Second Law analysis or exergy analysis is a useful instrument to find ways to improve the efficiency of energy utilization. The method presents the magnitude and locations of true energy losses in an energy system.
The pulp and paper industries have a big potential for increasing the energy efficiencies. An integration of a gas turbine with an existing steam turbine plant is one possible way to increase the energy efficiency and the power production. The cogeneration plant analysed in this paper is a hybrid combined plant in which two types of fuels are used.
The exhaust gas from a combined cycle gas turbine via a waste heat recovery steam generator (HRSG) is used as preheated combustion air in a supplementary fired steam boiler. Saturated steam from the HRSG is assumed to be superheated in a boiler in which sludge, bark and other types of biomass are being used as fuels. To reduce the waste of energy, a flue gas driven fuel dryer is connected to evaporate some of the moisture in these biomass fuels.
The study shows the effect of using a combined cycle instead of a simple steam cycle and the effect of using a fuel dryer.
Among the configurations investigated, a plant with both a gas turbine and a fuel dryer yields the highest exergy efficiency and total efficiency. However, the net power efficiency is higher for a plant without a fuel dryer than for one with a fuel dryer.