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# CHE433 THERMODYNAMICS

Chapter 8:
VAPOR CYCLES

## THE CARNOT VAPOR

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.
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

## RANKINE CYCLE: THE IDEAL CYCLE

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.

## nergy Analysis of the Ideal Rankine Cycle

All four components in
flow devices, thus can be
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

## The thermal efficiency can be interpreted as the

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.

## DEVIATION OF ACTUAL VAPOR

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:

## (a) Deviation of actual vapor power cycle from the ideal

Rankine cycle.

EXAMPLE 2
Repeat example 1 by assuming isentropic
efficiency of the turbine and pump is 75%.

## HOW CAN WE INCREASE THE

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
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the steam at the final stages of the
condenser pressure on the

## Superheating the Steam to High

Temperatures (Increases Thigh,avg)

## The effect of superheating

the steam to higher
temperatures on the ideal
Rankine cycle.

## Both the net work and heat input

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
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

## reasing the Boiler Pressure (Increases Thigh,avg)

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.

## The effect of increasing the

boiler pressure on the ideal

## Today many modern steam

power plants operate at
supercritical pressures (P >
22.06 MPa) and have thermal
fossil-fuel plants and 34% for
nuclear plants.

## A supercritical Rankine cycle.

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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.

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## THE IDEAL REHEAT RANKINE

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.

## The ideal reheat Rankine cycle.

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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.

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PREPARED BY:
NORASMAH MOHAMMED MANSHOR
FACULTY OF CHEMICAL ENGINEERING, UiTM SHAH ALAM.
0192368303/0355436333
norasmah@salam.uitm.edu.my

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