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A combined-cycle power plant uses both a gas and a steam turbine together to produce up to 50 percent more electricity from the same fuel than a traditional simple-cycle plant. The waste heat from the gas turbine is routed to the nearby steam turbine, which generates extra power.

Efficiently converting the energy contained in natural gas

Burning gas in a gas turbine (GT) produces not only power – which can be converted to electric power by a coupled generator – but also fairly hot exhaust gases.

Electricity Out

Producing electricity

Process Steam

Routing these gases through a water-cooled heat exchanger produces steam, which can be turned into electric power with a coupled steam turbine and generator.


Benefits of Combined-Cycle Technology

Cogeneration — the process of simultaneously producing useful heat and electricity from the same fuel source — increases the efficiency of fuel burning from 30% to 90%, thereby reducing damage to the environment while increasing economic output through more efficient use of resources.

Fuel Efficiency

In conventional power plants, turbines have a fuel conversion efficiency of 33%, which means two-thirds of the fuel burned to drive the turbine is wasted. The turbines in combined-cycle power plants have a fuel conversion efficiency of 50% or more, which means they burn about half the amount of fuel as a conventional plant to generate same amount of electricity.

Abundant Fuel Sources

The turbines used in combined-cycle plants are fueled with natural gas, which is more versatile than coal or oil, and can be used in 90% of energy publications. To meet the current energy demand, plants are not only using natural gas but also using other alternatives, like bio gas derived from agriculture.

Reduced Emission & Fuel Consumption

Combined-Cycle plants use less fuel per kWh and produce fewer emissions than conventional thermal power plants, thereby reducing the environmental damage caused by electricity production. Compared to a coal-fired power plant, burning of natural gas in CCPT is much cleaner.

Low Capital Costs

The capital cost for building a combined-cycle unit is two-thirds the capital cost of a comparable coal plant.

Commercial Availability

Combined-Cycle units are commercially available from suppliers anywhere in the world. They are easily manufactured, shipped, and transported.

Potential Applications In Developing Countries

The potential for combined-cycle plants is with industries that require electricity and heat, or steam. For example, providing electricity and steam to a Sugar refining mill.


The Details

Combined-Cycle Technology is a process that increases the overall efficiency of a power plant. In the case of MCV, electricity is generated by burning natural gas. The heat that comes from this process is usually discarded, but MCV utilizes it to boil water. The steam created here turns additional turbines, which creates more electricity.

This process is being embraced around the world, especially where natural gas is readily available. The gas turbine itself is quite efficient for the conversion of gas fuels to mechanical power or electricity. Coupled with a steam-powered turbine, this efficiency is increased.

A Combined-Cycle Power Plant produces high power outputs at high efficiencies with low emissions. Conventional power plants typically only produce 33% electricity; the remaining 67% is waste. By using combined-cycle technology we are producing 68% electricity.

It is also possible to use the steam from the boiler for heating purposes so such power plants can operate to deliver electricity alone or in combined heat and power (CHP) mode.

The first step is the same as the simple cycle gas turbine plant. An open circuit gas turbine has a compressor, a combustor, and a turbine. For this type of cycle the input temperature to the turbine is very high. The output temperature of flue gases is also very high.

This high enough to provide heat for a second cycle, which uses steam as the working medium, i.e. thermal power station.

Air Inlet

This air is drawn though the large air inlet section where it is cleaned, cooled, and controlled. Heavy-duty gas turbines are able to operate successfully in a wide variety of climates and environments due to inlet air filtration systems that are specifically designed to suit the plant location.

Under normal conditions the inlet system has the capability to process the air by removing contaminants to levels below those that are harmful to the compressor and turbine.

Turbine Cycle

The purified air is then compressed and mixed with natural gas and ignited, which causes it to expand. The pressure created from the expansion spins the turbine blades, which are attached to a shaft and a generator, creating electricity.

In the second step the heat of the gas turbine’s exhaust is used to generate steam by passing it through a heat recovery steam generator (HRSG), with a live steam temperature between 420 and 580 °C.

Heat Recovery Steam Generator

In the Heat Recovery Steam Generator, highly purified water flows in tubes and the hot exhaust gases heat it to produce steam. The steam then rotates the steam turbine and coupled generator to produce electricity. The hot gases leave the HRSG at around 140 degrees centigrade and are then discharged into the atmosphere.

The steam condensing and water system is the same as in the steam power plant.

Typical Size and Configuration of CCGT Plants

The combined-cycle system includes single-shaft and multi-shaft configurations. The single-shaft system consists of one gas turbine, one steam turbine, one generator, and one Heat Recovery Steam Generator (HRSG), with the gas turbine and steam turbine coupled to the single generator on a single shaft.

Multi-shaft systems have one or more gas turbine generators and HRSGs that supply steam through a common header to a separate single steam turbine generator. In terms of overall investment, a multi-shaft system is about 5% higher in costs.

The primary disadvantage of multiple stage combined-cycle power plants is that the number of steam turbines, condensers and condensate systems—and perhaps the cooling towers and circulating water systems—increases to match the number of gas turbines.

Efficiency of CCGT Plant

The steam turbine cycle produces roughly one-third of the power and the gas turbine cycle produces two-thirds of the power output of the CCPP. By combining both gas and steam cycles, high input temperatures and low output temperatures can be achieved. This adds efficiency to the cycles, because they are powered by the same fuel source.

To increase the power system efficiency it is necessary to optimize the HRSG, which serves as the critical link between the gas turbine cycle and the steam turbine cycle, with the objective of increasing the steam turbine output. HRSG performance has a large impact on the overall performance of the combined-cycle power plant.

The electrical efficiency of a combined-cycle power station may be as high as 58 percent when operating at continuous output with ideal conditions. As with single-cycle thermal units, combined-cycle units may also deliver low temperature heat energy for industrial processes, district heating, and other uses. This is called cogeneration and such power plants are often referred to as a Combined Heat and Power (CHP) plant.

The efficiency of CCPT is increased by Supplementary Firing and Blade Cooling. Supplementary firing is arranged at the HRSG. In the gas turbine a part of the compressed air flow bypasses and is used to cool the turbine blades. It is necessary to use part of the exhaust energy through gas to gas recuperation. Recuperation can further increase the plant efficiency, especially the when gas turbine is operated under partial load.

Fuels for CCPT Plants

The turbines used in Combined-Cycle Plants are commonly fueled with natural gas, and is more versatile than coal or oil and can be used in 90% of energy applications. Combined-Cycle plants are usually powered by natural gas, although, fuel oil, synthesis gas, or other fuels can be used.

Combined-Cycle power plants continue to meet the growing energy demand, and hence special attention must be paid to the optimization of the whole system. Developments for the gasification of coal to use in gas turbines are in advanced stages.

Once this is proven effective, coal can be used in combined-cycle power plants as the main fuel source to meet the growing energy demand.

Advances in cogeneration—the process of simultaneously producing useful heat and electricity from the same fuel source—increases the efficiency of fuel burning from 30% to 90%, thereby reducing damage to the environment while increasing economic output through more efficient use of resources.

MCV Produces Electricity

MCV Produces Steam

MCV Produces Electricity

MCV Produces Steam

MCV Produces Electricity

MCV Produces Steam

We make clean, reliable energy for our neighbors in the Great Lakes Bay Region and beyond.