The concept of optimum cooling water temperature rise in a power plant has been introduced in this study as that which corresponds to the highest possible net plant output. Every power plant having a steam turbine exhausting to a water-cooled condenser has a unique optimum cooling water temperature rise. This optimum temperature rise may not be the minimum possible as often inadvertently assumed by power plant designers. This optimum temperature rise is a strong function of the steam turbine exhaust parameters. The author has developed correlations, which will help determine the optimum temperature rise using easily available power plant design parameters. This paper will discuss the details behind this method and show the thermal and financial advantages of designing a plant with this concept. A proper understanding of this concept will enable power plant designers to economically and efficiently size the condenser cooling water system.

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