Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science


Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Mathias, James


Currently, the Southern Illinois University Carbondale (SIUC) power plant produces steam at high pressure to drive a high pressure (HP) turbine to make a portion of the electrical power needed by campus, then using 969 kPa (125 psig) steam to provide hot water all year, heat buildings, and to operate a low pressure (LP) turbine that powers the compressor of the central air conditioning (A/C) system. In the proposed system, the HP turbine is replaced by a much higher efficiency, multi-level turbine, the LP turbine is replaced with a motor and Variable Frequency Drive (VFD), and a cooling tower is added to condense more possible steam. This thesis has provided computer models to evaluate the economical feasibility of the proposed system, which are written by using Engineering Equation Solver (EES) software. The results of the study are presented in two cases. Case 1 examines the same amount of coal use between current and proposed systems, while Case 2 exames operating the high pressure boiler at the maximum rate. The results are a cost savings of $1,921,000 and $3,604,000 with payback periods of 4 and 2.2 years for Case 1 and Case 2, respectively. The annual primary energy saved and CO2 reduction from this modification was 200,000 GJ and 564,814 moles, respectively.




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