Cooling Systems Condition Monitoring

Cooling systems are one of the most important components in the power plant industry. The cooling system’s task is to ensure a designed negative pressure of condenser which maximizes work potential of the turbine as well as the power on the generator. Degradation of cooling systems, due to fouling, aging or air leakages, leads to deterioration of the negative pressure in condensers. The consequences severely impact the systems efficiency, for example on 300 MW block the deterioration of negative pressure for only 0.01 bar causes decrease in power production as high as a couple of MWs. On a long term, these losses considerably impact cumulative power and/or heat production, decrease system efficiency and financial savings.

Cooling Systems Monitoring

Due to the slow process of fouling and aging of cooling systems, their degradation is usually an unnoticeable process. On a long term, it leads to significant deterioration of the condenser’s back pressure and eventually results in significant decrease of system efficiency and financial savings. To ensure optimal operation of all types of cooling systems, we offer monitoring of their performances. By analyzing changes of cooling systems characteristics in conjunction with economical factors, an alarm to operator is provided, signifying the point in time where the cooling system is no longer performing well and a maintenance process is economically justifiable.

Cooling Systems with Natural-Draft Cooling Towers

In recent years, due to global increase of energy demands and due to the regulations dealing with the use of natural waters, the number of natural-draft cooling towers in heat and power generation industry has increased. Moreover, there are plenty of old cooling towers that have not been properly maintained for decades. In this regard, our group has developed a methodology for the evaluation of cooling towers’ performance.

The methodology for evaluation of cooling towers’ performance consists of three parts:

  • Cooling Tower Profiler (CTP) method (optional; applied in cases of natural-draft cooling towers)
  • Cooling Tower (CT) model
  • Power plant model

In the first step, with the CTP method local anomalies in CT are identified and evaluated. The acquired measurements are then used to simulate the impact of CT anomalies on the power output. As a result, a change in CT’s efficiency, its impact on power production and economical savings are estimated.

An example of the measurement results in a natural-draft cooling tower conducted by CTP profiler method.

Application areas

The cooling system optimization techniques that we offer are applicable on all types of wet-cooling and cover condensers, natural- and mechanical-draft cooling towers.

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