Combined Cycle Power Plant
An assembly of heat engines that work in tandem from the same source of heat, converting it into mechanical energy to drive electrical generators. The basic principle is that after the working fluid completes its cycle through the first engine, its temperature is still high enough that a second subsequent heat engine is able to extract energy from the residual heat. By generating electricity from multiple streams of work, the overall net efficiency of the system may be increased by 50 to 60%. For comparison, a simple cycle provides an overall efficiency of about 34%, a combined cycle provides an overall efficiency of about 62%, and a Carnot cycle provides theoretical efficiency of about 84%.
See also Carnot Cycle; Simple Cycle Gas Power Plant.