How a combined cycle power plant produces electricity

This is how a combined-cycle plant works to produce electricity and captures waste heat from the gas turbine to increase efficiency and electrical output.

1) Gas turbine burns fuel:

  • The gas turbine compresses air and mixes it with fuel that is heated to a very high temperature. The hot air-fuel mixture moves through the gas turbine blades, making them spin.
  • The fast-spinning turbine drives a generator that converts a portion of the spinning energy into electricity.

2) Heat recovery system captures exhaust:

  •  A heat recovery steam generator (HRSG) captures exhaust heat from the gas turbine that would otherwise escape through the exhaust stack.
  • The HRSG creates steam from the gas turbine exhaust heat and delivers it to the steam turbine.

3) Steam turbine delivers additional electricity:

  • The steam turbine sends its energy to the generator drive shaft, where it is converted into additional electricity.