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That is news to me. The most efficient steam plants I am familiar with are the new combined cycle gas plants. They can achieve 60% thermal efficiency, but it takes a gas turbine and a steam turbine all in one power plant to get that sort of efficiency. A Carnot efficiency of 90% would require a steam inlet temperature of over 4000 degrees F. That is way too high for today's power plants.

Empirically, no heat engine has ever been shown to run at a greater efficiency than a Carnot cycle heat engine.

Thank you for the correction. I thought 90 percent was high, but it is what I remember being told on the tour to of the plant in Bridge City.

If 60 percent is all you get, then by the time you lose energy in the conversion to DC through the rectifiers, and back through the batteries it would seem you are getting close.

However, I do know that people who had natural gas standby generators that came on after Hurricane Rita and ran the entire time were shocked at the fuel bill when it came in. They were very glad to pay the electric rates after that.

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