Research Papers: Gas Turbines: Cycle Innovations

Étude on Gas Turbine Combined Cycle Power Plant—Next 20 Years

[+] Author and Article Information
S. Can Gülen

Bechtel Power Corporation,
Frederick, MD 21703
e-mail: scgulen@bechtel.com

Contributed by the Cycle Innovations Committee of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF ENGINEERING FOR GAS TURBINES AND POWER. Manuscript received July 22, 2015; final manuscript received August 26, 2015; published online October 27, 2015. Editor: David Wisler.

J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power 138(5), 051701 (Oct 27, 2015) (10 pages) Paper No: GTP-15-1360; doi: 10.1115/1.4031477 History: Received July 22, 2015; Revised August 26, 2015

In 1992, United States Department of Energy's (DOE) Advanced Turbine Systems (ATS) program established a target of 60% efficiency for utility scale gas turbine (GT) power plants to be achieved by the year 2000. Although the program led to numerous technology breakthroughs, it took another decade for an actual combined cycle (CC) power plant with an H class GT to reach (and surpass) the target efficiency. Today, another target benchmark, 65% efficiency, circulates frequently in trade publications and engineering journals with scant support from existing technology, its development path as well as material limits, and almost no regard to theoretical (e.g., underlying physics) and practical (e.g., cost, complexity, reliability, and constructability) concerns. This paper attempts to put such claims to test and establish the room left for gas turbine combined cycle (GTCC) growth in the next two decades. The analysis and conclusions are firmly based on fundamental thermodynamic principles with carefully and precisely laid out assumptions and supported by rigorous calculations. The goal is to arm the practicing engineer with a consistent, coherent, and self-standing reference to critically evaluate claims, predictions, and other futuristic information pertaining to GTCC technology.

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Fig. 2

GTCC evolution, 1985–2015 (A: TMI 1990 Handbook, B: GTW 1998-99 Handbook, C: GTW 2013 Handbook, 1: Ambarli, Turkey, 2: Tapada do Outerio, Portugal, 3: Mainz Wiesbaden, Germany, 4: Kawasaki, Japan, and 5: Irsching, Germany). Actual U.S. gas-fired GTCC generation data, from U.S. Energy Information Administration Form EIA-923, include some duct-fired units (2014 data are “early release” not final; 2015 data are preliminary until May). For each year, top 20 natural gas-fired GTCC plants are selected. The circles indicate the average efficiency of those (uncorrected); error bars indicate #1 (highest) and #20 (lowest). GT classes for selected plants in 2014 are denoted by diamonds.

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Fig. 1

GT HGP cooling technology evolution [1]

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Fig. 3

GT evolution, 1985–2015: A, B, and C same as in Fig. 2; D from measurements by Ol'khovskii et al. [46]

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Fig. 4

GTCC bottoming cycle evolution, 1985–2015 (A, B, and C same as in Fig. 2, D: GTW 2003 Handbook, and E: GTW 2008 Handbook)

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Fig. 5

GTCC net cycle efficiency map. The two data points are from OEM ratings in GTW 2013 Handbook [35].

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Fig. 6

GT efficiency—actual versus real cycle

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Fig. 7

Rankine steam bottoming cycle technology. Note: Each percentage point in BC exergetic efficiency ∼¼% points in net GTCC efficiency.

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Fig. 8

Rankine steam bottoming cycle cost

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Fig. 9

Equation (A1) prediction of published ratings [3537]

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Fig. 10

Actual GT cycle PR [35] compared to optimal PR for maximum GT specific output using different models

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Fig. 11

GT efficiency and exhaust temperature correlation




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