Water is a scarce natural resource fundamental for human life. Power plant architects, engineers, and power utilities owners must do everything within their hands and technical capabilities to decrease the usage of water in power plants. This paper illustrates the research carried out by Pöyry Switzerland to reduce the water consumption on power and desalination combined cycle power plants, on which there are gas turbine evaporative cooling systems in operation. The present study analyzed the potential re-utilization and integration of the heat recovery steam generator (HRSG) blowdown into the evaporative cooling system. Relatively clean demineralized water, coming from the HRSG blowdown, is routed to a large water tank, where it is blended with distillate water to achieve the required water quality, before being used on the gas turbine evaporative cooling system. To prove the feasibility of the HRSG blowdown recycling concept, the Ras Al Khair Power and Desalination Plant owned and operated by the Saline Water Conversion Corporation (SWCC), located in the Eastern Province of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, was used as case study. Nevertheless, it is important to mention that the principles and methodology presented on this paper are applicable to every power and desalination combined cycle power plant making use of evaporative cooling. Sea water desalination is the primary source for potable water production on Saudi Arabia, with secondary sources being surface water and groundwater extracted from deep wells and aquifers. Saving water is of utmost importance for power plants located in locations where water is scarce, and as such, this paper aims to demonstrate that it is possible to decrease the water consumption of power and desalination combined cycle plants, on which evaporative cooling is used as gas turbine power booster, without having to curtail power production. The outcome of the study indicates that during the summer season, recycling the HRSG water blowdown into the gas turbine evaporative cooling systems would result on the internal water consumption for the gas turbine evaporative coolers decreasing by 545 ton/day, or 23.79%, compared with the original plant design which does not contemplate blowdown re-use. Using evaporative cooling results on an overall gain of 186 MW, or 10.27%, on gross power output, while CO2 emissions decrease by 46.8 ton CO2/h, which represents a 13.8% reduction compared with the case on which the evaporative cooling system is not in operation. A brief cost analysis demonstrated that implementation of the changes would result in a negligible increase of the operational expenses (OPEX) of the plant, i.e., implementation of the suggested modification has an unnoticeable impact on the cost of electricity (CoE). The payback of the project, due to limited operating hours on evaporative cooling every year, is of 12 years for a 30 year plant lifetime, while 2.22 M USD of extra-revenue on potable water sales are generated as a result of implementing the proposed solution. Although in principle this value is modest, the effect of government subsidies on water tariffs as well as political and strategic cost of water is not included on the calculations. In conclusion, the study results indicate that water recycling, and reduction of plant's water footprint for power and desalination combined cycle plants using evaporative cooling, is not only technically possible but commercially feasible.
Power Plant Output Augmentation by Evaporative Cooling Based on HRSG Blowdown Water Recycling in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia: A Novel Approach
Contributed by the Cycle Innovations Committee of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF ENGINEERING FOR GAS TURBINES AND POWER. Manuscript received November 19, 2016; final manuscript received April 27, 2017; published online June 6, 2017. Assoc. Editor: Klaus Dobbeling.
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Carmona, J. (June 6, 2017). "Power Plant Output Augmentation by Evaporative Cooling Based on HRSG Blowdown Water Recycling in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia: A Novel Approach." ASME. J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power. November 2017; 139(11): 111701. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.4036685
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