Optimization of three power and desalination plants and exergy-based economic and CO2 emission cost allocation and comparison
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In this work, a multi-effect distillation with thermal vapor compression desalination unit is proposed to satisfy the freshwater demand of São Mateus, Espírito Santo, Brazil. The desalination unit is driven by saturated vapor produced by boiler or heat recovery steam generator. The goal and main contribution of this work are, respectively, to compare and evaluate the most feasible configuration among a steam power cycle, gas turbine and combined cycle power plant. To accomplish this objective, the first and second laws of thermodynamics are used, and economic analyses are carried out for each option. In consequence, an optimization using a genetic algorithm shows the optimal results. The usage of an exergy-based approach for cost allocation assists in the best judgment. For instance, the combined cycle power plant driving a desalination unit presents the highest net power generation of 51.7 MW and a total cost rate of 24,811 US$ h−1, which means a Leveled Cost of Energy of around 0.132 US$ kWh−1. In addition, it has the lowest exergetic and monetary costs of net power (2.316 kJ kJ−1 and 0.132 US$ kWh−1) and freshwater (17.9 kJ kJ−1 and 2.684 US$ kWh−1). However, it also has the highest environmental cost for net power (22.451 kgCO2 kWh−1) and the second highest one for freshwater (196.120 × 10−3 kgCO2 m−3).
KeywordsCombined cycle Exergoeconomics Gas turbine Genetic algorithm Multi-effect distillation Steam cycle
List of symbols
Monetary unit cost [US$ kWh−1]
Annual capital recovery factor
Logarithmic mean temperature difference [°C]
Specific enthalpy [kJ kg−1]
Exergetic unit cost [kW kW−1]
Mass flow rate [kg s−1]
Hour of plant operation per year [h]
Heat transfer rate [kW]
Total cost of investment
Cost rate [$ s−1]
Pump and motor
External fuel unit cost
Specific CO2 emission [kgCO2 kWh−1]
Maintenance factor [–]
Temperature difference [°C]
Construction cost index
Combined cycle power plant
Chemical engineering plant cost index
Gain output ration
Heat recovery steam generator
Multi stage flash
Purchase equipment cost
Pump and motor
Thermal vapor compression
The authors would like to thank Professor Márcio Coelho de Mattos, Head of DEM/Ufes, for his support.
This research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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