The thermoelectric power industry in the U.S. uses a large amount of freshwater. The large water demand is increasingly a problem, especially for new power plant development, as availability of freshwater for new uses diminishes in the United States. Reusing non-traditional water sources, such as treated municipal wastewater, provides one option to mitigate freshwater usage in the thermoelectric power industry. The amount of freshwater withdrawal that can be displaced with non-traditional water sources at a particular location requires evaluation of the water management and treatment requirements, considering the quality and abundance of the non-traditional water sources.
This paper presents the development of an integrated costing model to assess the impact of degraded water treatment, as well as the implications of increased tube scaling in the main condenser. The model developed herein is used to perform case studies of various treatment, condenser cleaning and condenser configurations to provide insight into the ramifications of degraded water use in the cooling loops of thermoelectric power plants. Further, this paper lays the groundwork for the integration of relationships between degraded water quality, scaling characteristics and volatile emission within a recirculating cooling loop model.