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management in power plants

Mehmet Kanoglu

a,1

, Ibrahim Dincer

b,

, Marc A. Rosen

b

a

Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Gaziantep, 27310 Gaziantep, Turkey

b

Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Ontario Institute of Technology, 2000 Simcoe Street North, Oshawa, Ont., Canada, L1H 74K

Received 19 December 2006; accepted 21 January 2007

Available online 26 March 2007

Abstract

An extensive overview is provided of various energy- and exergy-based efciencies used in the analysis of power cycles. Vapor and gas

power cycles, cogeneration cycles and geothermal power cycles are examined, and consideration is given to different cycle designs. The

many approaches that can be used to dene efciencies are provided and their implications discussed. Improvements of the management

of energy in power plants that stem from understanding the efciencies better are described. Examples are given to illustrate the

efciencies and their differences, with the results presented using combined energy and exergy diagrams. It is anticipated that the results

will provide a convenient and practical tool for engineers and researchers dealing with the analysis, design, optimization and

improvement of power cycles.

r 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Keywords: Efciency; Energy; Exergy

1. Introduction

Efciency is one of the most frequently used terms in

thermodynamics, and it indicates how well an energy

conversion or process is accomplished. Efciency is also

one of the most frequently misused terms in thermody-

namics and is often a source of misunderstanding. This is

because efciency is often used without being properly

dened rst (Cengel and Boles, 2006). For an engineering

system, efciency, in general, can be dened as the ratio of

desired output to input. Although this denition provides a

simple general understanding of efciency, a variety of

specic efciency relations for different engineering sys-

tems and operations have been developed. Some research-

ers have recognized some of the difculties related to

denitions of efciencies for energy systems (e.g., Struchtr-

up and Rosen, 2002; Rosen et al., 2005; Kanoglu, 2001;

Bisio and Rubatto, 2001; Zaleta et al., 2001; Brookes, 2004;

Cornelissen et al., 1995).

Efciency is sometimes used as a synonym for perfor-

mance. This is another source of confusion since perfor-

mance and efciency are different and sometimes pose

contradictory design objectives. For example, designing a

more powerful engine for an automobile usually requires a

sacrice in fuel efciency, dened as the rate of fuel

consumed per unit power produced. Note that in the

preceding sentence, we are careful to specify the denition

of fuel efciency used; alternative denitions include the

amount of fuel consumed per kilometer traveled (in

Europe, Canada and many other countries) or miles

traveled per gallon of fuel (in the US).

Efciency traditionally has been primarily dened based

on the rst law (i.e., energy). In recent decades, exergy

analysis has found increasingly widespread acceptance as a

useful tool in the design, assessment, optimization and

improvement of energy systems (e.g., Bejan, 2006; Kotas,

1995; Szargut et al., 1988). Determining exergy efciencies

for an overall system and/or the individual components

making up the system constitutes a major part of exergy

analysis. A comprehensive analysis of a thermodynamic

ARTICLE IN PRESS

www.elsevier.com/locate/enpol

0301-4215/$ - see front matter r 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

doi:10.1016/j.enpol.2007.01.015

Corresponding author.

E-mail addresses: mehmet.kanoglu@uoit.ca (M. Kanoglu),

ibrahim.dincer@uoit.ca (I. Dincer), marc.rosen@uoit.ca (M.A. Rosen).

1

On leave at University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) as a

visiting professor.

system includes both energy and exergy analyses in order to

obtain a more complete picture of system behavior.

To assist in improving the efciencies of power plants,

their thermodynamic characteristics and performances are

usually investigated. Power plants are normally examined

using energy analysis but, as pointed out previously, a

better understanding is attained when a more complete

thermodynamic view is taken, which uses the second law of

thermodynamics in conjunction with energy analysis via

exergy methods.

Although exergy analysis can be generally applied to

energy and other systems, it appears to be a more powerful

tool than energy analysis for power cycles because of the

fact that it helps determine the true magnitudes of losses

and their causes and locations, and improve the overall

system and its components. In this article, we provide an

overview of various energy- and exergy-based efciencies

used in the analysis of power cycles, including vapor and

gas power, cogeneration and geothermal power plants.

Differences in design aspects are considered. The various

approaches that can be used in dening efciencies are

identied and their implications discussed. In addition,

improvements in the management of energy in power

plants that stem from improved understanding of efcien-

cies are described. Numerical examples are provided to

illustrate the use of the different efciencies, and the results

include combined energy and exergy diagrams.

Note that the emphasis in this article is to describe

various energy- and exergy-based efciencies used in

power plants and discuss the implications associated

with each denition. Therefore, simple cycles are selected

to keep the complexity of the plants at a minimum level

for gas and vapor cycles to better facilitate under-

standing of the efciencies, which can be very useful for

improved energy management in power plants. One can

easily adapt the efciencies discussed here to more complex

power systems. Some efciency denitions for gas cycles

found in many thermodynamics textbooks are repeated so

that the coverage in this article is comprehensive and can

serve as a convenient and practical tool for engineers and

researchers.

2. Efciency and energy management and policy

In the analysis of an energy conversion system, it is

important to understand the difference between energy and

exergy efciencies. By considering both of these efciencies,

the quality and quantity of the energy used to achieve a

given objective is considered and the degree to which

efcient and effective use of energy resources is achieved

can be understood (Dincer et al., 2004). Improving

efciencies of energy systems is an important challenge

for meeting energy policy objectives. Reductions in energy

use can assist in attaining energy security objectives. Also,

efcient energy utilization and the introduction of renew-

able energy technologies can signicantly help solve

environmental issues. Increased energy efciency benets

the environment by avoiding energy use and the corre-

sponding resource consumption and pollution generation.

