the conﬁguration of temperatures and so for the power plant performance. From that, the

relation between ecological function E_ and power output W, _ shown in Fig. 2 for different values of TH/TL, can be obtained

varying values for T 8 in Eqs. (58) and (63).

The graph begins and ends at a negative value for the ecological function, meaning that in these points the exergy

destruction rate T 0 S_ g is greater than the power output. However, negative values of the ecological function have no meaning

_ where the ecological function E_ becomes greater than zero. It is also

in reality. This situation changes for higher values of W

observed in Fig. 2 that exists one point of maximum. In this point there is a unique value for T 8 , and the search for this opti-

mum value that will maximize the ecological function E_ is the goal of the ﬁrst optimization.

The increase in TH/TL rises these maximum values for both W _ and E;

_ increasing the region where E_ is positive. It can also

be noticed that the increase in TH/TL does not increase signiﬁcantly the distance between the point of maximum ecological

function and the point of maximum power.

Fig. 3 presents the maximum ecological function with T 8 optimized as a function of the pressure ratio rpT1 for different

values of N. The parameter N is related to the numbers of transfer units of each heat exchanger so that

N = NH1 = NH2 = NL1 = NL2 = NR.The values of E_ MAX grow vertiginously to the point of maximum and then decreases almost

as fast as when E_ MAX is increasing. E_ MAX increases considerably with the value of N, indicating an appreciable improvement

in the cycle performance. However, this increase in E_ MAX is most effective when it occurs for low values of N. Values of rpT1

that lead to the optimum point of E_ MAX also increase with N, varying between about 2 and 4.

6838 S. del Rio Oliveira et al. / Applied Mathematical Modelling 39 (2015) 6830–6844

0.2

−0.2

Ė

−0.4

−0.6

TH /T L =4

TH /T L =5

TH /T L =6

TH /T L =7

−0.8

0 0.05 0.1 0.15 0.2 0.25 0.3 0.35 0.4 0.45 0.5

Ẇ

Fig. 2. Ecological function E_ versus power W

_ for different values of TH/TL.

N = 2

0.12 N = 3

N = 4

N = 5

0.1

0.08

E max

0.06

0.04

0.02

0

2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20

rpT 1

Fig. 3. Maximum ecological function E_ MAX versus pressure ratio rpT1 for different values of N.

Fig. 4 shows the maximum ecological function E_ MAX versus the pressure ratio rpC1 for different values of N. The same con-

clusions can be obtained with respect to the values of N since it leads to higher values of E_ MAX and to higher values of rpC1 that

optimize E_ MAX .

The difference between the optimum pressure ratios is that the values of rpC1 are always greater than the values of rpT1.

This is observed in Fig. 4, where rpC1 begins with values close to 4 for lower N and then approaches 6 for higher values of N.

Both graphics show that the correct choices for the values of pressure ratios are very important to ensure a better cycle

performance and raise even more the ecological function. It is also seen that an arbitrary choice for pressure ratio can lead to

S. del Rio Oliveira et al. / Applied Mathematical Modelling 39 (2015) 6830–6844 6839

N = 2

0.12 N = 3

N = 4

N = 5

0.1

0.08

E max

0.06

0.04

0.02

0

2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20

rpC 1

Fig. 4. Maximum ecological function E_ MAX versus pressure ratio rpC1 for different values of N.

0.4

0.35

0.3

0.25

Ẇ E2

0.2

0.15

0.1

0.05

CRT

CRT T

CCRT

CCRT T

0

0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.7 0.8 0.9 1

R

_ E;2 under maximum ecological function versus regenerator effectiveness eR for different cycle modiﬁcations.

Fig. 5. Power output W

an operation point where the value of E_ MAX is considerably less than what would be obtained if used optimum values for the

pressure ratios.

Thus, to guarantee a better performance for the power cycle is necessary not only the optimization of the temperature T 8 ,

but also the determination of optimal values for rpC1 and rpT1, which will improve further the results.

