The gas turbine engine has many advantages such as low investment costs, low emissions and a low water consumption. This fact allows its application in many power engineering systems, for example as parts of gas and oil transport systems. It is possible to increase the efficiency of gas turbines through the use of combined cycles. For this purpose, the steam cycle is used most frequently. These systems are highly efficient in terms of energy, but they are very complex and have a high water consumption. An alternative to steam cycles are gas-air systems, referred to as the ABC’s (Air Bottoming Cycles), which use hot combustion gases as a heat source for the air cycle. ABC’s are composed of a gas turbine powered by natural gas, an air compressor and an air turbine coupled to the system by means of a heat exchanger, referred to as the AHX (Air Heat Exchanger).
The paper presents an application of gas-air systems with example configurations, together with thermodynamic characteristics. Two technological structures are taken into consideration — a simple system of the ABC and an ABC with air intercooling. A parametric analysis of these systems is performed using a special computer program with real gas properties for enthalpy and entropy calculations. A basic comparative analysis of gas turbine air bottoming cycle and combined gas-steam cycle has been also done. Other important calculations are related to the heat exchanger, which is one of the most important components in this system because it couples the gas and air parts. The efficiency of the whole cycle depends on a rationally designed heat exchanger. The calculations are performed for a shell-and-tube exchanger, as well as for a plate heat exchanger. For all investigations an purchase cost of machines and devices is also determined.