In The Name Of God Most Merciful
Combined Cycle Plants
The combined-cycle unit combines the Rankine (steam turbine) and Brayton (gas turbine) thermodynamic cycles by using heat recovery boilers to capture the energy in the gas turbine exhaust gases for steam production to supply a steam turbine as shown in the figure "Combined-Cycle Cogeneration Unit". Process steam can be also provided for industrial purposes.
Fossil fuel-fired (central) power plants use either steam or combustion turbines to provide the mechanical power to electrical generators. Pressurized high temperature steam or gas expands through various stages of a turbine, transferring energy to the rotating turbine blades. The turbine is mechanically coupled to a generator, which produces electricity.
Steam Turbine Power Plants:
Steam turbine power plants operate on a Rankine cycle. The steam is created by a boiler, where pure water passes through a series of tubes to capture heat from the firebox and then boils under high pressure to become superheated steam. The heat in the firebox is normally provided by burning fossil fuel (e.g. coal, fuel oil or natural gas). However, the heat can also be provided by biomass, solar energy or nuclear fuel. The superheated steam leaving the boiler then enters the steam turbine throttle, where it powers the turbine and connected generator to make electricity. After the steam expands through the turbine, it exits the back end of the turbine, where it is cooled and condensed back to water in the surface condenser. This condensate is then returned to the boiler through high-pressure feedpumps for reuse. Heat from the condensing steam is normally rejected from the condenser to a body of water, such as a river or cooling tower.
Steam turbine plants generally have a history of achieving up to 95% availability and can operate for more than a year between shutdowns for maintenance and inspections. Their unplanned or forced outage rates are typically less than 2% or less than one week per year.
Modern large steam turbine plants (over 500 MW) have efficiencies approaching 40-45%. These plants have installed costs between $800 and$2000/kW, depending on environmental permitting requirements.
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