Energy systems analysis

Paul Boughton

Analysis of power generation or combined heat and power (CHP or cogeneration) systems as an essential aid to the selection of equipment.

Analysis will include performance under design and off-design conditions (eg, the effects of part-load operation), the duration of each required condition and control philosophies necessary to achieve such objectives as maximising revenue, minimising fuel consumption, minimising carbon emissions or making best use of renewable energy.

Energy systems comprise a range of features such as gas turbines, reciprocating engines, steam turbines, heat exchangers, generators and cooling systems. 

Amongst an array of design decisions, all of which impact on both performance capital cost, are prime mover performance or efficiency, boiler efficiency, live steam conditions (possibly multiple pressures), condensing pressure, cooling system type and performance, steam extraction pressure for heating (CHP), and possibly absorption cooling (CCP or CCHP), thermal storage, variable flow circuits and condensing heat recovery.

Ultimately the majority are a matter of choice, but careful analysis is essential to identify where extra design effort and capital investment will bring the most financial, regulatory or environmental benefit and, conversely, where theoretical benefits may be outweighed by issues of practicability, operability and ease of procurement and construction.

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RHEnergy is based in Petersfield, Hampshire, UK.