From an economic as well as an environmental perspective,

improved energy efciency has great potential.

Accelerated gains in efciency in energy production and

use, particularly in the power generation and utility sectors,

can help reduce environmental impact and promote energy

security. While there is a large technical potential for

increased efciency, there exist signicant social and

economic barriers to its achievement. Priority should be

given to energy policies and strategies that will yield

efciency gains. However, reliance on such policies alone is

unlikely to overcome these barriers. For this reason,

innovative and bold approaches are required by govern-

ment, in cooperation with decision makers in the power

generation industry, to realize the opportunities for

efciency improvements, and to accelerate the deployment

of new and more efcient technologies.

An engineer designing a system is often expected to aim

for the highest reasonable technical efciency at the lowest

cost under the prevailing technical, economic and legal

conditions, and with regard to ethical, ecological and social

consequences. Exergy methods can assist in such activities,

and offer unique insights into possible improvements.

Exergy analysis is a useful tool for addressing the

environmental impact of energy resource utilization, and

ARTICLE IN PRESS

Nomenclature

c specic heat, kJ/kg K

ex specic ow exergy, kJ/kg

_

E energy rate, kW

_

Ex exergy rate, kW

h specic enthalpy, kJ/kg

k specic heat ratio

_ m mass ow rate, kg/s

q specic heat transfer, kJ/kg

_

Q heat transfer rate, kW

r compression ratio

r

c

cutoff ratio

r

p

pressure ratio

T temperature, K

T

0

ambient temperature, K

T

s

source temperature, K

DT

pp

pinch-point temperature difference, K

_

W power, kW

Greek letters

Z

th

thermal efciency

Z

ex

exergy efciency

M. Kanoglu et al. / Energy Policy 35 (2007) 39673978 3968

for furthering the goal of more efcient energy-resource

use, for it enables the locations, types and true magnitudes

of losses to be determined. Also, exergy analysis reveals

whether or not and by how much it is possible to design

more efcient energy systems by reducing inefciencies.

Commodities with high-exergy drive tasks, like the

manufacture of products and provision of services. It is,

in fact, this very characteristic of exergy that we value.

Intuitively, therefore, exergy should be correlated to

economics. For a process or system, one can argue that

costs are better distributed among outputs when cost

accounting is based on exergy because exergy often is a

consistent measure of economic value (Tsatsaronis, 2007;

Tsatsaronis et al., 1993). That is, a large quantity of exergy

is often associated with a valuable commodity. Energy, on

the other hand, is only sometimes a measure of economic

value.

Exergy is also strongly related to sustainability and

environmental impact. Sustainability increases and envir-

onmental impact decreases as the exergy efciency of a

process increases. As exergy efciency approaches 100%,

the environmental impact associated with process opera-

tion approaches zero, since exergy is only converted from

one form to another without loss (either through internal

consumption or waste emissions). Also the process

approaches sustainability since it approaches reversibility.

As exergy efciency approaches 0%, the process deviates as

much as possible from sustainability because exergy-

containing resources (fuel, ores, steam, etc.) are used but

nothing is accomplished. Also, environmental impact

increases markedly because, to provide a xed service, an

ever increasing quantity of resources must be used and a

correspondingly increasing amount of exergy-containing

wastes are emitted (Dincer and Rosen, 2005; Cornelissen,

1997).

The exergy analysis of a complete life cycle is known as

exergetic life cycle assessment and is a useful tool for

quantifying the environmental problems associated with

the depletion of natural resources (Cornelissen and Hirs,

2002; Lombardi, 2003; Consoli, 1993).

Energy and exergy efciencies are considered by many to

be useful for the assessment of energy conversion and other

systems and for efciency improvement. However, the use

of ambiguous efciencies that are not clearly dened does

not serve this purpose well. A clear, correct and effective

use of energy and exergy efciencies is crucial in efciency

improvement efforts, which are often a key objective in

energy management and policy making.

For governments seeking to improve energy and

resource security, by increasing the efciency with which

a society or country uses such resources, exergy provides a

critical perspective. It establishes the limits on what can be

done and identies target areas for efciency improvement

(i.e., those areas with high-exergy losses). Some work has

been done on tracking the exergy ows through regions

and economies (e.g., countries, states, provinces). These

efforts mainly focus on understanding the true efciency of

energy and resource use in these regions and countries,

thereby providing information that is useful to govern-

ments and policy makers.

3. Vapor and gas power cycles

3.1. Efciencies

The thermal efciency, also referred to as the energy

efciency or the rst-law efciency, of a power cycle is

dened as

Z

th1

w

net;out

q

in

1

q

out

q

in

, (1)

where w

net,out

is the specic net work output, q

out

the

specic heat rejected from the cycle and q

in

is the specic

heat input to the cycle, which is usually taken to be the

specic heat input to the steam in the boiler of a steam

power plant. That is,

q

in

h

3

h

2

, (2)

where h denotes specic enthalpy and the subscripts

refer to state points in Fig. 1. This simple approach

neglects the losses occurring in the furnaceboiler system

due to the energy lost with hot exhaust gases, incomplete

combustion, etc. To incorporate these losses, one can

express the thermal efciency of the cycle by a second

approach as

Z

th2

_

W

net;out

_ m

fuel

q

HV

, (3)

ARTICLE IN PRESS

Q

in

Condenser

Turbine

Pump

Boiler

3 2

4 1

Furnace

Fuel

Fig. 1. Simple steam power plant.

