Improving the efficiency of a steam power plant cycle by integrating a rotary indirect dryer


  • Michel Sabatini Czech Technical University in Prague, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Department of Energy Engineering, Technická 4, 166 07 Prague 6, Czech Republic
  • Jan Havlík Czech Technical University in Prague, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Department of Energy Engineering, Technická 4, 166 07 Prague 6, Czech Republic
  • Tomáš Dlouhý Czech Technical University in Prague, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Department of Energy Engineering, Technická 4, 166 07 Prague 6, Czech Republic



Indirect drying, biomass drying, power generation efficiency.


This article deals with the integration of a rotary indirect dryer, heated by low pressure extraction steam, into the Rankine cycle. The article evaluates the power generation efficiency of a steam power plant, with an integrated indirect dryer, which combusts waste biomass with a high moisture content and is further compared to the same plant without the dryer. The benefits of the dryer’s integration are analysed in respect to various moisture contents of biomass before and after the drying. The evaluation of the power generation efficiency is based on parameters evaluated from experiments carried out on the steam-heated rotary indirect dryer, such as specific energy consumption and evaporation capacity. The dryer’s integration improves the efficiency of the cycle in comparison to a cycle without a dryer, where moist biomass is directly combusted. This improvement increases along with the difference between the moisture content before and after the drying. For the reference state, a fuel with a moisture content of 50% was dried to 20% and the efficiency rised by 4.38 %. When the fuel with a moisture content of 60% is dried to 10 %, the power generation efficiency increases by a further 10.1 %. However, the required dryer surface for drying the fuel with a moisture content of 60% to 10% is 1.9 times greater as compared to the reference state. The results of the work can be used both for the prediction of the power generation efficiency in a power plant with this type of dryer based on the moisture content in the fuel and the biomass indirect dryer design.


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