ABSTRACT Gas turbine (GT) power plants operating in arid climates suffer a decrease in output power during the hot summer months because of the high specific volume of air drawn by the compressor. Cooling the air intake to the compressor has been widely used to mitigate this shortcoming. Energy and exergy analysis of a GT Brayton cycle coupled to a refrigeration air cooling unit shows a promise for increasing the output power with a little decrease in thermal efficiency. A thermo-economics algorithm is developed to estimate the economic feasibility of the cooling system. The analysis is applied to an open cycle, HITACHI-FS7001B GT plant at the industrial city of Yanbu (Latitude 24o 05” N and longitude 38o E) by the Red Sea in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Result show that the enhancement in output power depends on the degree of chilling the air intake to the compressor (a 12 - 22 K decrease is achieved). For this case study, maximum power gain ratio (PGR) is 15.46% (average of 12.25%), at an insignificant decrease in thermal efficiency. The second law analysis show that the exergetic power gain ratio drops to an average 8.5%. The cost of adding the air cooling system is also investigated and a cost function is derived that incorporates time-dependent meteorological data, operation characteristics of the GT and the air intake cooling system and other relevant parameters such as interest rate, lifetime, and operation and maintenance costs. The profit of adding the air cooling system is calculated for different electricity tariff.
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