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Simple cycle power plants provide a flexible and reliable power generation solution. Simple cycle power plants consist of a gas turbine that is connected to an electrical generator. Modern gas turbines are high-technology packages comprising a gas compressor, fuel combustors and a gas expansion turbine (power turbine). In the gas turbine, air is compressed in the gas compressor. Energy is added to the compressed air by burning liquid or gaseous fuel in the combustor. The hot, compressed air is expanded through a gas turbine, which drives both the compressor and an electric power generator.
Although simple cycle is less efficient than combined cycle, the plant is quicker and cheaper to build and has certain operational advantages. One key advantage of the gas-fired simple cycle plant is its operational flexibility. It can be started up quickly, bringing electricity on-line whenever it is needed. That’s why simple cycle power plants are often used to provide peak load or standby service.