Analysis of ceramic heat exchangers for use in a combined-cycle, wood-fired power plant Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/st74cv21j

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  • This report presents the analysis of ceramic heat exchangers for use in a combined-cycle, wood-fired power plant. The combined-cycle system investigated is characterized by having a wood-fueled combustor, an indirect-fired gas turbine, and a Rankine steam cycle. The direct use of low-grade fuels, such as wood, in present gas turbines will present difficulties due to corrosion and erosion of the turbine components from the particulate matter in the exhaust gases. This difficulty can be overcome by indirectly firing the gas turbine with the transfer of energy from the combustion gases to the compressor air by means of a heat exchanger. Gas turbines suitable for this type of power plant operate at their maximum efficiency at the rated turbine inlet temperature, typically in the range of 1750 F. Modern ceramics exhibit excellent high temperature strength, and hence a ceramic heat exchanger is considered a very suitable candidate for such applications. In the power plant considered, air enters the heat exchanger at 540 F where it is heated to the turbine inlet temperature. Since a compact unit with low leakage was desired, a multiple gas-side pass, cross-flow heat exchanger was selected for the present application. A model was developed to simulate the ceramic heat exchanger. This model was used to size a heat exchanger for the power plant. The influence of the ceramic heat exchanger on the overall power plant performance were analyzed. The other plant components were simulated by using a computer code developed during previous studies of this power plant. The ceramic heat exchanger system was compared with a metallic heat exchanger system. Since leakage was recognized as a major difficulty in ceramic heat exchangers, the effects of leakage on the overall plant performance was analyzed. Finally, the ceramic heat exchanger system was compared to other possible methods of obtaining a high turbine inlet temperature. The results of the study indicate that the use of a ceramic heat exchanger has good potential for this type of power plant. It was also observed that losses due to heat exchanger leakage justify further research towards the development of better sealing arrangements, for high temperature and high pressure applications.
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