Power Plant Water Management
Enhanced Performance Carbon Foam Heat Exchanger for Power Plant Cooling – Ceramic Composites, Inc.
Ceramic Composites, Inc. and SPX Cooling are conducting research to develop high thermal conductivity foam to be used in an air-cooled steam condenser for power plants. The foam could significantly decrease energy consumption while enhancing water conservation within the power industry. Researchers are evaluating a variety of fin width to channel width ratios. Additionally, researchers are evaluating and testing Wavy, Chevron, Straight, and Harmon fin designs, comparing air velocity, the overall heat transfer coefficient, and performance ratios.
Research into optimizing the manufacturing process for the foam fins is being conducted including: optimization of structural enhancement; optimization of bonding; optimization of machining; and economic evaluation. If successful, this project will allow air cooled condensers to be smaller and more efficient at heat rejection.
Examples of possible benefits of the project include minimization of: water withdrawal and consumption; thermal impacts from warm water discharge; and impacts to aquatic life from water intake.