Conventional gas turbines are approaching their efficiency limits and performance gains are becoming increasingly difficult to achieve. Pressure Gain Combustion (PGC) has emerged as a very promising technology in this respect, due to the higher thermal efficiency of the respective ideal gas turbine thermodynamic cycles. Up to date, only very simplified models of open cycle gas turbines with pressure gain combustion have been considered. However, the integration of a fundamentally different combustion technology will be inherently connected with additional losses. Entropy generation in the combustion process, combustor inlet pressure loss (a central issue for pressure gain combustors), and the impact of PGC on the secondary air system (especially blade cooling) are all very important parameters that have been neglected. The current work uses the Humphrey cycle in an attempt to address all these issues in order to provide gas turbine component designers with benchmark efficiency values for individual components of gas turbines with PGC. The analysis concludes with some recommendations for the best strategy to integrate turbine expanders with PGC combustors. This is done from a purely thermodynamic point of view, again with the goal to deliver design benchmark values for a more realistic interpretation of the cycle.
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