Using an analytical cooled gas turbine model and a steam cycle model, this study estimates the impact on combined heat and power (CHP) cycle performance from increasing the turbine firing temperature by 180°F (100°C) and improving the turbine blade cooling for a 6-MW scale gas turbine. A sensitivity analysis was performed to understand the impact of increasing the internal cooling effectiveness, thermal barrier coating performance, and blade material upgrades on gas turbine and CHP cycle efficiency. The impacts of turbine blade cooling improvements were studied for three common CHP cycle configurations identified from the literature. Various definitions for CHP cycle efficiency from the literature are used in the comparisons. The results show that a 180°F (100°C) increase in firing temperature can increase the gas turbine efficiency by 1 percentage point without improving cooling effectiveness and add 2 additional percentage points in efficiency by using advanced turbine blades with higher internal cooling efficiency. The engine upgrades evaluated in this study show potential for increasing the CHP cycle efficiency by 3 percentage points while increasing the steam generation rate by 8%.

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