Waste heat and water recovery from boiler exhaust fluegas is significant for reducing coal and water consumption of coal-fired power plants. In this study, waste heat and water recovery system No.1 (WHWR1) and No.2 (WHWR2) were proposed with a 330MW air-cooling coal-fired power plant as the reference power plant. In these systems, boiler exhaust fluegas is cooled to 95 °C in fluegas coolers before being fed to the electrostatic precipitator. Moreover, a fluegas condenser is installed after the desulfurizer to recover water from fluegas. The recovered waste heat is used to heat the condensation water of the regenerative system, boiler feeding air and the fluegas after fluegas condenser. Then, thermodynamic and economic analyses were carried out. Heat exchangers’ areas of WHWRs are affected by heat loads and heat transfer temperature differences. For the unit area cost of heat exchangers is different, the cost of WHWRs may be decreased by optimizing multiple thermodynamic parameters of WHWR. Therefore, the optimization models based on Genetic Algorithm were developed to obtain the optimal system parameters with best economic performance. Results show that the change in coal consumption rate (Δb) is ∼ 4.8 g kW−1 h−1 in WHWR2 and ∼ 2.9 g kW−1 h−1 in WHWR1. About 15.3 kg s−1 of water can be saved and recovered when the fluegas moisture content is reduced to 8.5%. The investment of WHWR2 is higher than WHWR1, while the static recovery period of WHWR2 is shorter than that of WHWR1 for the additional Δb of pre air pre-heater.

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