Conservation

Evaluating A Combined-Cycle Plant With An Air-cooled Condenser For ZLD

By Nicole Makela, Michele Funk; P.E., Joel Davie; P.E. and Ian Mitchell; P.E.

BOILERS COOLING TOWERS CORROSION COMBINED CYCLE CYCLES OF CONCENTRATION CONSERVATION ENVIRONMENT ION EXCHANGE MATERIALS OF CONSTRUCTION MOBILE WATER TREATMENT POWER SCALING ZERO LIQUID DISCHARGE

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Abstract

To expedite the permitting process and reduce environmental impacts, combined-cycle power plant developers are analyzing options for minimal wastewater discharge. Because of the interdependent relationship between plant water users and wastewater producers, analyzing options for minimal wastewater discharge requires a holistic approach, in which technology options for water users and wastewater producers are evaluated concurrently. Development of an approach that minimizes cost and risk, yet maintains flexibility to variable plant makeup water quality requires innovative applications of treatment and reuse technologies.

This article will analyze water and wastewater treatment options for a combined-cycle power plant with an air-cooled condenser and no permit to discharge wastewater. The article will also illustrate how ion-exchange (IX) technologies with off-site regeneration may be a favorable option for this application. Process schematics for alternate treatment technologies will be presented and compared, along with a qualitative discussion of each technology’s ability to handle variable water quality. Additionally, operating considerations and risks associated with each design will be provided. Finally, order of magnitude rental and capital costs will be provided for IX technologies with off-site regeneration.

Introduction

Power project siting in areas with limited water supply and discharge options is causing combined-cycle power plant developers to consider options for minimizing system water demand and wastewater discharge streams. This article considers water and wastewater treatment options for a combined-cycle power plant with an air-cooled condenser (ACC) and no permit to discharge wastewater. Design, operating considerations and risks associated with potential solutions are provided with respect to factors such as cooling strategy, materials of construction, cycles of concentration, technology specific sensitivities, and water source quality. Order-of-magnitude rental and capital costs are also provided for ion-exchange (IX) technologies with off-site regeneration. 

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