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Science and Technology of Nuclear Installations
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 716572, 11 pages
Research Article

HTR-Based Power Plants’ Performance Analysis Applied on Conventional Combined Cycles

Department of Energy and Marine Propulsion, ETSNM, University of A Coruña, Paseo de Ronda 51, A Coruña 15011, Spain

Received 28 October 2014; Revised 16 February 2015; Accepted 16 February 2015

Academic Editor: Borut Mavko

Copyright © 2015 José Carbia Carril et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


In high temperature reactors including gas cooled fast reactors and gas turbine modular helium reactors (GT-MHR) specifically designed to operate as power plant heat sources, efficiency enhancement at effective cost under safe conditions can be achieved. Mentioned improvements concern the implementation of two cycle structures: (a), a stand alone Brayton operating with helium and a stand alone Rankine cycle (RC) with regeneration, operating with carbon dioxide at ultrasupercritical pressure as working fluid (WF), where condensation is carried out at quasicritical conditions, and (b), a combined cycle (CC), in which the topping closed Brayton cycle (CBC) operates with helium as WF, while the bottoming RC is operated with one of the following WFs: carbon dioxide, xenon, ethane, ammonia, or water. In both cases, an intermediate heat exchanger (IHE) is proposed to provide thermal energy to the closed Brayton or to the Rankine cycles. The results of the case study show that the thermal efficiency, through the use of a CC, is slightly improved (from 45.79% for BC and from 50.17% for RC to 53.63 for the proposed CC with He-H2O operating under safety standards).