M. Kanoglu et al. / Energy Policy 35 (2007) 39673978 3969

where _ m

fuel

is the mass ow rate of fuel and q

HV

is the

heating value of the fuel, which can be chosen as the higher

or lower heating value. For furnace-boiler systems where

the water in the exhaust gases is not expected to condense,

like in internal combustion engines, it is customary to use

the lower heating value (Pulkrabek, 2004).

Some tend to use lower heating values to make a device

appear more efcient. This is frequently done in manu-

facturer descriptions of commercial boilers. Often a

claimed efciency exceeds 100%. This is due to recovering

some of the heat of condensation of steam in the exhaust

gases while still dening boiler efciency based on lower

heating value. This is misleading and a thermodynamically

improper use of efciency. If there is any possibility of

recovering some of the energy of condensing steam in

exhaust gases, the efciency should be based on the higher

heating value.

The second-law efciency, also referred to as exergy

efciency, of a power producing cycle is dened as

Z

ex

w

net;out

ex

in

1

ex

dest

ex

in

, (4)

where ex

in

is the specic exergy input to the cycle and ex

dest

is the specic total exergy destruction in the cycle. One can

express the exergy input to the cycle as the exergy increase

of the working uid in the boiler of a steam power plant

(Fig. 1) as

ex

in

h

3

h

2

T

0

s

3

s

2

, (5)

where T

0

is the dead-state or environment temperature and

s is the specic entropy. Substituting Eq. (5) into (4)

Z

ex1

w

net;out

h

3

h

2

T

0

s

3

s

2

. (6)

In this denition, the irreversibilities during energy

transfer from the furnace to the steam in the boiler are

not accounted for. Alternatively, the exergy input to the

cycle may be dened as the exergy input to the boiler

accompanying the heat transfer. The exergy efciency in

this case becomes

Z

ex2

w

net;out

q

in

1 T

0

=T

s

, (7)

where T

s

is the source temperature, which is the

temperature of the heat source (i.e., furnace), and q

in

is

given by Eq. (2). This efciency denition incorporates the

irreversibility during heat transfer to the steam in the

boiler. We may also incorporate in the efciency denition

the exergy destruction associated with fuel combustion and

the exergy lost with exhaust gases from the furnace. In this

third approach, the exergy efciency can be expressed as

Z

ex3

_

W

net;out

_ m

fuel

ex

fuel

, (8)

where ex

fuel

is the specic exergy of the fuel. The exergy of

a fuel may be obtained by writing the complete combustion

reaction of the fuel and calculating the reversible work by

assuming all products are at the state of the surroundings.

Then the exergy of fuel is equivalent to the calculated

reversible work. For fuels whose combustion reaction

involves water in the products, the exergy of the fuel is

different depending on the phase of water (vapor or liquid).

The exergies of various fuels listed in Szargut et al. (1988)

are based on the vapor phase of water in combustion gases.

Different efciency denitions are possible if one selects

different system boundaries. Clearly dening the system

boundary allows the efciency to be dened unambigu-

ously. For example, the exergy efciencies in Eqs. (7) and

(8) correspond to systems whose boundaries are given by

the inner and outer dashed lines, respectively, in Fig. 1.

Simplied thermal efciency relations of idealized cycles

for internal combustion engines and gas-turbine cycles are

available. When the Otto cycle is used to represent the

operation of an internal combustion engine, the thermal

efciency under air-standard assumptions is

Z

th;Otto

1

1

r

k1

, (9)

where r is the compression ratio and k is the specic heat

ratio. Similarly, the thermal efciency of the Diesel cycle,

which is the idealized model for compression ignition

engines, is

Z

th;Diesel

1

1

r

k1

r

k

c

1

kr

c

1

, (10)

where r

c

is the cutoff ratio, dened as the ratio of cylinder

volumes after and before the combustion process. The

efciency relation for the dual cycle is

Z

th;Dual

1

1

r

k1

r

p

r

k

c

1

kr

p

r

c

1 r

p

1

, (11)

where r

p

is the ratio of pressures after and before the

constant-volume heat addition process. The thermal

efciency of the simple Brayton cycle, which is the idealized

model for gas-turbine engines, is expressed using the air-

standard assumption as

Z

th;Brayton

1

1

r

k1=k

p

, (12)

where r

p

is the ratio of maximum and minimum pressures

in the cycle. For the idealized regenerative Brayton cycle,

the efciency relation is

Z

th;Brayton;regen

1

T

1

T

3

r

k1=k

p

, (13)

where T

1

and T

3

are the temperatures at the inlets of the

compressor and the turbine, respectively.

The operational description of these idealized cycles may

be found in most thermodynamics textbooks (e.g., Cengel

and Boles, 2006; Sonntag et al., 2002). Eqs. (9)(13) are

only applicable to the idealized cycles considered, and they

should not be used to determine the thermal efciencies of

actual internal combustion engines or gas-turbine cycles.

Eqs. (9)(13) are useful in that they illustrate the effects of

ARTICLE IN PRESS

M. Kanoglu et al. / Energy Policy 35 (2007) 39673978 3970

some key design parameters such as compression ratio,

cutoff ratio and pressure ratio on cycle efciency.

