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Technical/Technological Advances for Optimizing Heat Rate

[+] Author Affiliations
Komandur Sunder Raj

Power & Energy Systems Services, Oradell, NJ

Paper No. POWER2015-49012, pp. V001T06A001; 11 pages
  • ASME 2015 Power Conference collocated with the ASME 2015 9th International Conference on Energy Sustainability, the ASME 2015 13th International Conference on Fuel Cell Science, Engineering and Technology, and the ASME 2015 Nuclear Forum
  • ASME 2015 Power Conference
  • San Diego, California, USA, June 28–July 2, 2015
  • Conference Sponsors: Power Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5660-4
  • Copyright © 2015 by ASME


Heat rate in a power plant cycle is a calculated value expressed as the ratio of the amount of heat supplied to the cycle divided by the amount of power that is generated. It is directly affected by the heat source and associated auxiliaries, the prime mover, the regenerative feedwater heating cycle and, the heat sink.

Heat rate computations also suffer from imprecision/time lags associated with fuel flow measurements, difficulties/uncertainties in determination of the actual amount of heat supplied to the power plant cycle and, measurement of the power that is generated. Consequently, many power plant owners and operators have reservations as to the intrinsic value of heat rate as a performance metric, since detailed analysis and evaluation of the underlying causes and issues are essential to account for deviations from predicted or expected values.

Several innovations and advances have paved the way for real-time monitoring, trending, analyzing, evaluating, diagnosing and optimizing power generating asset performance. Using a coal-fired unit as a representative case study, this paper provides an overview of how technical/technological advances in optimizing power generating asset performance facilitate concomitant optimization of heat rate.

Copyright © 2015 by ASME
Topics: Heat



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