(Invited) Overview of EPRI’s Research on the Water-Energy Nexus

Monday, 2 October 2017: 14:55
National Harbor 10 (Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center)
J. Preece (Electric Power Research Institute)
US thermoelectric power plants contribute to about 40% of nation’s fresh water withdrawals, primarily due to cooling. While recirculating cooling towers only account for approximately 3% of US fresh water consumption, their water use rates may not be sustainable in some locations. In addition, thermal discharges and water intake for once-through cooling face increasing regulatory scrutiny. Furthermore, siting of new capacity is challenged by water supply constraints. Therefore, breakthrough cooling technology development to minimize fresh water use is emerging as a top priority research topic for all types of thermoelectric plants.

To develop viable game changing solutions, the National Science Foundation (NSF) and Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) jointly released a $6 M solicitation on advancing dry cooling technologies in 2013. The presentation will highlight several technologies being developed through this collaboration, including alternative dry cooling concepts, such as indirect dry cooling towers with phase-change materials as intermediate coolants, novel heat driven micro emulsion-based adsorption green chillers for steam condensation, on-demand sweating-boosted air cooled heat-pipe condensers for green power plants, direct contact heat exchange and absorption refrigeration based on green non-volatile ionic liquids for enhanced dry cooling of thermoelectric power plants, ejector cooling system with evaporation/condensation compact condenser, and integrated innovative heat pipe dry cooling towers; and enhancement concepts for the currently used air cooled condensers, such as advanced air cooled condensers with vortex-generator arrays between fins, auto flutter enhanced air cooled condensers, nanostructure enhanced air-cooled steam condensers, and porous structures with 3D manifold for ultra-compact air side dry cooling. The progress update and key results will also be provided.