The daily operation of combined-cycle power plants is increasingly characterized by frequent start-up and shutdown procedures. In addition to the basic requirement of high efficiency at design load, plant operators therefore acknowledge the relevance of enhanced flexibility in operation — in particular, fast start-ups — for plant competitiveness under changing market conditions. The load ramps during start-up procedure are typically limited by thermal stresses in the heat recovery steam generator (HRSG) due to thick-walled components in the high pressure circuit. Whereas conventional HRSG design is largely based on simple steady-state models, detailed modelling and dynamic simulation of the relevant systems are necessary in order to optimize HRSG design with respect to fast start-up capability. This study investigates the capability of a comprehensive process simulation model to accurately predict the dynamic response of a triple-pressure heat recovery steam generator with reheater from warm and hot initial conditions to the start-up procedure of a heavy-duty gas turbine. The commercial combined-cycle power plant (350 MWel) was modelled with the thermal-hydraulic code Apros. Development of the plant model is based on geometry data, system descriptions and heat transfer calculations established in the original HRSG design. The numerical model is validated with two independent sets of measurement data recorded at the real power plant, showing good agreement.

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