Optimum gas turbine cycle for combined cycle power plant

A.L. Polyzakis, C. Koroneos, G. Xydis

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


The gas turbine based power plant is characterized by its relatively low capital cost compared with the steam power plant. It has environmental advantages and short construction lead time. However, conventional industrial engines have lower efficiencies, especially at part load. One of the technologies adopted nowadays for efficiency improvement is the “combined cycle”. The combined cycle technology is now well established and offers superior efficiency to any of the competing gas turbine based systems that are likely to be available in the medium term for large scale power generation applications. This paper has as objective the optimization of a combined cycle power plant describing and comparing four different gas turbine cycles: simple cycle, intercooled cycle, reheated cycle and intercooled and reheated cycle. The proposed combined cycle plant would produce 300MW of power (200MW from the gas turbine and 100MW from the steam turbine). The results showed that the reheated gas turbine is the most desirable overall, mainly because of its high turbine exhaust gas temperature and resulting high thermal efficiency of the bottoming steam cycle. The optimal gas turbine (GT) cycle will lead to a more efficient combined cycle power plant (CCPP), and this will result in great savings. The initial approach adopted is to investigate independently the four theoretically possible configurations of the gas plant. On the basis of combining these with a single pressure Rankine cycle, the optimum gas scheme is found. Once the gas turbine is selected, the next step is to investigate the impact of the steam cycle design and parameters on the overall performance of the plant, in order to choose the combined cycle offering the best fit with the objectives of the work as depicted above.Each alterative cycle was studied, aiming to find the best option from the standpoint of overall efficiency, installation and operational costs, maintainability and reliability for a combined power plant working in base load. Several schemes are proposed for investigation. In particular, four configurations were studied: simple cycle (SC), intercooled cycle (IC), reheated cycle (RH) and intercooled and reheated cycle (IC/RH).
Original languageEnglish
JournalEnergy Conversion and Management
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)551-563
Publication statusPublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes


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