Energy recovery devices can have substantial impact on process efficiency and their relevance to the problem of conservation of energy resources is generally recognised to be beyond dispute. One type of such a device, which is commonly used in fossil fired and air conditioning systems, is the rotary regenerator in which a stream of hot waste gas exchanges heat with fresh atmospheric air through the intermediate agency of a rotating matrix. As there are gas streams involved in the heat transfer and mixing processes, then there are irreversibilities, or exergy destruction, due to chemical reaction, pressure losses I˙ΔP and due to temperature gradients I˙ΔT . These principle components of total process irreversibility are not independent and there is a trade-off between them. Therefore the purpose of this research paper is to demonstrate the importance of the use of exergy analysis in the minimisation of carryover leakage irreversibilities of a symmetric balanced rotary regenerator. The chemical exergy E˙o and physical exergy E˙ph are calculated and the ratio of chemical and physical irreversibilities has been evaluated for a rotary regenerator used for air preheating in a coal-fired power plant. A numerical finite difference technique has been used to calculate the fluid and matrix temperature distributions effect on the regenerator performance. The effects of variation of the principal design parameters on the irreversibilities and on the regenerator effectiveness are examined and recommendations are made for the selection of the most appropriate parameters.

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