Paper: Keeping Cool While Planning Major Cooling System Modification for Large Baseload Power Plant

Analyses of vital considerations for evaluating open- or closed-cycle cooling

A number of operating U.S. power generating facilities with closed-cycle cooling systems (CCS), and also those plants with open-cycle (once-through) cooling (OCS), are considering modifications to either modify or utilize closed-cycle cooling in the future. Some of the characteristics common to these plants include:

  • Aging equipment and materials resulting in cooling system performance and reliability deterioration.
  • Increased cost and lessened availability of raw cooling water leading to new closed-cycle systems to utilize higher cycles of concentration (COC).
  • Decreasing quality of available water supplies.
  • Compliance requirements associated with §316(a) and §316(b) of the Clean Water Act.
  • Cooling system performance problems from legacy issues such as initial under-sizing.
  • Power generating owner and operator desires for: Power uprates (typically for nuclear units), Unit life extension, & Need for improved operating cost competitiveness.

This paper addresses vital considerations that need to be addressed to identify the wisest approach for evaluating or modifying existing open- or closed -cycle cooling systems.

Jeffrey Mallory, Raubin Randels, Jeri Penrose, Daniele Ludovisi – Sargent & Lundy

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