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Shane D. Garland
Interdisciplinary Thermal Science Laboratory, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80524, USA

Todd M. Bandhauer
Interdisciplinary Thermal Science Laboratory Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80524, USA

DOI: 10.1615/TFEC2020.env.032367
pages 243-246


Power generation assets consume tremendous amounts of water in the United States, using 40% of all freshwater withdrawals. Although most of this water is recycled within the plants, approximately 4% leaves the site via evaporative cooling towers. This evaporating water represents a strong opportunity to provide substantial water savings, especially for water constrained regions such as the desert southwest. A common water reduction option is to replace the evaporative cooling towers with air coupled condensers, but the size and cost of the air-coupled heat exchangers often makes this option prohibitive. One method to enable air-coupled heat exchange is to offset a portion of the condenser cooling load with a waste heat activated cooling system. The team at Colorado State University has recently developed an experimental Turbo-Compression Cooling System (TCCS) at 250 kWth cooling scale which can operate under unique power plant operating conditions (i.e., Twaste=106°C, Tamb=15°C, and Tcool=17.2°C). The present study provides experimental results for the TCCS over a range of cooling water temperatures and ambient temperatures to fully characterize system performance. The highest COP obtained for the system was 2.07 and occurred with ambient temperature of 21.4°C and ambient to cooling water temperature difference of 1.4°C.

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