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Aim of Experiment:

By using a reciprocating steam engine, electric power was generated. From this
experiment, we obtained the conversion efficiency of a boiler and the total
efficiency of the plant. From the results obtained, the plant efficiency was compared
to the efficiencies of Carnot cycle and Rankine cycle obtained from the calculation
based on the experiment.

Experimental Procedure:
The boiler was filled with warm water and the alcohol burner was filled with
Methanol. The alcohol burner was ignited while the regulator valve of the boiler
remain closed. The alcohol burner was ignited until the pressure gauge reached
1kgf/cm2. When the pressure gauge reached 1kgf/cm 2, the regulator valve was
opened and the steam powered engine began to move. Whereas a cooling liquid
was flowed from the condenser. A warm-up operation process occurred for a while.
When the boiler pressure became constant and the flow was steady, measurement
of water vapour occurred.

Experimental results:
As shown in figure 1.
Gf= 0.115 g/s
pb= 0.196 MPa
ts= 161.34oC
E= 5.200V
I= 0.402A
Tn = 434.84 K (max temperature)
Tw = 283.5 K (min temperature )
Gs= 0.6339 g/s
Hl =20000 J/g ; Hl : Low calorific power of methanol
h= 2704.5 kJ/kg ; specific enthalpy of saturated steam at pressure p b (kJ/kg)
h=500.8 kJ/kg ; specific enthalpy of saturated water at pressure p b (kJ/kg)
hs = 2792.4 kJ/kg ; specific enthalpy of superheated steam at pressure p b (kJ/kg) and
temperature ts

Observation:
Heat Generation of Fuel: Qf = HlGf =2300 (J/s)
Heat Gained by Steam Qs = (h-h)Gs = 1396.9 J/s
Q s=1452 J/s

Electric Power L= EI =2.0904 (W)


Efficiency:
Conversion Efficiency of Boiler b = Qs /Qf100% = 63.2%
Conversion Efficiency of Boiler b= Qs/ Qf100% = 60.7%
Total Conversion Efficiency =L/ Qf 100% =0.0909%
Thermal Efficiency of Rankine cycle= 5.17% (max temp.:t s, max pressure :pb,
min pressure = 0.101325 MPa (atmospheric pressure)
Thermal Efficiency of Rankine cycle = 25.9% (max temp.: t s, max pressure:
pb, min temp.: 10 oC
Thermal Efficiency of Carnot cycle: 53.4% (max temp.: t s, mix temp.: t0);
Thermal efficiency of Carnot cycle = (Tn-Tw)/Tw100%= 53.4%

Discussion:
From the results obtained, we can observed that the thermal efficiency for Rankine
cycle is less than the thermal efficiency of Carnot cycle. Thermal efficiency of
Rankine cycle at atmospheric pressure is 5.17%, while at maximum pressure the
thermal efficiency is 25.9%. Whereas for Carnot cycle the thermal efficiency is
53.4%. From this we can see that Carnot cycle is more efficient compared to the
Rankine cycle. Carnot cycle efficiency is higher than Rankine cycle is because the
heat addition and rejection of the Carnot cycle takes place at a single high
temperature and at a single low temperature. Heat additions in the steam generator
of the Rankine cycle takes place over a wide range of water temperatures on both
simple and reheat Rankine cycles. Rankine cycle efficiency can be increased by
reheating of water. This process is described as Regeneration. It is a process which
uses sensible heat of a small amount of steam taken from high temperature turbine.
Basically this enables internal transfer of heat from high temperature steam to low
temperature condensate (feed-water). The T-s diagram shows that steam entering
the Feed-Water Heater (FWH) at 2 state is at a higher the sub-cooled feed water
leaving the pump at state 1. When the two fluids mix in the FWH, the superheat and
the heat of vaporization of the extraction steam are transferred to the feed-water.
The T-s diagram show that heat from combustion gases in the steam generator only
needs to raise the water temperature from t2 to ts. Rather than from t2 when
extraction steam is used to heat feed-water. The average temperature for external
heat addition must therefore increase, despite the reduced flow rate through the
low pressure turbine.

Conclusion:
The efficiency of a simple Rankine cycle is improved by using intermediate heat
cycle, enabling improved thermal conditions of working fluid. However, it cannot
reach the thermal conditions as in case of Carnot cycle where heat addition and
heat rejection occurs at specified temperature range.

References:
An analysis of thermal power plant working on a Rankine cycle: A theoretical
investigation, R K Kapooria, S Kumar, K S Kasana, Journal of Energy in
Southern Africa, Vol 19 No 1, February 2008.