These optimization processes are numerically performed through MATLAB using the fminsearch command, which allows

us to ﬁnd optimal values for one or more variables, which in this case are T 8 ; rpC1 and rpT1. This optimization is designated by

subscript 2, indicating that the cycle is optimized twice.

In Fig. 5 it can be seen the power W _ E;2 under maximum ecological function versus the regenerator effectiveness for four

different cycles. The cycle CRT refers to a simple cycle with compressor, regenerator and turbine. The cycle CRTT has a

6840 S. del Rio Oliveira et al. / Applied Mathematical Modelling 39 (2015) 6830–6844

compressor, a regenerator and a reheating process between two turbines and the cycle CCRT has an inter-cooling process

between two compressors, a regenerator and a turbine. The cycle represented by CCRTT is the most complete and has

two compressors, a regenerator and two turbines. This last cycle has therefore both inter-cooling and reheating processes.

Results for simplest cycles are obtained eliminating reheating and inter-cooling processes through changes in the design

parameters of the heat engine. Thus, the results become the same as that would be obtained if these processes had not been

introduced in the mathematical modeling.

To eliminate in inter-cooling process and also leave the cycle operating with just one compressor the following input data

are used: rpC1 = 1, qL2 = 1 and NL2 = 0. For the elimination of the reheating process and the high pressure turbine the following

values are used: rpT1 = 1, qH2 = 1 and NH2 = 0.

Fig. 5 shows a slightly increase in W _ E;2 from eR equal to zero to eR near the value of 0.5. After that the power starts to

decrease until the value of eR equal to one, where it reaches a value equal to the power when there is no regeneration, in

other words, when eR equal to zero. Thus, eR does not show a considerable inﬂuence in W _ E;2 .

Cycle CCRT and CRTT have little difference between them when compared their values for W _ E;2 ; with CRTT presenting a

slightly advantage. But the combination with two compressors and two turbines of the CCRTT clearly shows the beneﬁts of

_ E;2 , caused by the combination of these two modiﬁcations,

adding more stages in both processes. This, because the raise in W

is much higher than the increase induced when added just the inter-cooling process in the simple cycle CRT. The same could

be said when is just the reheating process that is added.

Fig. 6 shows the thermal efﬁciency gE,2 at maximum ecological function versus the regenerator effectiveness eR. It is noted

that gE,2 has a small decrease for low values of eR and then increase rapidly for high values of eR.

CCRTT cycle presents the highest values of gE,2 followed by CCRT, CRTT and CRT, respectively. The addition of the inter-

cooling process has a noticeable advantage with respect to values of gE,2 when compared with the addition of the reheating

process. When eR is close to unity, the values for CRT exceed those for CRTT.

Fig. 7 presents the entropy generation rate S_ gE;2 under maximum ecological function versus the regenerator effectiveness

eR. S_ gE;2 for small values of eR is seen as being greater than for cycles without regeneration when eR is equal to zero. But for

larger values of eR ; S_ gE;2 becomes signiﬁcantly less than when the cycle presents no regeneration. This occurs when the

effectiveness is greater than about 0.7, which shows the advantage of adding this process for higher values of eR.

The highest values of S_ gE;2 are given by CCRTT cycle followed respectively by CRTT and CCRT. In this graph it becomes clear

the gain brought by CRTT in comparison with CCRT for this type of optimization, since the cycle with inter-cooling presents

greater thermal efﬁciencies along with lower values for entropy generation rates, which is closer to the values for the CRT

cycle.

0.55

0.5

ηE2

0.45

0.4

CRT

CRT T

CCRT

CCRT T

0.35

0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.7 0.8 0.9 1

R

Fig. 6. Thermal efﬁciency gE,2 under maximum ecological function versus regenerator effectiveness eR for different cycle modiﬁcations.

S. del Rio Oliveira et al. / Applied Mathematical Modelling 39 (2015) 6830–6844 6841

1.6

1.4

1.2

Ṡ gE2

0.8

0.6

CRT

CRT T

CCRT

CCRT T

0.4

0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.7 0.8 0.9 1

R

Fig. 7. Entropy generation rate S_ gE;2 under maximum ecological function versus regenerator effectiveness eR for different cycle modiﬁcations.

