The power output of a gas turbine plant decreases with the increase in ambient temperature. Moreover, the ambient temperature fluctuates about 15–20°C in a day. Hence, cooling of intake air makes a noticeable improvement to the gas turbine performance. In this regard, various active cooling techniques such as vapor compression refrigeration, vapor absorption refrigeration, vapor adsorption refrigeration and evaporative cooling are applied for the cooling of intake air. This paper presents a new passive cooling technique where the intake air temperature is reduced by incorporating phase change material (PCM) based heat exchanger parallel to conventional air intake line. During the daytime, the air is passed through the PCM which has melting temperature lower than the peak ambient temperature. This will reduce the ambient air temperature before taking to the compressor. Once the PCM melts completely, the required ambient air would be drawn from the ambient through conventional air intake arrangement. During the night, when there is lower ambient temperature, PCM converts from liquid to solid. The selected PCM has a melting temperature less than the peak ambient temperature and higher than the minimum ambient temperature. It is observed from the numerical modeling of the PCM that about four hours are required for the melting of PCM and within this time, the intake air can also be cooled by 5°C. The thermodynamic analysis of the results showed about 5.2% and 5.2% improvement in net power output and thermal efficiency, respectively for four hours at an ambient temperature of 45°C.

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