The thermal efciency of a gas power cycle can be

conveniently calculated using Eq. (3). Eq. (1) can also be

used provided that the actual combustion process is

represented by an equivalent heat addition process and

the exhaust is replaced by an equivalent heat rejection

process. For example, in a closed-cycle gas-turbine engine,

the states in Eq. (2) would correspond to the states of the

working uid before and after the heat addition process. In

the Otto cycle model of a spark-ignition engine, where the

actual combustion is represented by a constant-volume

heat addition process, the heat input is equal to the internal

energy change of the working uid during the heat addition

process.

If we follow a similar approach for calculating the exergy

efciency of a gas power cycle, the resulting relations yield

different exergy efciencies, as is the case for the example

considered earlier of a steam power plant. When calculat-

ing the exergy efciency of an Otto cycle using Eq. (6), the

term in the denominator must be replaced by the exergy

increase of the working uid during a constant-volume

heat addition process in a closed system. Eq. (6) can be

applied directly to the Diesel cycle, while this relation

should be modied to account for constant-volume and

constant-pressure heat addition processes in the Dual cycle.

Eqs. (7) and (8) can be conveniently used to determine the

exergy efciency of a gas power cycle. Eq. (8) incorporates

the exergy destruction associated with combustion of the

fuel and uses the chemical exergy of the fuel as the input

while the exergy of the heat released after combustion is the

input in Eq. (7).

3.2. Illustrative example

A numerical example is used to illustrate and contrast

the various efciencies dened in this section. We consider

a simple steam power plant with a net power output of

10 MW and boiler and condenser pressures of 10,000 and

10 kPa, respectively (Fig. 1). We assume a turbine inlet

temperature of 500 1C and isentropic efciencies of 85%

for both the turbine and the pump. In addition, we assume

that the furnaceboiler system has an efciency of 75%.

That is, 75% of the lower heating value of the fuel is

transferred to the steam owing through the boiler while

the remaining 25% is lost, mostly with the hot exhaust

gases passing through the chimney. The source and sink

temperatures in Eq. (7) are taken as 1300 and 298 K,

respectively. We consider methane as the fuel with a lower

heating value of 50,050 kJ/kg and a chemical exergy of

51,840 kJ/kg (Szargut et al., 1988).

For the given values and assumptions, an analysis of this

cycle yields

w

net;out

1081 kJ=kg; q

in

3172 kJ=kg,

ex

in1

1400 kJ=kg; ex

in2

2444 kJ=kg;

as well as the following efciency values:

Z

th1

34:1%; Z

th2

25:6%; Z

ex1

77:2%,

Z

ex2

44:2%; Z

ex3

24:7%.

When the energy and exergy losses in the furnace-boiler

system are not considered, the thermal efciency is 34.1%

while the corresponding exergy efciency is much higher

(77.2%). However, when the losses in furnace-boiler are

considered, the exergy efciency (24.7%) is lower than the

thermal efciency (25.6%). When teaching undergraduate

thermodynamics, it is normally stated that the exergy

efciency is greater than the thermal efciency for heat

engines, referring to the rst approach here. This point is

made by emphasizing that thermal efciency is the fraction

of heat input that is converted to work while exergy

efciency is the fraction of the work potential of the heat

(this work potential, i.e., exergy, is smaller than heat) that

is converted to work. However, when one considers the

effect of furnace-boiler losses, and uses the chemical exergy

of the fuel in the exergy efciency and the heating value of

the fuel in the thermal efciency, the exergy efciency

becomes smaller than the thermal efciency. In thermo-

dynamics, it is often misleading to make generalized

statements as they may not always apply. For example,

can we state that the exergy efciency, based on the third

approach in Eq. (8) (Z

ex3

), is always lower than the

thermal efciency as dened by the second approach in

Eq. (3) (Z

th2

)? The answer will be yes only if the chemical

exergy of the fuel is always greater than its heating value.

According to data in Szargut et al. (1988), this is the case

for methane but not for hydrogen (q

LHV

119,950 kJ/kg,

ex

fuel

117,120 kJ/kg).

For a reversible heat engine cycle operating between

a source at T

s

and a sink at T

0

, the thermal efciency is

given by

Z

th;rev

1

T

0

T

s

. (14)

The ratio of the actual thermal efciency to the thermal

efciency of a reversible heat engine operating between the

same temperature limits gives a type of exergy efciency of

the heat engine. For a furnace temperature of T

s

1300 K

and an environment temperature of T

0

298 K, the

reversible thermal efciency found with Eq. (9) is 77.1%.

Dividing the actual thermal efciency of 34.1% by this

efciency (0.341/0.771) gives 44.2%. Note that this is the

same as the exergy efciency obtained using Eq. (7).

The results of the numerical example considered in this

section are shown in a combined energy and exergy

diagram in Fig. 2. In many articles with energy and exergy

analyses of power cycles, energy and exergy ow diagrams

are given separately. The combined ow diagram approach

used here appears to be useful in conveying energy and

exergy results of the cycle in a scaled, compact and

comprehensive manner. The heating value of the fuel is

normalized to 100 units of energy and other values

are normalized accordingly. The thermal and exergy

ARTICLE IN PRESS

M. Kanoglu et al. / Energy Policy 35 (2007) 39673978 3971

efciencies discussed in this section can easily be obtained

using the values in this diagram by taking the ratios of

various terms. The total exergy destruction in this power

plant is 78 kJ for a total exergy input of 103.6 kJ. The

exergy destruction in the cycle based on an exergy input of

33.2 kJ is only 7.6 kJ (33.225.6), which is only 9.7% of

total exergy destruction. That is, the exergy destructions in

the furnaceboiler system account for the remaining 90.3%

of the total exergy destruction. This signicant exergy

destruction is not considered in an exergy efciency

denition neglecting the destructions in the furnaceboiler

system (see Eq. (4)).

