The desire to establish an efficient Energy Conversion System to utilize the fossil fuel of the future—coal—has produced many candidate systems. A comparative technical/economic evaluation was performed on the seven most attractive advanced energy conversion systems. The evaluation maintains a cycle-to-cycle consistency in both performance and economic projections. The technical information base can be employed to make program decisions regarding the most attractive concept. A reference steam power plant was analyzed to the same detail and, under the same ground rules, was used as a comparison base. The power plants were all designed to utilize coal or coal-derived fuels and were targeted to meet an environmental standard. The systems evaluated were two advanced steam systems, a potassium topping cycle, a closed cycle helium system, two open cycle gas turbine combined cycles, and an open cycle MHD system.

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