About this Research Topic
Steam cycles and steam networks are essential for a wide range of thermal power plants and industrial processes. Today steam cycles are used not only in conventional fossil-fired power plants and nuclear power plants but also as heat recovery cycles in gas turbine combined cycles (GTCCs), integrated gasification combined cycles (IGCCs), and polygeneration plants (e.g., coproducing electricity and hydrogen or synthesis fuels). Similarly, steam networks and combined heat and power cycles are typically used to optimize the heat integration of a wide range of industrial processes. Steam cycles are used also in renewable technologies such as concentrated solar power plants and large biomass-fired plants, as well as waste-to-energy plants.
While the design criteria of steam cycles for conventional power plants are well known, those for unconventional plants is still an object of research calling for the development of systematic optimization techniques and computer aided design tools. Furthermore, the increased penetration of renewable energy sources in the generation of electrical power recently raises technical and economic challenges for the operation of these plants due to the uncertainty of supply and demand. Existing thermal power plants have to be retrofitted with optimized components and control systems to improve their operational flexibility, such as ramping rates and shutdown/start-up times. Consequently, accurate dynamic simulation tools are being developed for developing novel equipment designs, control systems and start-up procedures.
This Research Topic intends to present an overview of the latest research progresses in terms of system design and integration, performance optimization, equipment designs (e.g., turbines, boilers), dynamic simulation, optimal operation and control, new applications, and so on. Themes include but are not limited to:
• Unconventional steam cycles
• Nuclear power plants
• Waste to energy plants
• Concentrated solar power plants
• Heat recovery cycles
• Advanced ultra supercritical steam cycles
• Combined heat and power cycles
• Boilers and steam turbines
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