An extended version of the Bejan model of irreversible power plants is proposed using a log-mean temperature difference (LMTD) representation for both the high and low-temperature heat exchangers. The analysis focuses on minimizing the irreversibilities associated with the hot and cold heat exchangers. The results indicate that the maximum power output, external conductance allocation ratio, and second law efficiency are functions of the number total heat exchanger transfer units (N), and are asymptotic to Bejan’s original results as N → O. This asymptote represents a global power output maximum and occurs for either extremely high cycle flow rates or cycle phase change processes in both heat exchangers. The LMTD representation also shows that under optimal conditions, more conductance should be allocated to the low-temperature heat exchanger as N increases.

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