0.95

0.94

0.93

0.92

Ẇ E2 Ẇ M AX2

0.91

0.9

0.89

0.88

0.87

N = 3

0.86 N = 4

N = 5

N = 6

0.85

4 5 6 7 8 9 10

TH /T L

_ E;2 =W

Fig. 8. Ratio W _ MAX;2 versus ratio TH/TL for different numbers of transfer units N.

It is also observed that in the ecological optimization the regenerator effectiveness eR has a key role in improving the

results for cycle efﬁciency and entropy generation rate. The variation of eR does not show a signiﬁcant inﬂuence only when

analyzed the power output for the optimized cycle.

The next graphs relate the results for the ecological optimization with the results for the power output optimization. For

both optimizations are found optimum values for T 8 ; rpC1 and rpT1 . Therefore, the results are indicated by the subscript 2.

_ E;2 =W

Fig. 8 represents the ratio W _ MAX;2 versus the ratio TH/TL. The increase in TH/TL leads to a rise in the ratio W

_ E;2 =W

_ MAX;2

_ E;2 =W

with a signiﬁcant inﬂuence. The increase in N decreases W _ MAX;2 , but its inﬂuence is not as great as caused by TH/TL.

6842 S. del Rio Oliveira et al. / Applied Mathematical Modelling 39 (2015) 6830–6844

_ MAX;2 , as the power output at maximum ecological function varies

between 85% to 95% of the maximum power. Thus, the ecological optimization suffers only a small loss in power when

compared to the power optimization.

In Fig. 9 is shown the ratio gE,2/gW,2 versus the ratio TH/TL. It is noted that gE,2/gW,2 is always greater than unity, lying

within the range of 1.07 and 1.15. This already indicates one of the advantages of ecological optimization, since it presents

a remarkable increase in efﬁciency when compared to power optimization, with values than can be 10% higher than gW,2.

1.16

N = 3

N = 4

1.15 N = 5

N = 6

1.14

1.13

ηE2 ηW2

1.12

1.11

1.1

1.09

1.08

1.07

4 5 6 7 8 9 10

TH /T L

Fig. 9. Ratio gE,2/gW,2 versus ratio TH/TL for different numbers of transfer units N.

0.76

0.74

0.72

Ṡ gE2Ṡ gW2

0.7

0.68

0.66

0.64 N = 3

N = 4

N = 5

N = 6

0.62

4 5 6 7 8 9 10

TH /T L

Fig. 10. Ratio S_ gE;2 =S_ gW;2 versus ratio TH/TL for different numbers of transfer units N.

S. del Rio Oliveira et al. / Applied Mathematical Modelling 39 (2015) 6830–6844 6843

The increase in ratio TH/TL leads to a smaller difference between the values for both thermal efﬁciencies while the increase in

N causes a raise in the ratio gE,2/gW,2.

Fig. 10 illustrates the variation of S_ gE;2 =S_ gW;2 with the ratio TH/TL and it can be seen that the rise in N also leads to smaller

values for S_ gE;2 =S_ gW;2 . Another feature to be noticed is that the increase in TH/TL causes the value of S_ gE;2 =S_ gW;2 grows. The val-

ues for this ratio lies within the range of 0.64 and 0.76, which indicates that ecological optimization leads to an entropy

generation rate considerably lower than for the power optimization.

Thus, besides the advantages of presenting greater thermal efﬁciencies, ecological optimization also conducts to smaller

entropy generation rates of about 70% of the values obtained when power output is maximized.

4. Conclusions

A mathematical model for an irreversible Brayton cycle adding regeneration, inter-cooling and reheating processes was

developed. These modiﬁcations have been added to the simple cycle power can be removed through the use of certain speci-

ﬁc values of the model parameters, to allow results to be obtained also for other types of Brayton cycle. The irreversibility are

related to differences in temperature between the working ﬂuid and the thermal reservoirs, the pressure drop in pipes, the

irreversibility present in compressors and turbines and heat loss to the cold reservoir. The optimization was performed for

two types of criteria and the results were compared. The criteria are the output power and ecological function.

