Cooling Water

Can A Decommissioned RO System Work To Recover Cooling Tower Blowdown For Reuse?

By Frank Spencer and Larry Flood

BLOWDOWN COOLING WATER ECONOMICS POWER REUSE REVERSE OSMOSIS SUSTAINABILITY WASTEWATER ATLANTIC POWER

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Abstract

This article reports about efforts to conserve water and lower operating costs at an Atlantic Power electrical generating plant in greater San Diego, CA. The facility’s primary function is to supply steam to its host. The electrical power produced is sold to the local utility. The plant, originally built in 1974, was repowered in 1989 with a 40-megawatt (MW) GE Frame 6B gas turbine, heat recovery steam generator (HRSG), and a 10-MW Dresser-Rand steam turbine. 

Additional equipment includes an Aqua-Chem distillation unit, two cooling towers, and a water plant. The water plant consists of three two-pass 120 gallons per minute (gpm) reverse osmosis (RO) systems with multimedia pretreatment. A water softener feeds the distillation unit, and two separate exchangeable deionization (DI) polishing systems provide for plant water make up and turbine nitrogen oxide (NOx) control. 

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