To obtain equal thermal efficiencies in gas-turbine engines, designers have the freedom (if space and mass constraints are not limiting) of exchanging compressor pressure ratio for heat-exchanger effectiveness. Because heat exchangers can have lower losses than compressors, a high-effectiveness heat-exchanger cycle can have a much higher thermal efficiency (theoretically 55–60%) than is possible with unregenerated cycles. What has not been known up to now is the effect of design-point pressure ratio on the part-load efficiency of gas-turbine engines. The work reported here shows that, for similar turbomachinery technology, design-point and part-load efficiencies improve as the design-point pressure ratio decreases and the heat-exchanger thermal ratio increases.

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