The gas turbine combined cycle is the most mature and efficient power generation system. While enhancing design performance continuously, a parallel effort to make up for the shortcomings of the gas turbine should be pursued. The most critical drawback is the large power loss in hot season when electricity demand is usually the highest. Therefore, it is important to implement an effective power boosting measure in gas turbine based power plants, especially in areas where the annual average temperature is much higher than the standard design ambient temperature. The simplest method in general is to reduce the gas turbine inlet air temperature by any means. Several schemes are commercially available, such as mechanical chilling, evaporative cooling, inlet fogging and absorption chilling. All of them have merits and demerits, either thermodynamically and economically. In this study, we focused our interest on the absorption chilling method. Theoretically, absorption chilling provides as much cooling effect (air temperature reduction) as the mechanical chilling, while electric power consumption is negligibly small. A distinct feature of an absorption chiller in contrast to a mechanical chiller is that thermal energy (heat) is needed to drive the chilling system. In this research, we propose an innovative idea of making the independent heat supply unnecessary. The new method provides simultaneous cooling of the turbine coolant and the inlet air using an absorption chiller. The inlet cooling and coolant precooling boost the gas turbine power synergistically. We predicted the system performance using cycle simulation and compared it with that of the conventional mechanical cooling system.

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