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Open AccessArticle

Performance Analysis of an Updraft Tower System for Dry Cooling in Large-Scale Power Plants

Ray W. Herrick Laboratories, School of Mechanical Engineering , Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47906, USA
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Academic Editor: George Tsatsaronis
Energies 2017, 10(11), 1812; https://doi.org/10.3390/en10111812
Received: 13 October 2017 / Revised: 2 November 2017 / Accepted: 7 November 2017 / Published: 9 November 2017
(This article belongs to the Section Electrical Power and Energy System)
An updraft tower cooling system is assessed for elimination of water use associated with power plant heat rejection. Heat rejected from the power plant condenser is used to warm the air at the base of an updraft tower; buoyancy-driven air flows through a recuperative turbine inside the tower. The secondary loop, which couples the power plant condenser to a heat exchanger at the tower base, can be configured either as a constant-pressure pump cycle or a vapor compression cycle. The novel use of a compressor can elevate the air temperature in the tower base to increases the turbine power recovery and decrease the power plant condensing temperature. The system feasibility is evaluated by comparing the net power needed to operate the system versus alternative dry cooling schemes. A thermodynamic model coupling all system components is developed for parametric studies and system performance evaluation. The model predicts that constant-pressure pump cycle consumes less power than using a compressor; the extra compression power required for temperature lift is much larger than the gain in turbine power output. The updraft tower system with a pumped secondary loop can allow dry cooling with less power plant efficiency penalty compared to air-cooled condensers. View Full-Text
Keywords: power plant dry cooling; updraft tower; air-cooled condenser; vapor compression; thermodynamic feasibility analysis power plant dry cooling; updraft tower; air-cooled condenser; vapor compression; thermodynamic feasibility analysis
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Liu, H.; Weibel, J.; Groll, E. Performance Analysis of an Updraft Tower System for Dry Cooling in Large-Scale Power Plants. Energies 2017, 10, 1812.

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