The multiple expansion reheating gas turbine proves to have a potential of good operational flexibility for the intrinsic capability of responding to variations in electric and thermal power demands without appreciable impact on efficiency.
The present study deals with evaluation of the performance attainable in off-design operation, with power control obtained through changes in the first and second combustor firing temperatures and in the compressor intake air flow achieved by means of variable inlet guide vanes.
Because of the important impact of the hot part cooling air flows on performance, the study includes also a hypothesis of controlling such flows in off-design operation through external means.
The predicted off-design performance results superior in the hypothesis of external cooling air flow control, thus making such a system worthy of consideration for possible future developments of machines in this category.
To evaluate the suitability of the multiple expansion reheating gas turbine in cogeneration applications, the electric efficiency and the electrical index have been taken into consideration.
The capability of varying the reheating temperature represents an effective way of controlling the electrical index with good efficiencies in industrial cogeneration with strongly varying electric power and process heat requirements.
With regard to the cooling air control through external means, implementation of such a more complex system seems to be avoidable at least when the gas turbine is intended specifically for application in cogeneration, because of its smaller impact on the overall efficiency of the system.