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Energy Vol. I’). No. 3, pp. 27Y-286.

Pergamon Copyright 0 1994 Elsevier Science Ltd
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Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Zaragoza,
ETSH, 50015 Zaragoza, Spain
Center for Electric Power, Tennessee Technological University,
P. 0. Box 5032, Cookeville, TN 38505, U.S.A.
Department of Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering, National Technical
University of Athens, P. 0. Box 64070, 15710 Zografou, Greece
LENI, Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne, CH-1015 Lausanne,
(Received 18 May 1993)


Developing techniques for designing efficient and cost-effective energy systems is one of the
foremost challenges energy engineers face. In a world with finite natural resources and
increasing energy demand by developing countries, it becomes increasingly important to
understand the mechanisms which degrade energy and resources and to develop systematic
approaches for improving the design of energy systems and reducing the impact on the
environment. The second law of thermodynamics combined with economics represents a very
powerful tool for the systematic study and optimization of energy systems. This combination
forms the basis of the relatively new field of thermoeconomics (exergoeconomics).

During the sixties, R. B. Evans, Y. M. El-Sayed, R. A. Gaggioli, and M. Tribus among

others conducted pioneering work in this field. However, the comprehensive effort to apply
thermoeconomics systematically to the analysis, optimization and design of energy systems did
not start until the eighties. New methodologies have flourished, giving rise to new concepts
with their own nomenclature, definitions and applications.

In 1990, a group of concerned specialists in the field (C. Frangopoulos, G. Tsatsaronis,

A. Valero, and M. von Spakovsky) decided to compare their methodologies by solving a
predefined and simple problem of optimization: the CGAM problem, which was named after

+Author for correspondence.


the first initials of the participating investigators. The objective of the CGAM problem is to
show how the methodologies are applied, what concepts are used and what numbers are
obtained in a simple and specific problem. In the final analysis, the aim of the CGAM
problem is the unification of thermoeconomic methodologies. This comparison is not a
competition among methodologies. Each methodology has specific fields of applications for
which it provides proven and efficient solutions.

At the International Symposium on “Efficiency, Costs, Optimization, and Simulation of

Energy Systems (ECOS ‘92)” held in Zaragoza, Spain, June 15-18, 1992, a special session was
devoted to the CGAM problem. This paper describes and defines the CGAM problem and
presents a conventional solution to the optimization problem. The following four papers
discuss the application of four different methodologies to the same problem. We hope that this
effort will contribute to the understanding of thermoeconomics and to the unification of
nomenclature and methodology.


For optimization purposes, it is necessary to specify the physical and cost models of the
installation as well as the objective function to be minimized. The latter consists of the total
costs of operation at a fixed demand. The models used in the CGAM problem are realistic but
incomplete from an engineering point of view since the object of this study is to present
distinct models of thermoeconomic optimization. Therefore, it would be unreasonable to use
an excessively complicated mathematical model to describe the performance of the plant.

The CGAM problem refers to a cogeneration plant which delivers 30 MW of electricity and
14 kg/s of saturated steam at 20 bar. The structure of the cogeneration plant is shown in Fig.
1. The installation consists of a gas turbine followed by an air preheater that uses part of the
thermal energy of the gases leaving the turbine, and a heat-recovery steam generator in which
the required steam is produced. The environmental conditions are defined as To = 298.15K
a.ndP, = 1.013 bar. The fuel for the total plant is natural gas (taken as methane) with a lower
heating value (LHV) equal to 50000 kJ/kg.

In the definition of the problem, the equations that describe the behavior of the system
(physical model), the equations for calculating the capital costs of the components (economic
model) and the equations of state used to calculate the thermodynamic properties
(thermodynamic model) are considered. The decision variables selected for the optimization
are the pressure ratio P,/Pr, the isentropic efficiencies of the air compressor (qAc) and the gas
turbine (qor) and the temperatures of the air at the air-preheater exit fr,) and of the
combustion gas at the gas-turbine inlet (T4). The following models are formulated as a
function of these decision variables.

To simplify these models without loss of methodological generality, the following

assumptions are made: (i) The air and the combustion gases behave as ideal gases with constant
specific heats. (ii) For combustion calculations, the fuel is taken to be methane (CH,$ (iii)
All components, except the combustion chamber, are adiabatic. Finally, reasonable values are
chosen for the pressure loss of the air and gas flows in the combustion chamber, air preheater
and recuperator boiler.
CGAM problem 281

- Air

= Plant Fuel COMBUWION

- Comb. Prod.

- BFWISteam
Net Power
iv& 30 Mw

Fig. 1. Flow diagram of the cogeneration system.


Here we present the equations that make up the physical model of the cogeneration plant.
These are the mass and energy balances for each component of the plant.

Air Compressor (AC):

T,= T,
3’ =
1 To,

WAC = fi,cp,,Uz - T,).

