Reheat gas turbines have fundamental thermodynamic advantages in combined cycles. However, a larger proportion of the turbine expansion path is exposed to elevated temperatures, leading to increased cooling losses. Identifying cooling technologies which minimize those losses is crucial to realizing the full potential of reheat cycles. The strong role played by cooling losses in reheat cycles necessitates their inclusion in cycle optimization. To this end, the models for the thermodynamics of combined cycles and cooled turbines presented in Parts 1 and 2 of this paper have been extended where needed and applied to the analysis of a wide variety of cycles. The cooling methods considered range from established air-cooling technology to methods under current research and development such as air-transpiration, open-loop, and closed-loop water cooling. Two schemes thought worthy of longer-term consideration are also assessed. These are two-phase transpiration cooling and the regenerative thermosyphon. A variety of configurations are examined, ranging from Brayton-cycles to one or two-turbine reheats, with or without compressor intercooling. Both surface intercoolers and evaporative water-spray types are considered. The most attractive cycle configurations as well as the optimum pressure ratio and peak temperature are found to vary significantly with types of cooling technology. Based upon the results of the model, it appears that internal closed-loop liquid cooling offers the greatest potential for midterm development. Hybrid systems with internally liquid-cooled nozzles and traditional air-cooled rotors seem most attractive for the near term. These could be further improved by using steam rather than air for cooling the rotor.

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