In this study, a novel thermoeconomic optimization method that is simple and efficient, for real complex cycles is introduced. First, a thermoeconomic analysis method that is called non-linear simplex direct search method is improved for the purposes of this study. The objective of this paper is to apply this method to four cogeneration cycles that are simple cycle, inlet air cooling cycle, air preheated and air-fuel preheated cycles for analyzing and optimizing. The four cycles are thermoeconomically optimized for constant power and steam mass (30 MW and 14 kg/s saturated steam flow rate at 2000 kPa), for constant power (30 MW) and for variable steam mass, and for variable power and steam mass by using the cost equation method and the effect of size on equipment method. The results obtained by the effect of size on equipment and by the cost equations methods are very different from each other. For the case of global optimization, the optimum electricity costs which also correspond to minimum are obtained as 0,0432 $/kWh for simple cycle, 0,0514 $/kWh for inlet air cooling cycle 0,0577 $/kWh for air preheated cycle and 0,058 $/kWh for air-fuel preheated cycle by using cost equations method. (C) 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.