One may question the value of exergy analysis as a tool

for assessing a power plant because the thermal efciency

based on the heating value of the fuel (Eq. (3)) and the

exergy efciency based on the exergy of the fuel (Eq. (8))

are very close. Although the exergy efciency in this case

adds little new information for addressing cycle efciency,

we have to remember that a major use of exergy analysis is

to analyze the system components separately and to

identify and quantify the sites of exergy destruction. This

information can then be used to improve the performance

of the system by trying to minimize the exergy destructions

in a prioritized manner. Note that the exergy efciency

dened in Eq. (6) addresses the fact that only a fraction of

the heat from combustion that is transferred to the steam

in the boiler is available for work, and the exergy efciency

compares the actual work output to this available work

(i.e., exergy). The exergy efciencies in these cases become

greater than the corresponding thermal efciencies, provid-

ing more realistic measures of system performance

compared to the corresponding thermal efciencies. For a

more comprehensive thermodynamic analysis of a power

cycle, the various energy- and exergy-based efciencies are

best considered.

4. Cogeneration plants

Cogeneration refers to the simultaneous generation of

more than one form of energy product.

4.1. Efciencies

For a cogeneration plant producing electric power and

process heating, a rst-law-based efciency is dened as the

ratio of useful energy output to energy input:

Z

cogen

_

W

net;out

_

Q

process

_

Q

in

1

_

Q

loss

_

Q

in

, (15)

where

_

Q

process

is the output rate of process heat and

_

Q

loss

is

the heat lost in the condenser. This relation is referred to as

the utilization efciency to differentiate it from the thermal

efciency which is used for a power plant where the single

output is power. Students are consistently taught not to

compare apples and oranges, which usually refers to two

commodities that are different. Work and heat have the

same units but are fundamentally difcult to add because

they are different, with work being a more valuable

commodity than heat.

We can overcome this situation by dening the efciency

of a cogeneration plant based on exergy, as the ratio of

total exergy output to exergy input:

Z

ex;cogen

_

Ex

out

_

Ex

in

_

W

net;out

_

Ex

process

_

Ex

in

1

_

Ex

dest

_

Ex

in

, (16)

where

_

Ex

process

is the exergy transfer rate associated with

the transfer of process heat, expressible as

_

Ex

process

Z

d

_

Q

process

1

T

0

T

, (17)

where T is the instantaneous source temperature from

which the process heat is transferred. This relation is of

little practical value unless the functional relationship

between the process heat rate

_

Q

process

and temperature T is

known. In many cases, the process heat is utilized by the

transfer of heat from a working uid exiting the heat

producing device (e.g., a turbine or an internal combustion

ARTICLE IN PRESS

q

LHV

=100

ex

fuel

=103.6

q

in

=75.0

q

lost,boiler

=25.0

w

net,out

=25.6

ex

dest

=78.0

q

lost,cond

=49.4

ex

steam

=33.2

ex

heat

=57.9

Fig. 2. Combined energy and exergy diagram for the steam power plant considered.

Diesel

engine

Heat

exchanger

Fuel

Air

Exhaust

Power

1

2

4

3

Water

Fig. 3. Cogeneration plant with a diesel engine and a heat exchanger for

steam production.

M. Kanoglu et al. / Energy Policy 35 (2007) 39673978 3972

engine) to a secondary uid in a heat exchanger (Fig. 3).

One can express the exergy rate of process heat as the

exergy decrease of the hot uid in the heat exchanger as

_

Ex

process1

D

_

Ex

hot

_ m

hot

h

1

h

2

T

0

s

1

s

2

hot

,

(18)

or by the increase of the exergy of the cold uid in the heat

exchanger

_

Ex

process2

D

_

Ex

cold

_ m

cold

h

4

h

3

T

0

s

4

s

3

cold

,

(19)

where the subscripts refer to state points in Fig. 3. The

difference between these two exergies is the exergy

destruction in the heat exchanger. Then, from Eq. (16),

the exergy efciencies based on these two approaches

become

Z

ex;cogen1

_

W

net;out

_ m

hot

h

1

h

2

T

0

s

1

s

2

hot

_

Ex

in

(20)

and

Z

ex;cogen2

_

W

net;out

_ m

cold

h

4

h

3

T

0

s

4

s

3

cold

_

Ex

in

.

(21)

The exergy input in these relations can be expressed

differently using various inputs as in Eqs. (6)(8), yielding

different exergy efciencies.

4.2. Illustrative example

To illustrate the use of these efciencies, we consider a

diesel engine-based cogeneration plant. The outputs are

electrical power and process heat, which is transferred from

the hot exhaust gases to water to produce steam in a heat

exchanger (Fig. 3). Some of the data used in this example

are from an actual diesel engine power plant (Kanoglu

et al., 2005). The net power output from the plant is

18,900 kW when the fuel consumption rate is 1.03 kg/s and

airfuel ratio is 40.4. This corresponds to an exhaust ow

rate of 41.6 kg/s. The plant uses heavy diesel fuel with a

lower heating value of 39,300 kJ/kg. The exhaust gases

enter the process heating unit (i.e., heat exchanger) at

383 1C and experience a temperature drop of 175 1C while

compressed liquid water enters at 15 1C and exits as

saturated vapor at 200 1C. Applications of Eqs. (15)(21)

produce the following results:

_

Q

process

7784 kW;

_

Ex

in

43; 110 kW;

_

Ex

process1

3678 kW;

_

Ex

process2

2509 kW;

Z

cogen

65:9%; Z

ex;cogen1

52:4%,

Z

ex;cogen2

49:7%.

