Nowadays, more significant effort is needed to improve power generation efficiency to respond to environmental concerns. Several innovative technological options are under development and, among them, the integration of different energy systems is one remarkable opportunity.
In this work, a combination of three different thermodynamic cycles has been proposed and studied: an Inverted Brayton cycle (IBC) is used to exploit the exhaust gas enthalpy of a Brayton-Joule cycle and a Steam Power Plant is bottomed to the Inverted Brayton Cycle, in order to recover the high thermal power wasted in its cooling section. In other words, a quite conventional natural gas combined cycle power plant is repowered introducing the Inverted Brayton Cycle to exploit the gas thermal power between the gas turbine and the heat recovery steam generator.
In this integration, each parameter has a strong influence on the overall performance of the system: pressure ratio of the gas cycle, sub-atmospheric pressure of the inverted one, turbines inlet and outlet temperatures and heat recovery grade in the bottom steam section have been investigated in order to optimize the working conditions and find a best operating point. A post combustion opportunity was also considered, exploring for the best position to place it along the gases path and to get the maximum additional power through the repowering intervention.