Date of Award

Summer 1997

Document Type

Thesis - Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Advisor

Gaggioli, Richard A.

Second Advisor

Dunbar, William R.

Third Advisor

Majdalani, Joseph


The dwindling supply of the natural resources and the continuing increase in demand of energy have been the motivating factors for more efficient power plant systems. To help alleviate or slow down the consumption rate of the natural resources of coal, gas, or crude oil, several energy efficient methods have been employed. One energy efficient method involves the use of alternate fuel sources such as nuclear, hydraulic, and geothermal fuel. Another energy efficient method more commonly used is the incorporation of energy efficient system components such as turbines, pumps, and condensers that are considered the state-of-the-art. The incorporation of these state-of-the-art energy efficient system components have been utilized to increase the power plants overall system efficiency and thereby slowing down the fuel consumption rate. Other energy efficient methods also include the incorporation of energy efficient heat exchanger networks that have been designed by the concepts of pinch technology and by the incorporation of on-site cogeneration systems that provide the consumer with two energy needs such as electricity and hot utility. Currently, any power plant system that employs energy efficient components and an efficient heat exchange network is considered the state-of-the-art for power plant design. Each of the energy efficient methods that have been utilized to increase the power plants overall system efficiency have been evaluated and modeled by the principles of the First Law of Thermodynamics (Energy balances). The use of the first law is sufficient in determining an energy efficient design. However, evaluation of performance with only the first law gives only a partial understanding to the overall system performance and in some cases may provide a misleading interpretation to the true nature of the system operation. It has been shown through past literature that a proper evaluation of a system performance requires not only the principles of the First Law of Thermodynamics for modeling and general account balancing but also the use of the Second Law of Thermodynamics for evaluation and analysis techniques. This point is revisited through the evaluation results of what are considered to be two energy efficient methods, namely the use of an alternate fuel source (nuclear) and the use of a cogeneration system. The analysis results of these two energy efficient systems serves as a basis for comparison for fuel cell technology. If the reader is only interested in the optimization of cogeneration systems through the use of the Second Law then it is suggested that the reader skip Chapter 3 and proceed to Chapters 4 & 5 which covers the optimization of the Westinghouse SOFC design. In Chapter 3, these two energy efficient methods are investigated through the evaluation of the LaSalle County nuclear power plant that represents the alternate fuel source and through the evaluation of an IPP cogeneration facility that represents the on-site cogeneration system. Both analyses give similar First Law (energy) results in that the majority of the energy lost within the system is lost through the condenser. However, after analyzing both systems from a second law point of view, the inefficiencies within the system are shown not to be within the condenser but from the reactor of the nuclear facility and from the combustor of the co generation facility...



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