The exergy of heavy diesel fuel with an unknown

composition is taken as 1.065 times the lower heating

value of the fuel following the approach by Brzustowski

and Brena (1986). Properties of air with variable specic

heats are used for exhaust gases.

The difference between the energy and exergy efciencies

in this cogeneration plant appears to be much greater than

the difference for a power plant, when the energy and

exergy efciencies are, respectively, dened based on the

energy and exergy of the fuel, as discussed in the previous

section. The difference is attributable to one of the product

outputs being process heat. The different approaches used

in Eqs. (18) and (19) to dene the exergy of the process heat

result in a small exergy efciency difference of only

52.449.7 2.7%. The greater the average temperature

difference between the hot and cold uids in the process

heater, the greater is the exergy destruction and the greater

is the difference between the two denitions of exergy

efciencies in Eqs. (20) and (21), respectively.

The results are presented in a combined energy and

exergy diagram in Fig. 4. The heating value of the fuel

(i.e., heat input) is normalized to 100 units of energy and

other values are modied accordingly. The energy and

exergy efciencies discussed in this section can be found

using this diagram. The total exergy destruction in this

cogeneration plant is 50.7 kJ based on the rst approach

and 53.6 kJ based on the second approach, for a total

exergy input of 106.5 kJ. The difference between these

exergy destructions is the exergy destruction in the process

heater, which is 5.7% of total exergy destruction or 2.7%

of exergy input.

5. Geothermal power plants

The technology for producing power from geothermal

resources is well-established and there are many geother-

mal power plants operating worldwide (Barbier, 1997).

Depending on the state of the geothermal uid in the

reservoir, different power producing cycles may be used

including direct steam, ash steam (single and double

ash), binary and combined ash-binary cycles.

5.1. Efciencies

In general, the thermal efciency of a geothermal power

plant may be expressed as

Z

th1

_

W

net;out

_

E

in

, (22)

where

_

E

in

is the energy input rate to the power plant, which

may be expressed as the specic enthalpy of the geothermal

water with respect to environment state multiplied by the

mass ow rate of geothermal water _ m

geo

. That is

Z

th1

_

W

net;out

_ m

geo

h

geo

h

0

. (23)

The state of geothermal water may be taken as that in

the reservoir or at the well head. Those who use the

reservoir state argue that a realistic and more meaningful

ARTICLE IN PRESS

M. Kanoglu et al. / Energy Policy 35 (2007) 39673978 3973

comparison between geothermal power plants needs to

account for methods of harvesting the geothermal uid.

However, those who use the well head state argue that

taking the reservoir as the input is not appropriate for

geothermal power plants since conventional power plants

are evaluated on the basis of the energy of the fuel burned

at the plant site (Kestin, 1980; DiPippo, 1994; Kanoglu,

2004). In Eq. (23), the energy input to the power plant

represents the maximum heat the geothermal water can

deliver, which occurs when the geothermal water is cooled

to the temperature of the environment.

The simplest geothermal cycle is the direct steam cycle.

Steam from the geothermal well is passed through a turbine

and exhausted to the atmosphere or to a condenser. Flash

steam plants are used to generate power from liquid-

dominated resources that are hot enough to ash a

signicant proportion of the water to steam in surface

equipment, either at one or two pressure stages (single-ash

or double-ash plants) as shown in Figs. 5 and 6,

respectively. The steam ows through a steam turbine to

produce power while the brine is reinjected back to the

ground. Steam exiting the turbine is condensed with

cooling water obtained in a cooling tower or a spray pond

before being reinjected. Binary cycle plants use the

geothermal brine from liquid-dominated resources

(Fig. 7). These plants operate on a Rankine cycle with a

binary working uid (isobutane, isopentane, R-114, etc.)

that has a low-boiling temperature. The working uid is

completely vaporized and usually superheated by the

geothermal heat in the vaporizer. The vapor expands in

the turbine, and then condenses in a water-cooled

condenser or dry cooling tower before being pumped

back to the vaporizer to complete the cycle. Combined

ARTICLE IN PRESS

q

LHV

=100

ex

fuel

=106.5

w

net,out

=46.7

q

out

=34.1

ex

process-1

=9.1

ex

dest-1

=50.7

q

process

=19.2

ex

dest-1

=53.6

ex

process-2

=6.2

Fig. 4. Combined energy and exergy diagram for the cogeneration plant considered.

from

production

well

to

reinjection

well

separator

steam

turbine

1

2

4

3

5

6

condenser

expansion

valve

7

8

Fig. 5. Single-ash geothermal power plant.

from

production

well

to

reinjection

well

steam

turbine

condenser

separator

separator

expansion

valve

1

2

3

5

4

8

9

11

10

6

7

Fig. 6. Double-ash geothermal power plant.

Condenser

Heat exchanger

Geothermal

water

2

1

4 3

5 6

Q

Pump

Turbine

Fig. 7. Binary geothermal power plant.

M. Kanoglu et al. / Energy Policy 35 (2007) 39673978 3974

ash/binary plants (Fig. 8) incorporate both a binary unit

and a ashing unit to exploit the advantages associated

with both systems. The liquid portion of the geothermal

mixture serves as the input heat for the binary cycle while

the steam portion drives a steam turbine to produce power.

