The intercooled cycle (IC) is a simplified novel proposal for generation IV nuclear power plants (NPP) based on studies demonstrating efficiencies of over 45%. As an alternative to the simple cycle recuperated (SCR) and the intercooled cycle recuperated (ICR), the main difference in configuration is no recuperator, which reduces its size. It is expected that the components of the IC will not operate at optimum part power due to seasonal changes in ambient temperature and grid prioritization for renewable sources. Thus, the ability to demonstrate viable part load performance becomes an important requirement. The main objective of this study is to derive off-design points (ODPs) for a temperature range of −35 °C to 50 °C and core outlet temperatures (COTs) between 750 °C and 1000 °C. The ODPs have been calculated using a tool designed for this study. Based on the results, the intercooler changes the mass flow rate and compressor pressure ratio (PR). However, a drop of ∼9% in plant efficiency, in comparison to the ICR (6%) was observed for pressure losses of up to 5%. The reactor pressure losses for IC have the lowest effect on plant cycle efficiency in comparison to the SCR and ICR. Characteristic maps are created to support first-order calculations. It is also proposed to consider the intercooler pressure loss as a handle for ODP performance. The analyses brings attention to the IC an alternative cycle and aids development of cycles for generation IV NPPs specifically gas-cooled fast reactors (GFRs) and very-high-temperature reactors (VHTRs), using helium.

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