This paper presents an explanation and discussion of a heretofore unexploited criterion of the performance of the regenerative cycle. It is demonstrated that this simple criterion, the flow-weighted average extraction enthalpy, embodies in a single variable all of the effects of extracting steam for feedwater heating, and permits quick and direct estimation of the effect of any cycle change on heat rate. Thus the new variable is useful in both design and performance monitoring of the thermal cycle, as well as in estimating the improvement that is realized by regeneration.

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