The Intercooled Cycle (IC) is considered as a viable alternative to the Simple Cycle Recuperated (SCR) and the Intercooled Cycle Recuperated (ICR), based on recent studies in a Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) configuration, which showed plant efficiencies of above 45%. The main difference in configuration is it does not utilise a recuperator. For part load performance, it is expected that the components of the IC will not operate at optimum conditions as the characteristics change. Thus the ability to demonstrate viable part load performance becomes an important requirement for the IC. The main objective of this study is to derive Off-Design Points (ODPs) from a known Design Point (DP) for a temperature range of −35 to 50°C and COTs between 750 to 1000°C. The ODPs have been calculated using a modelling & performance simulation tool designed specifically for this study and aim to provide a set of points that give operational equilibrium, which is critical to the economics of the plant. Results show that the intercooler alters the actual mass flow rate and compressor pressure ratio but the delta across an analysed range of 1 to 5% pressure loss shows a change of ∼9% in plant cycle efficiency, in comparison to the ICR (6%). Furthermore, the reactor pressure losses for IC has the lowest effect on plant cycle efficiency in comparison to the SCR and ICR. Characteristic trend maps have also been produced for the intercooler operation and the reactor and are applicable for NPP first order calculations. To that effect, it is also proposed to consider the intercooler pressure loss as a handle for ODP performance calculations. The analyses intend to bring further attention to the IC an alternative to current cycle configurations and to aid the development of cycles for Generation IV Nuclear Power Plants specifically Gas Cooled Fast Reactors (GFRs) and Very High Temperature Reactors (VHTRs), where helium is the coolant.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.