Combustion Chamber (CC):

cl, = m, + lil, ,
tii7,h3+ $LHV = $h4 + 0, cc with LHV = 50000 @J/kg),

Q,cc = $LHV(l - qcc) with qcc = 0.98,

P4 = P,(l - AP,,) with AP,, = 0.05.
Air Preheater (APH):
Wp,, Cr, - ‘I’,) = $c,,~ V, - Q,
5 = Pz (1 - APa,APH) with AP,,, = 0.05,

P6 = P, (1 - AP,,,,) with AP,,,, = 0.03.


Gas Turbine (GT):

T, -%Jl
=T4(l -[pq},
w0-r= figcp,g
CT, - T,),
W”, = War - WAC with W,,a = 30 Mw.
Heat-Recovery Steam Generator (HRSG):
T,, = Tg - AT, with AT, = 15 K,

m,c,, (T6 - T,r) = m, (h, - h,,),

with m, = 14 kg/s and (h, - hsp) = 1956 l&kg;
temperature difference at the pinch = AT, = T,, - Tg > 0,
T, = T6 - rh, (h, - h,) / ($c~,~) with (h9 - h,) = 2690 Id/kg,
PO = P, (1 - AP,,,,) with AP,,,, = 0.05.


To solve the physical model and to calculate the variables of state for the cogeneration
plant, a simplified model for calculating the thermodynamic properties of the streams was

Reference environment
Pressure: atmospheric pressure P, = 1.013 bar.
Temperature: atmospheric temperature T, = 25 “C.
Reference substances: air (relative humidity = 60%) with the mole fractions
= 0.2059, xi, = 0.7748, x&, = 0.0003, x,&o = 0.0190. In this reference
environment, the exergy and energy values are zero for each reference substance. For energy
balance calculations, this reference-environment definition is consistent with the LHV

Chemical composition of the flows (molar basis)

The air streams 1, 2 and 3 have the same chemical composition as the reference environment.
The fuel (stream 12) is pure methane. Complete combustion is assumed in the combustor
according to the reaction

fCH, +$jZ02+xzZNz+$o,CO, +x&,I$O_(f +x&>CO, +(2f +x;o)HzO +($* -2f)O, +xiZN2.

In this equation, f is the fuel/air molar ratio. The molecular weights of methane and air are
Mc”, = M, = 16.043 kg/kmol and M, = 28.648 kg/kmol, respectively.

Specific exergy and energy values

Specific exergy of the fuel (methane): e, = 51850 kJ/kg.

Specific energy of the fuel: h, = LHV = 50000 kJ/kg.

Exergy and energy addition to the water/steam system:

CGAM problem 2x3

exergy - G-e, = h,-h,-T,, (s,+g) = 909.1 kJ/kg -910 kJ/kg,

e,-e,, = h,-h,,-T, (s,-s,,) = 754 Id/kg;

energy - h, - h* = 2686.3 kJ/kg - 2690 kJ/kg,

h, - h,, = 1956 kJ/kg.

Air: cr,, = 1.004 kJ/(kgK), y, = 1.4, R. = 0.287 kJ/(kgK).

Specific exergy and energy of the air streams (i = 1,2,3):

exew - T.
- T, - T, 1nTi + R,T,lnp,*i .

T0 I 0

energy - hi = cp,, (T, - TJ.

Combustion gas: cp,g = 1.17 kJ/(kgK), rg = 1.33, R, = 0.290 kJ/(kgK).

Specific exergy and energy of the gas streams (i = 4, 5, 6, 7):
P. Xj'
exergy - +RTln-i +R,T,C,xj’ln :, j =4&WJW;
go P0

energy - hi = CP,~ (Ti - TO)*


When evaluating the costs of a plant, it is necessary to consider the annual cost of fuel and
the annual cost associated with owning and operating each plant component. The expressions
for obtaining the purchase costs of the components (Z) are presented in Tables 1 and 2. Based
on these costs, the general equation for the cost rate (ii in $1~) associated with capital
investment and the maintenance costs for the ith component is
ii = ZiCRl$/(N x 3600).
Here Zi is the purchase cost of the ith component ($), CRF is the annual capital recovery
factor (CRP = 18.2%), N represents the number of hours of plant operation per year (N =
8000 h), and p is the maintenance factor (p = 1.06).

The cost rate associated with fuel is obtained from

Cr = cf m, LHV,
where the fuel cost per energy unit (on an LHV basis) is cf = 0.004 $/MJ.

The total cost rate of operation for the installation is obtained from
C:T = ct in, LHV + iC1 ii,

where CT is the total cost rate of fuel and equipmeit ($/s) and Z is the purchase cost ($)
of the ith equipment item (i = AC, APH, CC, GT and HRSG).

Table 1. Equations for calculating the purchase costs (Z) for the components.


