December 2001

Special Report: Plant Utilities

Optimize energy efficiency of HRSG

With a better understanding of temperature profiles, plant engineers can increase steam production and minimize losses

Ganapathy, V., Consultant

When optimizing the efficiency of heat-recovery steam generators (HRSGs,) fully understanding the temperature profiles of these units is crucial. Gas turbine HRSGS are unique and pose peculiar problems as compared to conventional gas/oil-fired boilers when calculating efficiency or steam output. For conventional oil/gas-fired steam generators or boilers, one can do heat balances, efficiency calculations and fuel estimates by assuming an exit-gas temperature of 300°F to 340°F from the steam generator and assuming that the feedwater is at 220°F to 250°F irrespective of steam pressure. However, these assumptions are often not thermodynamically valid with HRSGs.

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