This paper presents a thermo-economic analysis of an intercooled, reheat (ICRH) gas turbine, with and without recuperation, for cogeneration applications. The optimization analyses of thermodynamic parameters have permitted to calculate variables, such as low-pressure compressor pressure ratio, high-pressure turbine pressure ratio and gas temperature at the waste heat recovery unit inlet while maximizing electric efficiency and “Energy Saving Index”. Subsequently, the economic analyses have allowed to evaluate return on the investment, and the minimum value of gross payout period, for the cycle configurations of highest thermodynamic performance. In the present study three sizes (100 MW, 20 MW and 5 MW) of gas turbines have been examined.
The performed investigation reveals that the maximum value of electric efficiency and “Energy Saving Index” is achieved for a large size (100 MW) recuperated ICRH gas turbine based cogeneration system. However, a non-recuperated ICRH gas turbine (of 100 MW) based cogeneration system provides maximum value of return on the investment and the minimum value of gross payout period compared to the other gas turbine cycles, of the same size and with same power to heat ratio, investigated in the present study. A comprehensive thermo-economic analysis methodology, presented in this paper, should provide useful guidelines for preliminary sizing and selection of gas turbine cycle for cogeneration applications.