Although increasing the turbine inlet temperature has traditionally proved the surest way to increase cycle efficiency, recent work suggests that the performance of future gas turbines may be limited by increased cooling flows and losses. Another limiting scenario concerns the effect on cycle performance of real gas properties at high temperatures. Cycle calculations of uncooled gas turbines show that when gas properties are modelled accurately, the variation of cycle efficiency with turbine inlet temperature at constant pressure ratio exhibits a maximum at temperatures well below the stoichiometric limit. Furthermore, the temperature at the maximum decreases with increasing compressor and turbine polytropic efficiency. This behaviour is examined in the context of a two-component model of the working fluid. The dominant influences come from the change of composition of the combustion products with varying air/fuel ratio (particularly the contribution from the water vapour) together with the temperature variation of the specific heat capacity of air. There are implications for future industrial development programmes, particularly in the context of advanced mixed gas-steam cycles.

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