The increase of power need raises the awareness of producing energy more efficiently. Gas turbine has been one of the important workhorses for power generation. The effects of parameters in design and operation on the power output and efficiency have been extensively studied. It is well-known that the gas turbine inlet temperature (TIT) needs to be high for high efficiency as well as power production. However, there are some material restrictions with high-temperature gas especially for the first row of blades. As a result blade cooling is needed to help balance between the high TIT and the material limitations. The increase of TIT is also limited by restriction of emissions. While the blade cooling can allow a higher TIT and better turbine performance, there is also a penalty since the compressed air used for cooling is removed from the combustion process. Therefore, an optimal cooling flow may exist for the overall efficiency and net power output. In this paper the relationship between the TIT and amount of cooling air is studied. The TIT increase due to blade cooling is considered as a function of cooling air flow as well as cooling effectiveness. In another word, the increase of the TIT is limited while the cooling air can be increased continuously. Based on the relationship proposed the impact of blade cooling on the gas turbine performance is investigated. Compared to the simple cycle case without cooling, the blade cooling can increase the efficiency from 28.8 to 34.0% and the net power from 105 to 208 MW. Cases with different operation conditions such as pressure ratios as well as design aspects with regeneration are considered. Aspen plus software is used to simulate the cycles.

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