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Research Papers: Energy Systems Analysis

Comparative Analysis of Different Inlet Air Cooling Technologies Including Solar Energy to Boost Gas Turbine Combined Cycles in Hot Regions

[+] Author and Article Information
Ahmed Abdel Rahman

Mechanical Engineering Department,
College of Engineering,
King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals
(KFUPM),
Dhahran 31261, Saudi Arabia
e-mail: s201264040@kfupm.edu.sa

Esmail M. A. Mokheimer

Mem. ASME
Mechanical Engineering Department,
College of Engineering,
King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals
(KFUPM),
Dhahran 31261, Saudi Arabia;
Center of Research Excellence in Energy
Efficiency (CEEE),
King Fahd University of Petroleum
and Minerals (KFUPM),
P. O. Box: 279,
Dhahran 31261, Saudi Arabia;
Center of Research Excellence in Renewable
Energy (CoRe-RE),
King Fahd University of Petroleum and
Minerals (KFUPM),
P. O. Box: 279,
Dhahran 31261, Saudi Arabia
e-mail: esmailm@kfupm.edu.sa

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Advanced Energy Systems Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF ENERGY RESOURCES TECHNOLOGY. Manuscript received March 3, 2018; final manuscript received April 30, 2018; published online June 12, 2018. Editor: Hameed Metghalchi.

J. Energy Resour. Technol 140(11), 112006 (Jun 12, 2018) (13 pages) Paper No: JERT-18-1172; doi: 10.1115/1.4040195 History: Received March 03, 2018; Revised April 30, 2018

Cooling the air before entering the compressor of a gas turbine of combined cycle power plants is an effective method to boost the output power of the combined cycles in hot regions. This paper presents a comparative analysis for the effect of different air cooling technologies on increasing the output power of a combined cycle. It also presents a novel system of cooling the gas turbine inlet air using a solar-assisted absorption chiller. The effect of ambient air temperature and relative humidity on the output power is investigated and reported. The study revealed that at the design hour under the hot weather conditions, the total net power output of the plant drops from 268 MW to 226 MW at 48 °C (15.5% drop). The increase in the power output using fogging and evaporative cooling is less than that obtained with chillers since their ability to cool down the air is limited by the wet-bulb temperature. Integrating conventional and solar-assisted absorption chillers increased the net power output of the combined cycle by about 35 MW and 38 MW, respectively. Average and hourly performance during typical days have been conducted and presented. The plants without air inlet cooling system show higher carbon emissions (0.73 kg CO2/kWh) compared to the plant integrated with conventional and solar-assisted absorption chillers (0.509 kg CO2/kWh) and (0.508 kg CO2/kWh), respectively. Also, integrating a conventional absorption chiller shows the lowest capital cost and levelized electricity cost (LEC).

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Figures

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Fig. 8

Power gain variation with temperature at 60% RH

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Fig. 7

Power gain variation with temperature at 40% RH

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Fig. 6

Power gain variation with temperature at 20% RH

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Fig. 5

Total net power output variation with temperature at 60% RH

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Fig. 4

Total net power output variation with temperature at 40% RH

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Fig. 3

Total net power output variation with temperature at 20% RH

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Fig. 2

(a) Power output variation with temperature at 60% RH as a percent of the rated power and (b) power output variation with relative humidity at 30 °C as a percent of the rated power

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Fig. 1

Schematic diagram of the conventional combined cycle

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Fig. 20

Solar irradiation available throughout the day

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Fig. 9

Percentage of the parabolic trough area used to provide the required cooling load

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Fig. 10

Percentage of the heat exchanger fluid pumped to provide the required cooling load

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Fig. 11

Average solar irradiation available throughout the year

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Fig. 12

Air conditions before and after cooling

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Fig. 13

Air density before and after cooling

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Fig. 14

Gas turbine average power output variation throughout the year

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Fig. 15

Gas turbine exhaust mass flow rate variation throughout the year

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Fig. 16

Gas turbine exhaust enthalpy variation throughout the year

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Fig. 17

Gas turbine exhaust power variation throughout the year

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Fig. 18

Total net power output variation throughout the year

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Fig. 19

Bled steam power required to run the conventional absorption chiller

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Fig. 23

Air conditions before and after cooling—17th of July

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Fig. 24

Air conditions before and after cooling—17th of January

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Fig. 25

Air density before and after cooling—17th of July

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Fig. 26

Air density before and after cooling—17th of January

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Fig. 27

Gas turbine average power output variation throughout the day—17th of July

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Fig. 28

Gas turbine average power output variation throughout the day—17th of January

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Fig. 29

Total net power output variation throughout the day—17th of July

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Fig. 30

Total net power output variation throughout the day—17th of January

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Fig. 31

Bled steam power required to run the conventional absorption chiller

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Fig. 21

Percentage of the parabolic trough area used to provide the required cooling load

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Fig. 22

Percentage of heat exchanger fluid pumped to provide the required cooling load

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Fig. 32

Plants capital costs and LEC

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