11 + E=YC,,T, - C24)l
Combustion Chamber’


Air Preheated

Heat-Recovery Steam

h,, rh,, fiti are the mass flow rates of air, gas and steam, respectively; h, and h, are
the specific enthalpies of streams 5 and 6; ATLM is the log mean temperature
difference; &., and Q, represents the rate of heat transfer in the preheater
(economizer) and evaporator, respectively. _I

Table 2. Constants used in the equations of Table 1 for the purchase cost
of the components (Table 1).

Compressor Cu = 39.5 $/(kg/s) C,, = 0.9

C21 = 25.6 $/(kg/s) C, = 0.995

Combustion Chamber
c, = 0.018 (K-l) C, = 26.4

C,, = 266.3 $/(kg/s) C,, = 0.92

Gas Turbine
C,, = 0.036 (K-l) C, = 54.4

Air Preheater C,, = 2290 $/(m ‘.‘) U = 18 kW/(m’K)

Heat-Recovery Steam C,, = 3650 $/(kW/K)‘.’ C,, = 11820 $/(kg/s)

C,, = 658 $/(kg/s)‘.’
CGAM problem 285


The physical and cost models of the CGAM system have five degrees of freedom
represented by the decision variables chosen (PJPi, qAc, qoT, T, and T4). The optimization
problem consists of minimizing the total operating costs of the cogeneration plant assuming a
fixed rate of electricity production of electricity for process steam. Thus, the optimization
problem can be expressed as the minimization of the objective function F, which is equal to
CT, i.e. of
F = cf m, LHV + i,, + i,, + i,, + iGT + in,

subject to the constraints imposed by the physical, thermodynamic and cost models of the

Tables 3 through 6 present the optimum values of the CGAM system variables. These
values were obtained through conventional optimization techniques. It is apparent that this
solution to the CGAM problem is unrealistic from the practical viewpoint since it require,
among others, a minimum temperature difference at the pinch of only 1.64 K (Table 5). The
mathematically optimal solution is presented here to facilitate the comparisons and discussions
in the following four papers.

In these papers, different procedures for optimizing the CGAM system are presented. They
all have in common the definition of the physical, thermodynamic and cost models plus the
objective function, which means that the same problem is solved with different procedures of
thermoeconomic optimization.


1. C. Frangopoulos C., in Analysisof Thermal and Energy Systems- Proceedings of the

InternationalConferenceAZHENS ‘91, pp. 305-318, D. A. Kouremenos, G. Tsatsaronis
and C. D. Rakopoulos, eds., ASME, New York (1991).

Table 3. Optimum values Table 4. Values of the temperatures

of the decision variables and pressures for the streams in the
for the CGAM problem. optimal design of the CGAM problem.

Variable Value Flow ‘I’ (K) P (bar)

wp, 8.5234 1 298.15 1.013
2 595.51 8.634
3 914.28 8.202
4 1492.63 7.792
T3 914.28 K
5 987.90 1.099

VGT 0.8786 6 718.76 1.066

7 400.26 1.013
T4 1492.63 K
8 298.15 20.000
9 485.52 I 20.000

Table 5. Values of selected Table 6. Gntimal cost values in the CGAM problem.
thermodynamic variables
Total Cost Rate 0.362009 $/s
in the optimal design
of the CGAM problem. Fuel Cost Rate 0.325489 $1~

m. 99.4559 kg/s Investment Cost Rate 0.036520 $/s

m, 1.6274 kg/s Cost of Combustion Chamber 0.1469 x 106 $

ATpinch 1.64 K Cost of Air Compressor 0.1348 x 10’ $

wAC 29692.5 kW Cost of Gas Turbine 0.1927 x 10’ $

WGr 59692.5 kW Cost of Air Preheater 0.8277 x 106 $

Cost of HRSG 0.1202 x 10’ !§

2. Y. M. El-Sayed, in Approaches to the Design and Optimization

of l7wmal Systems,pp.
41-47, AES-Vol. 7, W. J. Wepfer and M. J. Moran, eds., ASME, New York (1988).
3. R. W. Foster-Pegg, ChemicalEngineering 93, No. 14, 73 (1986).


Symbol Meaning efficiency

C cost per unit of energy rlcc first-law efficiency of the
CP specific heat at constant combustion chamber
pressure rlcr gas-turbine isentropic
C constant in cost equations efficiency
C cost flow rate (P maintenance factor
CRF capital recovery factor Subscripts
e specific exergy 0 reference environment
F objective function a air
h specific enthalpy A temperature approach
m mass flow rate AC air compressor
N number of hours of plant APH air preheater
operation per year cc combustion chamber
P pressure f fuel for the total plant
Q heat transfer rate combustion gases
R gas constant :T gas turbine
entropy HRSG heat-recovery steam generator
; temperature j substance
W power 1 heat loss
X molar fraction pinch pinch point
Z capital cost associated with a st steam
component T total plant
Greek letters Superscripts
Y specific heat ratio 0 reference environment
VAC compressor isentropic i ith flow stream