A Double Pinch Criterion for Optimization of Regenerative Rankine Cycles: Powerplant Operation and Simulation/Optimization Software Modeling Strategies

Problem: Conventional and currently-implemented procedures for the operation of regeneration in Rankine cycles are suboptimal. Moderate improvements in efficiency (such as the ones obtained by this technology) have dramatic impacts on cost of electricity production and profitability. Technology: The invention describes a new way to operate bleeds and feedwater heaters that result in optimized operation of regenerative Rankine cycles. It is based on a double-pinch criterion for closed feedwater heaters and works for different feedwater configurations. It also introduces a computation algorithm to improve simulation and optimization that can be used in any power plant modeling software. Christopher Noble crn@mit.edu

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