The actual heat input to a geothermal power cycle is less

than the term in the denominator of Eq. (23) since part of

geothermal water is reinjected back to the ground at a

temperature much greater than the temperature of the

environment. In an approach that accounts for the actual

reinjection temperature, the thermal efciency is expressed as

Z

th2

_

W

net;out

_

Q

in

. (24)

For a single-ash cycle, the thermal efciency may be

expressed as

Z

th;singleflash

_

W

net;out

_

Q

in

_

W

net;out

_ m

2

h

2

_ m

3

h

3

, (25)

where the subscripts refer to state points in Fig. 5. For a

double-ash cycle, the efciency becomes

Z

th;doubleflash

_

W

net;out

_ m

2

h

2

_ m

3

h

3

_ m

5

h

5

_ m

6

h

6

, (26)

where the state points are shown in Fig. 6. Referring to

Fig. 7, for a binary cycle we obtain

Z

th;binary

_

W

net;out

_ m

geo

h

1

h

2

(27)

or

Z

th;binary

_

W

net;out

_ m

binary

h

4

h

3

, (28)

where _ m

binary

is the mass ow rate of binary working

uid. For a combined ash-binary cycle, the thermal

efciency is

Z

th;flashbinary

_

W

net;out

_ m

2

h

2

_ m

3

h

3

_ m

3

h

3

_ m

7

h

7

, (29)

where the state points are shown in Fig. 8.

Using the exergy of geothermal water (in the reservoir or

at the well head) as the exergy input to the plant, the exergy

efciency of a geothermal power plant can be expressed as

Z

ex

_

W

net;out

_

Ex

in

_

W

net;out

_ m

geo

h

geo

h

0

T

0

s

geo

s

0

. (30)

Using the exergy change of geothermal water in the cycle

as the exergy input to the cycle, the exergy efciencies may

be expressed for single ash, double ash and combined

ash-binary cycles as

Z

ex;singleflash

_

W

net;out

_ m

2

ex

2

_ m

3

ex

3

_

W

net;out

_ m

2

h

2

h

0

T

0

s

2

s

0

_ m

3

h

3

h

0

T

0

s

3

s

0

,

31

Z

ex;doubleflash

_

W

net;out

_ m

2

ex

2

_ m

3

ex

3

_ m

5

ex

5

_ m

6

ex

6

, (32)

Z

ex;flashbinary1

_

W

net;out

_ m

2

ex

2

_ m

3

ex

3

_ m

3

ex

3

_ m

7

ex

7

,

(33)

where ex is the specic ow exergy of the uid. For a

binary cycle, the exergy efciency may be dened based on

the exergy decrease of geothermal water or the exergy

increase of the binary working uid in the heat exchanger.

That is,

Z

ex;binary1

_

W

net;out

_ m

geo

h

2

h

1

T

0

s

2

s

1

. (34)

Z

ex;binary2

_

W

net;out

_ m

binary

h

4

h

3

T

0

s

4

s

3

. (35)

The difference between the denominators of Eqs. (34)

and (35) is the exergy destruction in the heat exchanger.

The exergy efciency denitions in Eqs. (34) and (35) can

be illustrated by considering the different systems indicated

by the inner and outer dashed lines, respectively, in Fig. 7.

By adapting the approach used in Eq. (35), one may

express the exergy efciency for a combined ash-binary

cycle as

Z

ex;flashbinary2

_

W

net;out

_ m

2

ex

2

_ m

3

ex

3

_ m

binary

ex

11

ex

10

.

(36)

The efciency in Eq. (33) is more advantageous than that

in Eq. (36) because exergy input is expressed by the exergy

change of geothermal water for both the ash and binary

parts of the cycle in Eq. (33), respectively.

ARTICLE IN PRESS

steam

turbine

from

production

well

to

reinjection

well

turbine

heat exchanger

pump

1

separator

condenser

condenser

expansion

valve

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

11

12

13

10

Fig. 8. Combined ash-binary geothermal power plant.

M. Kanoglu et al. / Energy Policy 35 (2007) 39673978 3975

5.2. Illustrative example

Consider a binary geothermal power plant like that in

Fig. 7 using geothermal water at 165 1C with isobutane as

the working uid. The mass ow rate of geothermal water

is 555 kg/s. In this cycle, isobutane is heated and vaporized

in the heat exchanger by geothermal water. Then, the

isobutane ows through the turbine, is condensed and

pumped back to the heat exchanger, completing the binary

cycle. The heat exchanger and condenser pressures are

taken to be 3000 and 400 kPa, respectively, while the

temperature at the turbine inlet (or heat exchanger exit) is

taken to be 150 1C, which is 15 1C lower than the

geothermal water temperature at the heat exchanger inlet.

The isentropic efciencies of the turbine and pump are

taken to be 80% and 70%, respectively. About 10% of

power output is used for internal demands such as

powering fans in the air-cooled condenser. These values

closely correspond to those of an actual power plant

(Kanoglu and Cengel, 1999). Noting that a pinch-point will

occur at the start of vaporization of the working uid in the

heat exchanger, the energy balance relations for the heat

exchanger can be written as

_ m

geo

c

geo

T

1

T

vap

DT

pp

_ m

binary

h

4

h

binary;f

,

(37)

_ m

geo

c

geo

T

vap

DT

pp

T

2

_ m

binary

h

binary;f

h

3

,

(38)

where _ m

binary

is the mass ow rate of the binary uid, c

geo

the specic heat of geothermal water, T

vap

the vaporization

temperature of the binary uid at the heat exchanger

pressure, DT

pp

the pinch-point temperature difference and

h

binary,f

is the specic enthalpy of the binary uid at the

start of vaporization. The pinch-point temperature differ-

ence is assumed to be 6 1C. Eqs. (37) and (38) can be used

to establish the mass ow rate of the binary uid, and the

geothermal water temperature at the heat exchanger exit.

