Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources


Industrial and Managements Systems Engineering

Committee Chair

Bhaskaran Gopalakrishnan

Committee Member

Ashish Nimbarte

Committee Member

Kenneth Robert Means


Industrial applications that require steam for their end-uses generally utilize steam boilers that are at higher size than what is typically required. Similarly, gas turbine-based power plants corroborate the gas turbine system and eventually relieve the exhaust into the atmosphere. These facilities include food, paper, chemicals, refining, and primary metal manufacturing industries. This research focuses on the scope of a topping cycle combined heat and power (CHP) system by pushing the load on the boiler to a higher limit, or a gas turbine operation in place of a boiler system for a topping cycle CHP and its economic feasibility by utilizing the turbine exhaust to achieve the technological and economical evaluation of a CHP system. The excess steam is run through a condensing steam turbine to generate power that can offset the facility’s electricity usage cost and under favorable conditions, sell electricity back to the grid. Similarly, the steam turbine outlet water can be used to satisfy the plant’s heating needs in the form of comfort and district heating. A decision tool was developed to evaluate the technical and economic feasibility of a topping cycle CHP system, which can emulate a given facility’s steam or gas system and its operational parameters with steam turbines. It will help the user realize the point of breakeven (in terms of fuel cost incurred and overall cost savings) at the desired steam flow rate for a corresponding boiler system. Similarly, sensitive analysis of energy, power, cost savings, and payback of investment to boiler and steam parameters is also carried out. The research would provide necessary insights into the most appropriate parameters that will enable a CHP system to be advantageous in technical and economic aspects. The research determines that the fuel cost, electricity cost, and the steam quantity flowing through the turbines are the most important parameters for a desirable payback on the investment.