Date of Award

Fall 2014

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Eckhard A. Groll

Committee Member 1

James E. Braun

Committee Member 2

Nicole L. Key


This study focuses on power plant heat loss and how to utilize the waste heat in energy recovery systems in order to increase the overall power plant efficiency. The case study of this research is a 700-MW natural gas combined cycle power plant, located in a suburban area of Thailand. An analysis of the heat loss of the combustion process, power generation process, lubrication system, and cooling system has been conducted to evaluate waste heat recovery options. The design of the waste heat recovery options depends to the amount of heat loss from each system and its temperature. Feasible waste heat sources are combustion turbine (CT) room ventilation air and lubrication oil return from the power plant. The following options are being considered in this research: absorption chillers for cooling with working fluids Ammonia-Water and Water-Lithium Bromide (in comparison) and Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) with working fluids R134a and R245fa. The absorption cycles are modeled in three different stages; single-effect, double-effect and half-effect. ORC models used are simple ORC as a baseline, ORC with internal regenerator, ORC two-phase flash expansion ORC and ORC with multiple heat sources. Thermodynamic models are generated and each system is simulated using Engineering Equation Solver (EES) to define the most suitable waste heat recovery options for the power plant. The result will be synthesized and evaluated with respect to exergy utilization efficiency referred as the Second Law effectiveness and net output capacity. Results of the models give recommendation to install a baseline ORC of R134a and a double-effect water-lithium bromide absorption chiller, driven by ventilation air from combustion turbine compartment. The two technologies yield reasonable economic payback periods of 4.6 years and 0.7 years, respectively. The fact that this selected power plant is in its early stage of operation allows both models to economically and effectively perform waste heat recovery during the power plant's life span. Furthermore, the recommendation from this research will be submitted to the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) for implementation. This study will also be used as an example for other power plants in Thailand to consider waste energy utilization to improve plant efficiency and sustain fuel resources in the future.