Accurate heat rate functions for cyclically loaded coal-fired power plants are extremely difficult to obtain without the aid of plant computer systems which most older U.S. plants do not have. Special tests or theoretical heat balances generally are not the best means for developing these functions for reasons discussed. An easily applicable, but sufficient, regression-based method of determining the normal operating heat rate equation under these circumstances is presented. Along with the model used, actual results of application of the methodology to several plants are shown and discussed. Special emphasis is given to use for performance monitoring and incremental heat rate development.

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