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Chapter 8:

VAPOR CYCLES

CYCLE

The Carnot cycle is the most efficient cycle operating between two specified

temperature limits but it is not a suitable model for power cycles. Because:

Process 1-2 and process 3-4 Limiting the heat transfer processes to two-phase

systems severely limits the maximum temperature that can be used in the cycle

(374C for water)

Process 2-3 The turbine cannot handle steam with a high moisture content

because of the impingement of liquid droplets on the turbine blades causing

erosion and wear.

Process 4-1 It is not practical to design a compressor that handles two phases.

The cycle in (b) is not suitable since it requires isentropic compression

to extremely high pressures and isothermal heat transfer at variable

pressures.

1-2 isothermal heat addition

in a boiler

2-3 isentropic expansion in

a turbine

3-4 isothermal heat

rejection in a condenser

4-1 isentropic compression

in a compressor

T-s diagram of two Carnot vapor

FOR VAPOR POWER CYCLES

Many of the impracticalities associated with the Carnot cycle can be

eliminated by superheating the steam in the boiler and condensing it

completely in the condenser. The cycle that results is the Rankine

cycle, which is the ideal cycle for vapor power plants. The ideal

Rankine cycle does not involve any internal irreversibilities.

All four components in

Rankine cycle are steady

flow devices, thus can be

analyzed as steady flow

processes. The kinetic and

potential energy changes are

usually small, thus can be

neglected.

& W

& m

&h ke pe 0

Q

kJ

q w h

kJ kg

qin qout wout win h hexit hinlet kJ kg

The boiler and the condenser do not involve

any work (w=0), and the pump and the

turbine are assumed to be isentropic

(adiabatic, internally reversible; q=0).

ratio of the area enclosed by the cycle on a T-s

4

diagram to the area under the heat-addition

EXAMPLE 1

A simple ideal Rankine cycle with water as the

working fluid operates between the pressure

limits of 6 MPa in the boiler and 20 kPa in the

condenser. Steam enters the turbine at 500oC.

Determine the work produced by the turbine, the

heat transferred in the boiler and thermal

efficiency of the cycle.

POWER CYCLES FROM

IDEALIZED ONES

The actual vapor power cycle differs from the ideal Rankine cycle as a

result of irreversibilities in various components.

Fluid friction and heat loss to the surroundings are the two common

sources of irreversibilities.

The deviation of

actuaI pumps

and turbines

from the

isentropic ones

is accounted by

isentropic

efficiencies:

Rankine cycle.

EXAMPLE 2

Repeat example 1 by assuming isentropic

efficiency of the turbine and pump is 75%.

EFFICIENCY OF THE RANKINE

CYCLE?

The basic idea behind all the modifications to increase the thermal

efficiency

of a power cycle is the same: Increase the average temperature at

which heat is transferred to the working fluid in the boiler, or decrease

the average temperature at which heat is rejected from the working

wering

the Condenser Pressure (Lowers Tlow,avg)

fluid in the condenser.

Lowering the condenser pressure will

lower the temperature of the steam, thus

the temperature at which heat is rejected.

The net work output increases as a result

of lowering the condenser pressure from

P4 to P4.

Heat input also increases (area under the

curve 2-2) but very small.

Thus by lowering the condenser pressure,

the thermal efficiency is increases.

Side effect: Lowering the condenser

pressure increases the moisture content of

The effect of lowering the

8

the steam at the final stages of the

condenser pressure on the

Temperatures (Increases Thigh,avg)

the steam to higher

temperatures on the ideal

Rankine cycle.

increase as a result of

superheating the steam to a

higher temperature. The overall

effect is an increase in thermal

efficiency since the average

temperature at which heat is

added increases.

Superheating to higher

temperatures decreases the

moisture content of the steam at

the turbine exit, which is

desirable (the quality at state 4 is

higher than at state 4).

The temperature is limited by

metallurgical considerations.

Presently the highest steam

temperature allowed at the

By increasing the boiler pressure, the

temperature at which heat is transferred

to the steam increases. Thus increase

the thermal efficiency of the cycle. For a

fixed turbine inlet temperature, the

cycle shifts to the left and the moisture

content of steam at the turbine exit

increases. This side effect can be

corrected by reheating the steam.

boiler pressure on the ideal

power plants operate at

supercritical pressures (P >

22.06 MPa) and have thermal

efficiencies of about 40% for

fossil-fuel plants and 34% for

nuclear plants.

10

EXAMPLE 3

Repeat example 1 by (a) lowering the condenser

pressure to 10 kPa while the turbine inlet is

maintained at 500oC, (b) superheating the steam

at the inlet of the turbine in (a) to 700oC and (c)

increasing the boiler pressure in (b) to 15 MPa

while the turbine inlet temperature is maintained

at 700oC.

11

CYCLE

Increasing the boiler pressure increases the thermal efficiency of the Rankine

cycle, but also increases the moisture content of the steam.

How can we take advantage of the increased efficiencies at higher boiler pressures

without facing the problem of excessive moisture at the final stages of the turbine?

1. Superheat the steam to very high temperatures. It is limited metallurgically.

2. Expand the steam in the turbine in two stages, and reheat it in between.

12

EXAMPLE 4

A steam power plant operates on the ideal reheat

Rankine cycle. Steam enters the high pressure

turbine at 8 MPa and 500oC and leaves at 3 MPa.

Steam is then reheated at constant pressure to

500oC before it expands to 20 kPa in the low

pressure turbine. Determine the turbine work

output, in kJ/kg, and the thermal efficiency of the

cycle. Also, show the cycle on a T-s diagram with

respect to saturation lines.

13

PREPARED BY:

NORASMAH MOHAMMED MANSHOR

FACULTY OF CHEMICAL ENGINEERING, UiTM SHAH ALAM.

0192368303/0355436333

norasmah@salam.uitm.edu.my

14

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