DOE selects a project to enable zero water consumption

08 September 2020

The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Fossil Energy (FE) selected one additional project to receive approximately USD 1.5M in federal funding for cost-shared research and development under the second closing of funding opportunity announcement (FOA) DE-FOA-0002001.000001, Crosscutting Research for Coal-Fueled Power Plants. 

The project will be supported by FE’s Water Management program, which addresses the needs of the energy-water nexus through analyses and technology development.

The technology utilized in this project will minimize operational complexity and cost under cycling operating conditions; thereby enhancing the tolerance of fossil power generation in reduced water availability scenarios (for example, droughts). In particular, the project includes a thermal energy storage unit that will help reduce peak cooling loads to maintain plant output, efficiency, and environmental performance during hot conditions the most challenging times for cooling.

The University of Cincinnati (Cincinnati, OH) will perform the project, titled Advanced Dry-Cooling with Integrated Enhanced Air-Cooled Condenser and Daytime Load-Shifting Thermal Energy Storage for Improved Power-Plant Efficiency. The team will carry out an engineering analysis and optimize the design of a pilot-scale, 10 to 100-megajoule thermal energy storage unit linked to an air-cooled condenser and air-cooled heat exchanger dry-cooling system.

The technology will be field-tested in 1:275-scale dry-cooling modules at the Electric Power Research Institute’s Water Research and Conservation Center at Southern Company’s Plant McDonough in Atlanta, GA.