Combined Cycle Gas Turbines (CCGTs) and Open Cycle Gas Turbines (OCGTs) are both types of gas turbines used for power generation, but they differ in their efficiency, complexity, and applications.
Here's a breakdown of their key differences:

Working Principle:

Open Cycle Gas Turbine (OCGT):

  • In an OCGT, air is drawn in, compressed, mixed with fuel, and burned in a combustion chamber.
  • The hot, high-pressure gases expand through a turbine, generating mechanical energy to drive an electricity generator.
  • The exhaust gases are then released directly into the atmosphere.

Open Cycle Gas Turbine (OCGT) scheme (source : researchgate)

Combined Cycle Gas Turbine (CCGT):

  • A CCGT is essentially an OCGT with an additional "bottoming cycle" that utilizes the waste heat from the exhaust gases.
  • This hot exhaust gas passes through a Heat Recovery Steam Generator (HRSG), which converts the heat into steam.
  • The steam then drives a steam turbine, generating additional electricity.

Combined Cycle Gas Turbine (CCGT) scheme (source : researchgate)


  • OCGT: OCGTs have a lower overall efficiency, typically around 35-45%. This is because a significant amount of energy is lost in the hot exhaust gases.
  • CCGT: CCGTs are much more efficient, with efficiencies reaching up to 60%. This is due to the HRSG, which recovers and utilizes the waste heat from the OCGT cycle.

Complexity and Cost:

  • OCGT: OCGTs are simpler in design and have lower upfront costs compared to CCGTs.
  • CCGT: CCGTs are more complex due to the additional HRSG and steam turbine. This results in higher upfront costs but lower operating costs due to their higher efficiency.


  • OCGT: OCGTs are often used for peak power generation or in situations where quick startup and flexibility are more important than efficiency. They are also common in smaller power plants and distributed generation applications.
  • CCGT: CCGTs are the preferred choice for baseload power generation due to their high efficiency and lower operating costs. They are typically used in large, centralized power plants.

Here's a table summarizing the key differences :

FeatureOpen Cycle Gas Turbine (OCGT)Combined Cycle Gas Turbine (CCGT)

Working Principle

Single cycle with exhaust gas released

Dual cycle with HRSG (Heat Recovery Steam Generator) to recover waste heat




Complexity & Cost

Simpler, lower upfront cost

More Complex, higher upfront cost


Peak power, quick startup, small plants

Baseload power, large plants


In conclusion, both OCGTs and CCGTs have their own advantages and disadvantages. The choice between the two depends on factors such as required efficiency, operating costs, budget, and application. CCGTs are generally the more efficient and economical choice for large-scale, baseload power generation, while OCGTs are better suited for peak power, quick startup, or smaller applications.

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