The effort in the adoption of energy efficient technologies and the attempt at reducing CO2 emissions has brought a new wave in the diffusion of distributed generation and a renewed interested in CHP systems, especially in the case of industrial cogeneration applications. It is therefore of primary importance for prime movers ‘producers — as Baker Hughes — to develop fast and reliable simulation methods that are able to estimate the overall performances of the proposed plants in order to help the customer assessing the feasibility of the investment.

The aim of this paper is to introduce a newly developed tool for the simulation of design and off-design conditions of gas turbine-based cogeneration systems, where heat is recovered through a Heat Recovery Steam Generator. The tool is meant to be driven by a small amount of inputs, making it possible to define sharp strategies for the design of such plants since the early phases of interaction with customers.

Design points have been varied to assess their influence on the off-design working points of the plant and on the overall performances, which have been considered through the parameters of global efficiency and Primary Energy Saving.

Results have highlighted the importance of considering the off-design effects in the simulation of CHP systems, both from a correct evaluation of plant’s critical operating parameters and from a correct estimation of plant’s performances.

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