Off-campus UMass Amherst users: To download campus access theses, please use the following link to log into our proxy server with your UMass Amherst user name and password.

Non-UMass Amherst users: Please talk to your librarian about requesting this thesis through interlibrary loan.

Theses that have an embargo placed on them will not be available to anyone until the embargo expires.

Access Type

Campus Access

Document Type


Degree Program

Mechanical Engineering

Degree Type

Master of Science (M.S.)

Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded



energy, exergy, district heating, efficiency, thermodynamics


Power plant performance can be assessed by the method of thermodynamic analysis. The goal of this thesis is to perform a thermodynamic analysis on the University of Massachusetts’ Combined Heat and Power (CHP) District Heating System. Energy and exergy analyses are performed based on the first and second laws of thermodynamics for power generation systems that include a 10-MW Solar combustion gas turbine, a 4-MW low pressure steam turbine, a 2-MW high pressure steam turbine, a 100,000 pph heat recovery steam generator (HRSG), three 125,000 pph package boilers, and auxiliary equipment. The University of Massachusetts’ CHP plant delivers all of the campus’ steam and nearly all its electricity to the more than 200 buildings and nearly 10 million gross square feet of building space.

Two 20-inch main steam transmission lines connect the plant to the campus. On an annual basis the plant generates approximately 1,100,000,000 pounds of steam and 100,000,000 kWh of electric power. The plant has a SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) system. Rockwell Automation’s RSLinx OPC (Object Linking and Embedding for Process Control) server acquires data from up to 675 field instruments in the plant which is used for carrying out the analyses. The latest pollution control technologies, including advanced combustion turbine low NOx burners, advanced Selective Catalytic Reduction and Oxidation Catalyst pollution control technologies are employed in the plant.

System efficiencies are calculated for a wide range of component operating loads. Factors affecting efficiency of the CHP district heating system are analyzed. In the analysis, actual system data is used to assess the district heating system performance, energy and exergy efficiencies and exergy losses. Energy and exergy calculations are conducted for the whole year on an hourly basis. Factors affecting efficiency of the CHP district heating system are analyzed and recommendations made to improve the operating efficiency. The results show how thermodynamic analysis can be used to identify the magnitudes and location of energy losses in order to improve the existing system, processes or components.


First Advisor

Dragoljub Kosanovic