This paper focuses on unconventional thermodynamic cycles and their applications in alternative energy. It looks into these promising advancements, beginning with the exploration of trends in cost, efficiency, and the adoption of various sources of power. By studying historical trends, conventional means of obtaining energy are seen to be currently increasing in efficiency in smaller and smaller increments.

The second part of our study is the application of alternative configurations of the Brayton cycle. In particular, this paper analyzes a closed-cycle turbine with supercritical carbon dioxide as the working fluid. Beginning with a simple cycle calculation, this study adapts the cycle and explores the benefit of recuperated and combined cycle systems. A parametric study was also created, comparing the efficiency versus the specific power of each cycle. Consideration of supercritical carbon dioxide as the working fluid in turbomachine cycles may demonstrate an economic advantage in the global market.

This paper provides a perspective on the feasibility of these developments for realistic applications in industry. Also important to feasibility, it assesses trends in the cost of power generated by each cycle and energy source. With this information, choices may be made on which cycle is more economically promising in today’s market. The results of this study provide a clear indication of relative efficiencies. These efficiencies, in turn, determines the optimal design direction for a particular supercritical carbon dioxide cycle. In addition, the results provide insight into the effect of this technology on the cost and efficiency of concentrated solar power production.

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