Optimal Architectures for Dry and Wet Gas-Turbine Engines

[+] Author and Article Information
Rebecca Zarin Pass

Affiliate, Energy Technology Area, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, CA 94720

Sankaran Ramakrishnan

Postdoctoral Associate, Institute for Data, Systems and Society, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139

Chris Edwards

Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4038794 History: Received July 21, 2017; Revised November 05, 2017


We systematically determine the maximally efficient manner of using water and air in a single-cycle steady-flow combustion gas-turbine power plant. In doing so, we identify the upper limit to exergy efficiency for dry and wet gas-turbine engines through architectures that employ regenerative work, heat, and matter transfers using imperfect practical devices. For existing device technology, the derived optimal architectures can theoretically achieve exergy efficiencies above 65% without employing a bottoming cycle. This surpasses known efficiencies for both wet and combined cycles. We also show that when optimally used, non-reactive matter transfers, like water, provide an alternative, but not superior, thermal regeneration strategy to direct heat regeneration.

Copyright (c) 2017 by ASME
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