In a deregulated energy market the adoption of multipurpose and flexible software tools for the optimal design and sizing of energy systems is becoming mandatory. For these reasons, we have developed WIDGET-TEMP (Web-based Interface and Distributed Graphical Environment for TEMP, ThermoEconomic Modular Program), a tool which is the result of an interdisciplinary research which applied recent IT innovations such as XML and web-based approaches to the analysis and optimization of energy plant layouts on a thermoeconomic basis. WIDGET provides an interface for remotely accessing the internal thermoeconomic analysis, the full life-cycle cost and investment assessment, which includes the economic impact of environmental costs due to pollutant emissions. This approach reduces the requirements for the local machine in terms of processor time and memory, and allows users to exploit the tool just when needed. An initial functional productive diagram of the plant is now automatically drawn and is available to the user on a visual basis. We present a general description of the tool organization and outline the approach for modeling the technical performance and cost of the component. Then, we describe the latest upgrades of TEMP, and report the new gas turbine cost equations. Finally, the tool is applied to a conventional simple and combined cycle, showing both the usability of the new tool and the reliability of the results.

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