Gas turbine combined cycle & cogeneration plant creation

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GT PRO automates the process of creating a combined cycle or gas turbine cogeneration plant design, guiding the user to rapidly and easily attain an optimal configuration and technical parameters.

The user inputs design criteria, starting with the big picture and progressing in a logical sequence into greater details. Built-in expert logic automatically selects appropriate options and inputs for the various details, based on the user's high level selections. The program designs the new plant, computes its performance, its detailed heat and mass balance, and creates its major equipment physical sizes and design details. When combined with the optional PEACE® module, it also creates the plant’s preliminary engineering details, estimates its cost, and finds its cash flow and economic pro-forma.

The scope, flexibility, and level of detail in GT PRO has been continuously growing since it was first released in 1988; and the 2018 version has over 4,000 user-adjustable inputs. What makes it so easy to use is that most inputs are automatically created by intelligent design procedures within the program, while granting the user the flexibility to make any changes or adjustments. As a result, it typically requires only a few minutes to create a new plant design. This allows the user to create and compare many plant options, and variations within each, to find the most suitable design, both technically and economically.

Any model created by PDE™ can be imported into GT PRO for further refinement and analysis.

Any GT PRO model can be progressed into GT MASTER for detailed off-design analysis or annual operating cycle economics. It can also be read into THERMOFLEX® for modelling unique details or special situations, such as integration with a concentrated solar thermal power plant.

GT PRO models can be operated from MS Excel via Thermoflow's E-LINK add-in, which allows GT PRO to receive inputs from, and return outputs to Excel.

Many specialized features have been built into GT PRO over the years. These include, amongst others, all major types of gasifiers that have been proposed for IGCC; CO2 capture processes, both pre- and post-combustion; and the main types of desalination systems, MSF, MED, and RO. The automated top-down design logic of GT PRO extends into these specialized features, creating their internal details based on the user's high level selections of configuration and parameters. These specialized features are seamlessly integrated with the power island design logic, not simply added as appendages, so they exert the appropriate influence on how the power island is configured and designed to match them. This produces a properly integrated system based on the user’s selections and inputs for both the power island and the specialized features.

Examples of applications that have been built into GT PRO over the years include ability to analyze economics and optimize plant design based on annual cycle, instead of a design-point snapshot, allowing consideration of seasonal variations and fuel consumption during start-ups and shut-downs. They also include ability to design a plant in which additional equipment is installed, such as inlet air chillers or duct burners, but not active at the design point heat balance; as well as a Multi-Point Design facility to produce a final GT MASTER model taking into account multiple GT PRO cases representing the plant’s expected operating envelope.

Examples: Click on the links below to view the heat balance diagrams of examples of gas turbine plant cycles. Each was created by GT PRO within 15 minutes, from start to finish. In each case, all the user had to do was enter about a dozen key, high-level selections and inputs from amongst the thousands available in GT PRO; then leave the automatic logic built into GT PRO to deal with the rest of the design creation process.

GT PRO output HBD for 250 MW IGCC plant with pre-combustion CO2 capture

GT PRO output HBD for 50 MW cogen plant with dual-pressure HRSG & back-pressure steam turbine

GT PRO output HBD for 1200 MW non-reheat combined cycle with desalination producing 42 MIGD desalinated water


Gas turbine combined cycle & cogeneration plant simulation

GT MASTER® simulates performance of a given plant at different operating conditions, such as different ambients, loads and control set-points. A GT MASTER plant model is defined by its hardware, by contrast with a GT PRO model which is defined by the assumptions used to create the hardware.

The 4,000+ inputs which define plant hardware and control set-points are all initialized upon importing its GT PRO design. All these inputs may be adjusted and fine-tuned by the user. For example, the user may change the physical hardware of a heat exchanger within a HRSG, to make it match the specs provided by the HRSG's vendor. As another example, the user may adjust a steam turbine nozzle area at the inlet to any group of stages, to match the pressure-flow characteristics supplied by the steam turbine vendor. As yet another example, the user may change the diameter, length, fittings, material, etc, of a pipe that had been initially sized by GT PRO.

GT MASTER is not just an off-design extension of GT PRO, but rather it is an off-design simulator of a plant described by its physical hardware, and this hardware is initialized from the GT PRO design, but remains available for adjustment as needed by the user. When used in conjunction with the PEACE module, any change of physical hardware implemented by the user will be reflected on the cost estimate, as well as being reflected on the plant's thermodynamic performance, and this allows cost/benefit analysis of subtle design changes.

Many applications have been built into GT MASTER over the years. The TIME module provides detailed economic analysis based on annual operating cycle, including start-ups and shutdowns, and with provision for different hourly ambient conditions and prices for power, fuel and heat. The GT TRAN module provides a transient model for normal load changes, modeling the time lag between GT or duct burner ramp-up or ramp-down and HRSG steam production and steam turbine power output. A built-in 24-hour cycle model analyzes operation of a plant equipped with inlet air chillers and chilled water storage tanks, facilitating the optimization of chiller capacity and tank size, and how to schedule their operation over the 24-hour cycle. Tuning features have been included for major equipment to permit entering vendor guarantee points, and instruct GT MASTER to derive correction factors to superpose on its underlying physical models to match these guarantee points, then logically interpolate between them at other conditions. Facilities have been included to allow by-passing the GT MASTER physical models of major equipment, if desired, and substituting user-defined functional relationships or curves instead.

Any GT MASTER file can be read into THERMOFLEX for modeling unique details beyond GT MASTER's intended scope, or special situations, such as integration with an LNG Terminals, or with concentrated solar thermal receivers, etc.

Any GT MASTER model can be run from MS Excel via Thermoflow's ELINK add-in, which allows GT MASTER to receive inputs from, and return outputs to Excel. This makes it easy to generate correction curves from the GT MASTER model to help planners forecast their fuel consumption and electricity production and to run their own in-house economic models in conjunction with GT MASTER's plant performance model.


Executive-level concept creation for gas turbine combined cycle & cogeneration plants

PDE (Plant Design Expert) is an intelligent shell that uses the GT PRO/GT MASTER design and simulation engines.

PDE is a compact expert program, with built-in logic to create and configure suitable gas turbine power and cogeneration plants based on the user's electricity and heat demands, site parameters, and constraints. It rapidly creates side-by-side comparisons of performance and economics of different plant options. For any option it creates, it also computes fuel demand curves across a range of loads and ambient. It accomplishes these tasks by exploiting the GT PRO & GT MASTER calculation engines behind an abbreviated interface focused on the big picture.

PDE takes away much of GT PRO's flexibility and replaces it by a high degree of automated, expert logic to identify suitable schemes, configuration details, and design parameters. Based on the user’s requirements, PDE identifies viable permutations and combinations of plant schemes and equipment, and displays them as a list. The user can select proposed plants from this list to run through the GT PRO/PEACE computation engines in the background, and to have their main technical and economic results displayed. Results from different plant options can be compared side-by-side on PDE’s user-friendly interface.

For any plant option created with PDE, the user can also obtain a fuel-demand model characterizing performance across a range of ambient and load conditions. PDE accomplishes this process in the background, by automatically invoking the powerful GT MASTER simulation engine. Any fuel demand model created by PDE can be accessed by NOVO PRO, to evaluate its integration with Wind, Solar PV, Batteries, and other energy storage options.

Any model created by PDE can be read into GT PRO, GT MASTER or THERMOFLEX by users desiring greater flexibility to modify its design or to simulate more complex operating scenarios.

Frequently asked questions