In the natural-draft cooling tower (NDCT) market, there is no service that can estimate the impact of component problems inside NDCTs on power production, financial losses and emissions. Due to the slow pace of degradation of NDCTs, their large size and the complexity of heat and mass transfer processes, NDTCs’ performance degradation is in many cases unnoticed and unattended. In this paper, the solution for profiling, diagnostics and evaluation of natural-draft cooling towers is presented. It consists of (1) A high-resolution mobile-based measuring system for the detection of component problems inside NDCTs, (2) NDCT and power plant modeling, and (3) Cost-benefit analysis. Based on high-resolution measurements, the impact of the degradation, damage or design issues of the tower’s components on power generation, emissions and financials is evaluated. The paper includes 10 months of operational data from a 345-MWe power plant with NDCT. An area with degraded fills inside the NDCT is analyzed and the results are reported.

19-29: Profiling, Diagnostics and Evaluation of Cooling Towers

  • Jure Smrekar, JS Energy Ltd and Marko Hoceval, University of Ljubljana