Supercritical fluid in power generation
he efficiency of a heat engine is ultimately dependent on the temperature difference between heat source and sink (Carnot cycle). To improve efficiency of power stations the operating temperature must be raised. Using water as the working fluid, this takes it into supercritical conditions. Efficiencies can be raised from about 39% for subcritical operation to about 45% using current technology Supercritical water reactors (SCWRs) are promising advanced nuclear systems that offer similar thermal efficiency gains. Carbon dioxide can also be used in supercritical cycle nuclear plants, with similar efficiency gains. Many coal-firedsupercritical steam generators are operational all over the world, and have enhanced the efficiency of traditional steam-power plants.