This paper discusses the thermodynamics of power cycles where steam or water are mixed with air (or combustion gases) to improve the performance of stationary gas turbine cycles fired on clean fuels. In particular, we consider cycles based on modified versions of modern, high-performance, high-efficiency aero-derivative engines.

The paper is divided into two parts. After a brief description of the calculation method, in Part A we review the implications of intercooling and analyze cycles with steam injection (STIG and ISTIG). In Part B we examine cycles with water injection (RWI and HAT).

Due to lower coolant temperatures, intercooling enables to reduce turbine cooling flows and/or to increase the turbine inlet temperature. Results show that this can provide significant power and efficiency improvements for both simple cycle and combined cycle systems based on aero-engines; systems based on heavy-duty machines also experience power output augmentation, but almost no efficiency improvement.

Mainly due to the irreversibilities of steam/air mixing, intercooled steam injected cycles cannot achieve efficiencies beyond the 52–53% range even at turbine inlet temperatures of 1500°C. On the other hand, by accomplishing more reversible water-air mixing, the cycles analyzed in Part B can reach efficiencies comparable (RWI cycles) or even superior (HAT cycles) to those of conventional “unmixed” combined cycles.

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