The analysis of the cycle with the stated values produces

the following results:

_

W

net;out

22; 382 kW;

_

E

in

328; 786 kW;

_

Q

in

185; 181 kW; T

2

86:6

C;

_

Ex

in

60; 014 kW; D

_

Ex

12

46; 904 kW;

D

_

Ex

34

37; 316 kW; Z

th1

6:8% Eq:23;

Z

th2

12:1% Eq:27; Z

ex

37:3% Eq:30;

Z

ex;binary1

47:7% Eq:34; Z

ex;binary2

60:0% Eq:35.

It is clear that using different denitions leads to

signicantly different thermal and exergy efciencies. This

is typical of geothermal power plants. The results are

presented in a combined energy and exergy diagram in

Fig. 9. Because of the large range of values involved, the

exergy of geothermal water at the heat exchanger inlet is

normalized to 100 units of energy and other values are

modied accordingly. The energy and exergy efciencies

can be obtained using terms in this diagram. The thermal

and exergy efciencies are 6.8% and 37.3%, respectively,

based on the energy and exergy of geothermal water at the

heat exchanger inlet. The thermal efciency increases from

6.8% to 12.1% when the heat input to the binary uid in

the heat exchanger is used as the energy input to the cycle

instead of the energy of the geothermal water at the inlet of

the plant. This is analogous to using the heating value of

fuel versus using the heat transferred to the steam in the

boiler as the heat input to a steam power plant.

The exergy efciency is only 37.3% when the exergy of

geothermal water at the plant inlet is used. Using the

exergy decrease of geothermal water in the heat exchanger

as the exergy input to the cycle yields an exergy efciency

of 47.7% while using the exergy increase of the binary uid

yields an exergy efciency of 60.0%. These three ap-

proaches are analogous to using the exergy of the fuel

(Eq. (8)), the exergy transfer to the steam accompanying

the heat input to the cycle (Eq. (7)) and the exergy increase

of the steam in the boiler (Eq. (6)). The exergy of the

geothermal water at the exit of the heat exchanger, which is

ARTICLE IN PRESS

ex

reinject

=21.8

ex

dest

=62.7

ex

1-2

=78.2

ex

in

=100

e

in

=547.8

q

in

=308.6

ex

3-4

=62.2

w

net,out

=37.3

Fig. 9. Combined energy and exergy diagram for the binary geothermal power plant considered.

M. Kanoglu et al. / Energy Policy 35 (2007) 39673978 3976

reinjected to the ground, represents 21.8% of the exergy

input to the cycle. This signicant percentage is due to the

relatively high temperature of the geothermal water

(86.6 1C). The exergy destruction in the heat exchanger

accounts for 16.0% of the exergy input. The remaining

exergy destructions (10021.816.037.3 24.9) are due

to irreversibilities in the turbine, pump and condenser.

6. Conclusions

Insights are presented into various energy and exergy

efciencies used in power plants. The efciencies for the

plants considered as examples yield some important

information on the relative magnitudes of heat losses and

exergy destructions in the plants. Combined energy and

exergy diagrams present the results concisely and clearly.

The efciencies for power cycles not specically discussed

in this article can be deduced from the relations given for

the cycles considered.

For the current state of thermodynamics, it seems almost

impossible to have a common efciency denition for all

energy systems. Therefore, the best way of avoiding misuse

and misunderstanding is to dene the efciency used in any

application carefully. An understanding of both energy and

exergy efciencies is essential for designing, analyzing,

optimizing and improving energy systems through appro-

priate energy policies and strategies. If such policies and

strategies are in place, numerous measures can be applied

to improve the efciency of electrical generating plants.

These measures should be weighed against other factors

and, where appropriate, implemented. It should be under-

stood that decisions on power plant operations are

normally based primarily on economic criteria. Often

other criteria such as environmental considerations are

also important. Economic and exergy analyses can be

combined by means of exergoeconomic analyses, which can

include exergetic life cycle assessment. A rational efciency

denition should accompany such an analysis. It is more

appropriate to use an exergy efciency based on the exergy

of the fuel in a fossil-fuel power or cogeneration system

since an important part of exergy costing involves fuel cost.

In this approach, all exergy losses are accounted for. For

renewable energy systems, it is more appropriate to use the

exergy of an energy source as the exergy input to the

system. This approach allows all exergy destructions to be

accounted for, including those in heat exchange equipment.

All losses are ultimately related to the economics of the

system operation. The difference between efciency deni-

tions often relates to the selection of different system

boundaries. Depending on the selection, losses occurring at

a particular site may be accounted for in a denition or

excluded.

It is expected that this article will help engineers,

researchers and policy makers in the area of energy

management for power plants appreciate that exergy

analysis is a useful tool and make better use of energy

and exergy efciencies in energy management.

Acknowledgments

The authors acknowledge the support provided by

University of Gaziantep in Turkey, and in Canada by

University of Ontario Institute of Technology and the

Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council.

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