The knowledge of off-design performance for a given gas turbine system is critical particularly in applications where considerable operation at low load setting is required. This information allows designers to ensure safe operation of the system and determine in advance thermo-economic penalty due to performance loss while operating under part-load conditions.

In this paper, thermo-economic analysis results for the intercooled, reheat (ICRH) and recuperated gas turbine, at the part-load conditions in cogeneration applications, have been presented.

Thermodynamically, a recuperated ICRH gas turbine based cogeneration system showed lower penalty in terms of electric efficiency and Energy Saving Index over the entire part-load range in comparison to the other cycles (non-recuperated ICRH, recuperated Brayton and simple Brayton cycles) investigated.

Based on the comprehensive economic analysis for the assumed values of economic parameters, this study shows that, a mid-size (electric power capacity 20 MW) cogeneration system utilizing non-recuperated ICRH cycle provides higher return on investment both at full-load and part-load conditions, compared to the other same size cycles, over the entire range of fuel cost, electric sale and steam sale values examined. The plausible reasons for the observed trends in thermodynamic and economic performance parameters for four cycles and three sizes of cogeneration systems under full-load and part-load conditions have been presented in this paper.

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