The ﬁrst optimization was done numerically, seeking the optimum temperatures that maximize analyzed criteria. A sec-

ond optimization is also performed numerically in order to improve the results by ﬁnding great pressure ratios for the ﬁrst

stage of the compression process and the ﬁrst stage of expansion. Results indicate that the irreversibility due to pressure

drops in heat exchangers and heat loss lead to a considerable depreciation in the cycle performance. However, while the heat

loss only has a negative effect on the thermal efﬁciency and the entropy generation rate, the losses still lead to a reduction in

output power.

Another interesting feature presented the results is due to the improvement caused by the increase in isentropic efﬁcien-

cies of compressors and turbines. Though both the increase in efﬁciency of the expansion process and the compression sig-

niﬁcantly raise the performance of the cycle, the increase of this parameter for most turbines have a positive effect on the

results, indicating that the investment on the efﬁciencies of the turbines is more advantageous that investment in

compressors.

The increase in the values of the effectiveness of the regenerator also showed signiﬁcant inﬂuence on improving results

for the thermal efﬁciency and entropy generation rate. Furthermore, it is seen that the addition of a turbine in a more simple

Brayton cycle leads to a small advantage in output power than if it was added another compressor. However, the addition of

another compressor in place for one more turbine, causing an increased gain in thermal efﬁciency and a decrease in entropy

generation rate. And when both compressor and turbine are added, performance has increased even more, especially in

power output.

The results presented for entropy generation rate obtained by optimizing the ecological function, about 70% of the values

for the optimization of power also shows the advantage of using this criterion, since it takes power values near the power

maximum, but with a considerably lower entropy generation rate and closer to the values for maximum efﬁciency.

Therefore, it can be said that its performance is between the cycle operating at maximum power and efﬁciency at maximum.

For the results to optimize the ecological function was observed that their values are close to those obtained for maximum

efﬁciency.

It can be concluded that matching between the two extreme maximum efﬁciency and maximum power is the maximum

operation point of the ecological function. This point combines low rates of entropy generation, which are optimizing the

characteristics of thermal efﬁciency, with higher values of output power, aspect to nearby points of maximum power.

These attributes comply with the objective criterion to present a best compromise between high output power and low rate

of entropy generation.

The advantage of the method used in this work is the possibility to analyze various design parameters from different con-

ﬁgurations of the Brayton cycle. Basic Brayton cycles can be analyzed and Brayton cycles with regeneration, reheating, inter-

cooling and various stages of compression and expansion. For each analysis cycle, different construction and operation

parameters can be analyzed and optimized, seeking maximum power, maximum thermal efﬁciency, minimum rate of

entropy generation or maximum ecological function. A combination of these criteria may also be obtained by successive

optimizations. The criterion of ecological function can be viewed as an option for optimizing a Brayton cycle aiming at a

lower output power and also a lower rate of generation of entropy, in contrast to maximize power output, it produces a

greater amount of entropy. As closing, it can be said that the choice of the ideal criteria for any project should be determined

according to the intended objectives, even because each criterion seeks to optimize different aspects of the power cycle. For

future work the following topics can be developed:

- The use of different criteria for optimization of the power cycle of this analysis work such as the speciﬁc power ratio

between output power and total heat exchange area and a second law efﬁciency.

- The use of thermal reservoirs with ﬁnite heat capacity (variable temperature) in the proposed model.

6844 S. del Rio Oliveira et al. / Applied Mathematical Modelling 39 (2015) 6830–6844

- The modeling and optimization Brayton cycles with more stages of compression and expansion, which would quantify

the inﬂuence on plant performance for each stage of compression and expansion.

- The use of the concepts presented here for modeling and optimizing other thermodynamic cycles, such as internal com-

bustion cycles, such as Otto, Diesel and Dual, steam power cycles, refrigeration cycles and heat pump cycles.

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