The isothermal (or multiple-reheat) gas turbine performs the combustion/work extraction process at a sustained, elevated temperature. This has distinct thermodynamic advantages in combined cycles for given peak temperature constraints. A thermodynamic model for this cycle is developed. Although based on a simple CO/CO2/O2 chemcial system the results are applicable to other reactants and dilutants. Combined cycle efficiency is reported for different gas turbine pressure ratios, peak temperatures, reactant dilution and steam cycle conditions. The range of parameters investigated starts from present-day advanced technologies and examines the potential of higher pressures and temperatures. Balances of thermodynamic availability are used to interpret the results. They show that for a given steam cycle and gas turbine pressure ratio, increasing peak temperature beyond a certain value provides sharply diminishing return. This is because the reduction in combustion irreversibility is offset by increased heat transfer irreversibility. Higher pressure ratios or steam cycle temperatures can raise this optimum peak temperature. In view of the various technological constraints, the authors’ conclusion is that an isothermal gas turbine with a peak temperature and pressure-ratio of about 1600K and 100:1, respectively, represents the most promising next step in technology. Coupled with existing advanced steam cycles this should provide efficiencies in the 60 percent range.

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