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Challenges in Designing and Building a 700 MW All-Air-Cooled Steam Electric Power Plant

[+] Author Affiliations
John T. Langaker, Christopher Hamker

Burns & McDonnell Engineering Co., Kansas City, MO

Ralph Wyndrum

SPX Cooling Technologies, Inc., Overland Park, KS

Paper No. POWER2011-55251, pp. 423-430; 8 pages
  • ASME 2011 Power Conference collocated with JSME ICOPE 2011
  • ASME 2011 Power Conference, Volume 1
  • Denver, Colorado, USA, July 12–14, 2011
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4459-5
  • Copyright © 2011 by ASME


Large natural gas fired combined cycle electric power plants, while being an increasingly efficient and cost effective technology, are traditionally large consumers of water resources, while also discharging cooling tower blowdown at a similar rate. Water use is mostly attributed to the heat rejection needs of the gas turbine generator, the steam turbine generator, and the steam cycle condenser. Cooling with air, i.e. dry cooling, instead of water can virtually eliminate the environmental impact associated with water usage. Commissioned in the fall of 2010 with this in mind, the Halton Hills Generating Station located in the Greater Toronto West Area, Ontario, Canada, is a nominally-rated 700 Megawatt combined cycle electric generating station that is 100 percent cooled using various air-cooled heat exchangers. The resulting water consumption and wastewater discharge of this power plant is significantly less than comparably sized electric generating plants that derive cooling from wet methods (i.e, evaporative cooling towers). To incorporate dry cooling into such a power plant, it is necessary to consider several factors that play important roles both during plant design as well as construction and commissioning of the plant equipment, including the dry cooling systems. From the beginning a power plant general arrangement and space must account for dry cooling’s increase plot area requirements; constraints therein may render air cooling an impossible solution. Second, air cooling dictates specific parameters of major and auxiliary equipment operation that must be understood and coordinated upon purchase of such equipment. Until recently traditional wet cooling has driven standard designs, which now, in light of dry cooling’s increase in use, must be re-evaluated in full prior to purchase. Lastly, the construction and commissioning of air-cooling plant equipment is a significant effort which demands good planning and execution.

Copyright © 2011 by ASME



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