Use of Produced Water in Recirculated Cooling Systems at Power Generating Facilities

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Tree ring studies indicate that, for the greater part of the last three decades, New Mexico has been relatively 'wet' compared to the long-term historical norm. However, during the last several years, New Mexico has experienced a severe drought. Some researchers are predicting a return of very dry weather over the next 30 to 40 years. Concern over the drought has spurred interest in evaluating the use of otherwise unusable saline waters to supplement current fresh water supplies for power plant operation and cooling and other uses. The U.S. Department of Energy's National Energy Technology Laboratory sponsored three related assessments ... continued below

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McGowin, C.; DiFilippo, M. & Weintraub, L. June 30, 2006.

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Tree ring studies indicate that, for the greater part of the last three decades, New Mexico has been relatively 'wet' compared to the long-term historical norm. However, during the last several years, New Mexico has experienced a severe drought. Some researchers are predicting a return of very dry weather over the next 30 to 40 years. Concern over the drought has spurred interest in evaluating the use of otherwise unusable saline waters to supplement current fresh water supplies for power plant operation and cooling and other uses. The U.S. Department of Energy's National Energy Technology Laboratory sponsored three related assessments of water supplies in the San Juan Basin area of the four-corner intersection of Utah, Colorado, Arizona, and New Mexico. These were (1) an assessment of using water produced with oil and gas as a supplemental supply for the San Juan Generating Station (SJGS); (2) a field evaluation of the wet-surface air cooling (WSAC) system at SJGS; and (3) the development of a ZeroNet systems analysis module and an application of the Watershed Risk Management Framework (WARMF) to evaluate a range of water shortage management plans. The study of the possible use of produced water at SJGS showed that produce water must be treated to justify its use in any reasonable quantity at SJGS. The study identified produced water volume and quality, the infrastructure needed to deliver it to SJGS, treatment requirements, and delivery and treatment economics. A number of produced water treatment alternatives that use off-the-shelf technology were evaluated along with the equipment needed for water treatment at SJGS. Wet surface air-cooling (WSAC) technology was tested at the San Juan Generating Station (SJGS) to determine its capacity to cool power plant circulating water using degraded water. WSAC is a commercial cooling technology and has been used for many years to cool and/or condense process fluids. The purpose of the pilot test was to determine if WSAC technology could cool process water at cycles of concentration considered highly scale forming for mechanical draft cooling towers. At the completion of testing, there was no visible scale on the heat transfer surfaces and cooling was sustained throughout the test period. The application of the WARMF decision framework to the San Juan Basis showed that drought and increased temperature impact water availability for all sectors (agriculture, energy, municipal, industry) and lead to critical shortages. WARMF-ZeroNet, as part of the integrated ZeroNet decision support system, offers stakeholders an integrated approach to long-term water management that balances competing needs of existing water users and economic growth under the constraints of limited supply and potential climate change.

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  • Report No.: None
  • Grant Number: FC26-03NT41906
  • DOI: 10.2172/935386 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 935386
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc897761

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  • June 30, 2006

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Sept. 27, 2016, 1:39 a.m.

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  • Dec. 9, 2016, 7:35 p.m.

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McGowin, C.; DiFilippo, M. & Weintraub, L. Use of Produced Water in Recirculated Cooling Systems at Power Generating Facilities, report, June 30, 2006; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc897761/: accessed September 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.